Bird in Flight

A. Joseph Black

Grit on Sonny’s hands conspires with sweat to create tiny diamonds, glittering under the prison lighting. 

There’s a faint <tik> on the reinforced glass screen. Looking up Sonny sees the inky blue jay tattooed on the back of his father’s hand take flight, back down to the desk between them. 

They lock eyes and each sees the reflection of their own face superimposed on the other’s. Sonny sees a life gone wrong: an older, harder, defeated version of himself. 

Sal sees himself as a young man, a blank page loaded with mistakes as yet unmade. Then the moment is over.


This story won First Prize in the January 2021 Monthly Micro Fiction Competition.

About the author: A. Joseph Black is from Carnlough, Ireland and writes short stories and flash fictions. Over thirty of his pieces can be found online, in literary magazines, and in print anthologies. His short stories By The Lake and Nora have been published as chapbooks in Australia. He was runner up in the 2018 Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award and his story A Little Cloud was The Irish Times New Irish Writing for January 2020.