Microfiction Monday – 185th Edition
by Adam Conner
I first had the father I never met sawed in half. Then I had him stand against a wooden board and outlined him with daggers. Then I fed him swords on fire. For the grand finale, I stuffed him inside a wooden box and hung him in the air. The box exploded, and my father disappeared yet again. Later, when people asked how I did it, all I could tell them was, “Magic.”
Give me more space to be me, maybe a baby—just not his. Waited for the right timing and changed my address and quit my job! Planned what to take. No inkling to friends or family. Weren’t we the couple that had it all? I contained everyone’s shock. Consoled their concern. But my failings and flailings still travelled with me. Bills to pay, graduate school to finish, job to unquit. I wasn’t lonely but felt disloyal to our ‘til death do us part’. I relinquished owning porcelain china and Waterford crystal for ten. To become a single tenant of me.
Things that Evaporate in Fog
The summer I turned nine, while other kids barged in and out of friends’ houses and tore around the neighborhood, I visited my grandparents in the Smoky Mountains. No argument here. An anxious book nerd who didn’t understand the noise of other children, I looked forward to three bully-free months.
We arrived too late and exhausted to explore. Early next morning, I stepped off the tiny porch into the dew-kissed lawn. The mountains scratched the edges of dawn and hoisted the sky on its hazy shoulders. I shrunk under their immense silence, my childhood problems smaller than a June bug.
by G. Lynn Brown
She slips under the covers. A fan sits on the floor and blows a breeze on her face.
He hates the fan. The draft chills him, the sound disturbs him, and he hates her for having it on.
She doesn’t care. She needs its white noise to drown out the midnight silence. So, she ignores his gripes and closes her eyes and thinks of someone else.
While awake, hopes abound. But slumber brings dreams. Now she’s in between, just as much awake as asleep, where hopes marry dreams, the ideal place to visit her someone else, and she dozes off.
by James Rasco
A promise of escape dangles from a nail above a white ceramic cookie jar. A keychain; a faded yellow oval of foam. Tiny fingers pick at the peeling vinyl advertisement. It smells of lake water and chemicals. The car is packed: fishing gear, food, clothes. We take everything we need, which means Father stays behind. For the weekend we can play pretend that our family is more whole than fractured. Hours later and past the gate, a key attached to a faded yellow oval of foam opens the metal door. Inside, it smells of stale air, old dust, and freedom.
Microfiction Monday – 149th Edition
Jack kept the cigarettes he stole from his dad at the bottom of his vinyl school bag underneath virgin textbooks and teenage boy detritus. We smoked them in the paddock that marked the halfway point between our houses. In an untamed hedge and using grass clippings from the paddock’s slashing we made that autumn’s cubby house where we perfected smoke rings and discussed girls. After he finished his cigarette, one name always made Jack unknowingly tie the fresh green stalk of a weed’s regrowth into a knot after making a big heart-shaped loop. I never told him that I noticed.
by G.J. Williams
As for the smoking crater at the centre of your being, it’s lost among foreign wars, localised tumours; divorces, evictions. That it still smoulders is testament enough; whatever was there must have taken some destroying. But we know, don’t we? We know what was there and how much it took to destroy it. So very little it ought to be sad. But it’s not sad, is it? Too few losses for it to be deemed sad. The cigarettes in your coat pocket were soaked, and there’s no accounting for your neighbour’s taste in music, loud and piercing as it is.
by Adam Conner
“Look,” she tells me, sitting here in a cafe we’d never been to before, in clothes that she no doubt wore the night before, thumbing her purse strap she’d yet to take off, circling the straw in her water (the only thing she ordered), checking her phone as if she received a message she’d been waiting for this entire time, still wearing her sunglasses as if she didn’t want to see me, she tells me, “We need to talk,” but we already have.