Flash Fiction by Jessica Bergquist


I long for the feeling on my hand when I rub your ribs; like friction crackling through all of me. I often think about the science behind it all, you and me. My ex best friends’ little brother once told me that we don’t really ever touch anything, that the molecules between us and what we touch never really leave, just shift, leaving the tiniest, undetectable room between my hand and your body. But the touch, the friction? I know, I know. I love every neuron and nerve ending inside of you that reacts to my (lack of a) presence against the inside of your leg, for science. It is purely scientific and still not at all calculated when the release happens and we burst, deflated back into sexual obscurity until our hormones tell us otherwise. Like the changing seasons and the flow of the tides, it all happens whether we want it to or not. Come closer.


The first time I had sex without love was at the end of a summer that felt like rebirth. My sticky sweet clothes stuck to my skin again with every breath. I forgot about the sweat; too enamored with the pulsation of life that wrapped my whole being in its embrace. New friends, no plans, and a hookup app on my phone seemed to get me to the right bedroom with the guy who seemed right enough. Sure, I had heard the tales of sordid affairs that accompanied “slut” activities and guys who never looked you in the eye, but his touch surprised me. Before the slow hands and breathy whimpers, he put his lips on my forehead like he wanted to keep it a secret. Before he moved atop me while I watched his cross-necklace bounce, we stretched out to meet the other in a moment that let me forget we were never in love. They say it’s not supposed to be complicated, but somehow, that’s always what we make it.

Jessica Bergquist is a senior at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA and a fiction reader for the literary magazine Gigantic Sequins. Her prose and poetry has been published in Wax Seal Lit Mag, Ethos Literary Journal, and Rhythm and Bones: Dark Marrow. To learn more, follow her blog at and her twitter @jrbergq.