His DNA in the Dust

Dettra Rose

Luke grows up with a heart-shaped family who cuddle him, but they’re chunky andfreckly not gangly and earthy-brown. When he asks why, their gentleness wills him on.

He hunts, discovers an aunt, then a cousin.

Across the sky, Tunisia smells of heat and mandarins. He locates the tiny town and graveyard, walks through ordered rows of stones. His heart moves towards a cedar tree, crumples beneath its evergreen.

Twilight, moonlight and sunrise, these words squeeze breath from his chest: ‘Proud Young Father, Beloved Mother’.

His penknife blunts scratching dust and rubble off the headstones, filling his pockets and socks.


This story won the People’s Prize vote in the June 2021 Monthly Micro Fiction competition.

About the author: Dettra Rose is an award-winning flash fiction author in the UK and Australia. She wrote her first flash in 2018, winning the first Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction prize – and a love affair was born. Since then, her pieces have won and been shortlisted/longlisted in many esteemed competitions including: Bath Flash Fiction Award, Reflex Fiction Flash Competition, Retreat West’s Micro Fiction, and TSS Publishing Flash 400.

She is working on finishing her first novel despite her addiction to flash. A born and bred Londoner she now lives in Australia; she calls both places home.