False Stars

Photograph of lights shaped like stars through a gauzy material.The frozen ground, hard and cold, lumped under their blanket, dug into them. She followed his finger to the sky. He named the constellations and each visible star. Doghouse, Fir Tree, Koi. Years later she realizes he invented them, though Lumberjack should have been a tell. After her last astronomy class, she sees him again buying gas and condoms. Her face is a constellation, Disappointment. He says ā€œIā€™m sorry I lied to you.ā€ He means the girl with long hair who lived in the van. She remembers Dancer and Campfire. What was Orion? Breast? She only remembers the false stars.



Frances Badgett has been the fiction editor of Contrary Magazine since 2003. You can find her @FrancesBadgett most places. She lives in Bellingham, WA.

Art Credit: Rachel

4 Responses to “False Stars”

  1. Jessica Dessert says:

    This is amazing! Such a strong story in such a short amount of words! I love it!
    I am an editor for a journal called Two Hawks Quarterly and was wondering if you would like to submit with us? Publication is never a guarantee but I know that I and my colleagues would love to read some more of your work. For pieces such as these 100 word stories, you can send up to 5 in a batch but we also accept flash fiction and flash CNF as well as fiction and CNF pieces up to 5000 words!
    Here are the guidelines if you are interested and please do not hesitate to contact me through the journal’s instagram, @twohawksquarterly as this comment will not show my email.

  2. Emily O'Brien says:

    BEATIFUL.. i can totally feel your words.. I can see it all in my mind.. so funny, I used to live in Bellingham
    This is a beautiful story!
    Love from,

    Emily in Vader, Washington

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *