School was closed today, and the children went home early. They ran along the streets underneath broken windows and drainpipes, stopping as they reached the supermarket. Esma found milk powder on one of the shelves, Niles placed a coin on the checkout desk. Even in daylight, they could already see the enormous moon looming over the rooftops. This was going to be a good year, their last one before graduation.
The Fourth Fundamental Force is the twenty-seventh of the announced features in The Needle Drops... Volume One. It is a strange, dark, unique tale that is composed of multiple smaller segments, following the journeys of a group of children throughout an abandoned city as they struggle to navigate their final school year. With Flash Fiction, we aim to highlight smaller pieces rampant with imagination and experimentation.
The children roam the city and its abandoned streets, sneaking through the car graveyard, the underpass, the hallways of the museum. It is the last year before their graduation, but school is closed, as it has always been. What happened to Indigo's father? Why do the children have to skip their steps near the power station? What is waiting for them in the Central Mail Exchange? And most important of all, the lesson they are all waiting for in their final year: what is the fourth fundamental force?
The children roam the city and its abandoned streets, sneaking through the car graveyard, the underpass, the hallways of the museum. It is the last year before their graduation, but school is closed, as it has always been...
Dennis Mombauer has been writing for a while, first in his native language of German and then in English. He co-founded a German magazine for experimental fiction -- Die Novelle – Magazine for Experimentalism -- to create a space for authors to showcase their work outside of the usual categories, featuring story labyrinths, fragmented writing, fiction in the form of non-fiction, and various other textual experiments. He works for a non-profit think tank focusing on climate change and related issues and is parent to an autistic child as well as a number of stray dogs adopted over the years.
Dennis' own work has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies. His first English novel, The Fertile Clay, is scheduled to be published with Nightscape Press this year. He is also publishing a weird fiction cli-fi novella called The House of Drought with Stelliform Press in early 2022.