Thursday, June 3, 2021

Wish You Were Here • 4

Today, the fourth installment in the second iteration of The Pete Wood Challenge. This week we will be presenting ten microflash stories, all of which spring from a simple challenge: to write a 100-word story that revolves around the line:

“Wish you were here.”

 Two Monday, two Tuesday, two Wednesday, two more today, and on Friday, the thrilling conclusion. Enjoy!




“Two lost souls and a fishbowl” by Cécile Cristofari 

“Once I thought I could tell happiness from pain,” I whisper. After years of not being listened to, I can’t shake the habit of talking to myself. “Heaven from Hell. You took that from me. I hope you get what’s coming to you, wherever you are.” My voice trembles. “I so wish you were here.”

But the room is still, save for the red glint of the fish swimming around its fishbowl.


I wish I was here too, I want to say.

But words can’t pass my lips now, and I stare, helpless, at your distorted figure outside the bowl.

¤     ¤     ¤



After working in Canada for two years, Cécile Cristofari settled in her native South France, where she teaches English literature and writes stories when her son is asleep. Her stories have appeared in Interzone, Daily Science Fiction and Reckoning, among other places. She can be found on Twitter @c_cristofari, or on her website:


“My Fair Claritin Lady” by Gretchen Tessmer

“Well, I’ve checked it over twice,” says the TV repairman. “There’s nothing wrong on my side. But it’s all relative, of course. If I was there, or you were here…”

“That’s wishful thinking.” The girl in the TV sighs. She’s sitting on a garden bench, surrounded by ragweed and daisies, stuck in an allergy medicine commercial for all eternity. “I suppose there are worse fates.”

“Like catching malaria,” the repairman offers, gathering up his tools.

“Or living your life as a TV repairman.”

“Oh, that’s hitting below the belt, Lizzie.”

“Can’t see much else from my vantage point, dear.” She sneezes, “Damn.”

¤     ¤     ¤


Gretchen Tessmer is a writer based in the U.S./Canadian borderlands. She writes poetry and short fiction, with work appearing in Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Cast of Wonders and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, among other venues.




stupefy (ˈstü-pə-ˌfī) to stun, astonish, or astound

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