KIERAN SHEA’s fiction has appeared in dozens of venues including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Thuglit, Dogmatika, Word Riot, Plots with Guns, Beat to a Pulp, Crimefactory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir well as in some beefy-looking anthologies most of which will make you question the tether of his shiny, red balloon. To his self-deprecating astonishment he's also been nominated for the Story South’s Million Writers Award twice without sending the judges so much as a thank you note. He co-edited the satiric transgressive fiction collection D*CKED: DARK FICTION INSPIRED BY DICK CHENEY and his debut novel KOKO TAKES A HOLIDAY is out now from Titan Books. Kieran divides his time between 38°58′22.6″N- 76°30′4.17″W and 39.2775° N, 74.5750° W.


Patricia Abbott's "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This"

Gee whiz, it seems this year so far has been a freeforall of flash fiction challenges.

A while back Patti Abbott offered up one of her own--a flash fiction piece that somehow incorporates the Eurythmics song "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" Here's my take...


“Oh, Jesus wept. Get a load of this now.”


“On your right. No, donkey, the other right. Nine o’clock.”

“Nine o’—whoa. Good Lord. Is that? ”

“What did I tell you, huh? Teddy Flanagan, in the flesh.”

“Holy Christ, Jack. That hair. God, he looks just like that crazy-eyed singer chick, y'know? The one from that, that whatdoyoucallit, that band.”


“Y’know, that eighties duo thing. That one with synthesizers and weirdass goggles and shit. Dumpadumpadumpadumpadumpadumpadumpa…sweet dreams are made of seas.”

“Sweet dreams are made of this, asshole. And for your information, Teddy Flanagan does not look at all like Annie freakin' Lennox. Not in the least. Annie Lennox by way of Larry Bird maybe. Annie Lenox by way of a garden shovel. Jesus...stop staring, Mike, will you?”

“I can’t help myself. It’s like watching a pile up on the F.D.R.”

“Yeah, well, you keep checking him out and Teddy might sashay over here start making conversation. After the market this week I need Teddy Flanagan coming over here making conversation like I need another colonoscopy.”

“Does he still call himself Teddy?”

“From what I heard, yeah. But with an “i” now, like some Lincoln Tunnel hooker. Still comes in the bar here regular now and then done up all fancy like that. Drives our boy Pat the Drunk bananas. Poor bastard. Pat's eye sight is for shit now and he made a play for Teddy twice. Anyway, supposedly Flanagan’s shrink says he’s got to mix about in his old haunts as part of his transition. Get comfortable as a woman and all before he goes under the knife.”


“You said it. What’s he doing now?”

“Don’t you mean she?”

“She-he...d’hell're you? Safire back from the dead? What’s Flanagan doing?”

“Lady is checking her lipstick in the mirror by the door. No—wait.”


“I think he just adjusted his package.”

“Fantastic. Twenty dollar single malt and now I’m gonna spew.”

“Ehh. Big deal. What do you care? Guy’s a millionaire ten times over. Trader humps like you and me? We're like flies on the garbage can to movers like Flanagan. His money, guess the guy can do whatever he pleases. Man, his wife must have soaked his ass.”

“Took the mansion in Rumson. Or so I heard. And the tax villa in Geneva.”

“Can you blame her?”

“His kids are in therapy.”

“Nice. Hey, are those—”


"No kidding. In for a penny in for a pound, I guess. Oh no. Oh hell. Here she comes. Hey! What're you doing? You can't leave me here.”

“I’m going outside for a smoke. That guy goes heavy on the Chanel No. 5 and my wife? My wife is like a TSA dog at LaGuardia. Think I can explain to her I was making conversation with a finance whiz who used to shave his back?”

“Jack, come on, wait!”



“Hello there, Michael.”



“Hey, uh….hey.”

“It’s okay. You can call me Teddy still.”

“Hey, Ted. I mean, Teddy. Ted-dee. Is that right? Is that how you pronounce it now?”

“Just Teddy. It’s spelled differently, but still sounds the same.”

“With an “i” right?”


“I heard that.”

“From who? Jack Bogan scampering out the front door to lay another film of tar on his lungs? That fat man has issues. Buy an honest girl a drink?”

“Excuse me?”

“Relax, I’m joking. Here. Let me buy you one. What are you having?”

“Uh. J&B. Rocks.”

“J&B, rocks, please. And a Diet Coke with a twist of lemon. Tough times?”

“What? This? Nah, the J&B just goes long when it’s watered down. I got to take the late train.”


“Been a hell of a week.”


“Fuckin’ Chinese positively killing my numbers.”



“How ‘bout you?”

“Hedge funds did well. Cleared a hundred thou in the last forty-eight, personally. I’m stopping in for a quick drink before I go buy some new flats. The heels do take a toll.”


“You still with Ginsburg Venture Strategies?”


“You ever think of moving on?”

“Me? Nah. Probably bury me there.”

“Well, you should. Think about it I mean.”


“Well, it's no secert about that Bolivian energy deal you put together.”






“I don’t bite you know.”

“Sure, I know.”

“I’m still the same person.”



“Well, technically. For a little while anyway.”



“Hey, umm, can I ask you something personal, T?”

“They’re Cs.”

“No. Not that. How long…I mean…how long have you—”



“Just something that’s always been in the back of my mind. Like a color painted just under my skin.”

“Being in the closet.”

“Not exactly.”

“Well, this crowd, these guys, it’s kind of a brave thing to do. Takes guts. I don't understand it myself but I respect your decision.”

“Ninety-five percent of these assholes are cowards.”

“No argument here.”



“Of course my wife hired a contract killer when I told her.”


“I’m joking. She’s known for years. Since before we were married even. I used to borrow her things. We tried, but I guess she just got tired when I kept pushing and acting out more. Money buys a lot of denial. It's complicated. She said she was tired of me making her feel like a lesbian. Tired of the therapy.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m not. Gold-digging bitch drank my blood.”


“Anyway, now I get to play the field. Lot of ladies out there.”

“Excuse me?”

“Michael, this is New York. It’s a hell of a town.”