Short Fiction by Elísabet Jökulsdóttir Skip to content

Three Pieces of Short Fiction

Words by
Elísabet Jökulsdóttir
Illustrations by
Elín Elísabet Einarsdóttir
Translation by
Larisssa Kyzer

The Little Girl Who Lived on Fish Hearts

I once knew a little girl who lived on nothing but fish hearts. She had a bowl of goldfish and spent every day at home alone with her fish. Her dad and mom were always buying her more new fish because whenever they came home from work at night, she told them that this fish had died today, and those three yesterday. When they asked the girl what she’d done with the dead fish, she said she’d buried them or thrown them in the trash. So they were always buying her new fish because she was home by herself so much. But one time, when her mom was replanting all the flowers, she found a fish corpse in every last pot. After a rigorous interrogation, it came to light that the girl had killed the fish by cutting out their hearts and eating one heart a day. But when they asked her why on earth she’d do that, she didn’t know why on earth she had eaten fish hearts. And so they put her in a children’s psychiatric ward because she didn’t have a reason.

The Aliens and the Child

Once upon a time, some aliens flew to earth from an unknown star and stole a child who’d run away from home because her parents didn’t notice her. When, many lightyears later, the child was returned to earth, she was not a day older than when she’d vanished, but her parents were old and wizened by the fireplace. And when they saw the child lollygagging in the living room, they asked each other who that child was and concluded it was probably one of the bloody grandchildren. 

icelandic author elísabet jökulsdóttir

The Cigarette Girl: A story for Linda Vilhjálmsdóttir

This is a story about a cigarette girl. Whenever she got an arrow to the eye, a bullet to the heart, or a spear to the side, she pulled a crumpled pack of cigarettes from her back pocket, carefully shook one out, and lit it. Then she stood on the corner with a cigarette dangling from her lips, an arrow in her eye, a bullet in her heart, and a spear in her side, and smoked with a dreadfully cunning expression on her face. In the end, her face got stuck like that because she was always smoking.

icelandic literature elísabet jökulsdóttir

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