Microfiction Monday – 162nd Edition
by G.J. Williams
Poorophelia is a condition commonly found among the middle-classes, and is characterised by an excessive fondness for the more plangent manifestations of mental illness. Generally, the more winsome and fragile the sufferer, and the more broken her song, the greater the degree of sympathy accorded her; and it usually is a her.
Pooropheliacs are known for their hearts; they are often to be found bleeding. Pooropheliacs tend to hover; their faces search yours. Furrowed brows also feature heavily.
For pooropheliacs a rose is not a rose, never was. As for twilight, it bleeds, and the rivers they run lonely.
by Ana Cotham
We set his ashes and a profusion of leis—orchid, pikake, ti leaf—adrift on the outgoing tide, an oil spill of tropical colors. Then we bring her inside and prepare for a new day. This grief, these new days, are ours alone, because four days ago she stopped asking where he was; like a whirlpool, the drowning in her eyes, as sixty years of marriage simply drained away. We don’t insist; we keep her warm and happy instead. The next morning, we comb the beach for dislocated strands and sodden orchids, and add them to our sandcastle.
The Man with the Wooden Beard
by P J Rice
In the town of Warton-on-the-Mold, a man named Dwunt failed to grow hair from his chin. The solution: to carve a fine, solid beard from an oak log; suspend it from his ears on leather straps.
When Dwunt held up his head–chin out–the wooden beard stayed firm to his face; but usually it hung and swung like a pub sign.
The wood’s weight dragged Dwunt’s head, stooping him. Stretching his neck. The straps pulled his ears forward, two cabbage leaves. Dwunt didn’t care. He had a well-made facial appendage. His manly-man’s beard. A solid piece of his own.
Microfiction Monday – 161st Edition
by Madison Randolph
Pipe smoke swirled and tickled Tam’s nose as he puffed. The dirt path he walked undulated through the corn to a crossroads.
The smoke thickened two spirits appeared: a hooded figure stood to his left and, to his right, a veiled woman.
“You must choose,” they said in unison.
Tam turned, but the road had disappeared. Horrified, he fell to his knees before the veiled apparition.
It lowered the veil, rotting skeletal teeth smiled down.
The hooded figure sighed with a shake of his golden curls.
Life may be shadowed in mystery, but to some, death will always be inviting.
by G.J. Williams
The state he’s in, you can smell the rot. No question Big Aitch knows it. The aroma unmistakable. And where Big Aitch goes the rot goes. He tries to disguise it of course. Comes on all radio rental; rolls the eyeball, makes much of his fingers, puts on airs, pulls faces, has it out with his own shadow, calls a spade many things but never a spade. Makes up his mind so that his mind’s made up; tralala. Watch your words; watch his. There’s no telling. The state he’s in. You can smell the rot from here.
Switchbacks on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Ana Cotham
We’d heard a Trail Angel was four miles ahead, so we kept hiking. Shin splints knifed me with every step; Lisa gritted her teeth through blood blisters. We found the cabin, where a silver-haired woman greeted us with stew, coffee, hot showers.
Clean, fed, soothed with bandages, we shared stories over steaming mugs of cocoa. Sunset glowed, making a silhouette of trees, and she told us the storm had passed.
Lisa said uncertainly, “But—the weather’s been clear.”
“No, my love,” the woman said kindly. “The storm took you both by surprise. How else do you think you found me?”