Tag Archives: Carmen Farrell

Microfiction Monday – 188th Edition

Small Electric Blueberry Lemonade

by T.L. Tomljanovic

I blink. “It costs how much?” I still take the cup. The cashier chews a nail.

Overpriced and unsanitary. I harrumph. Tapping my card, I turn on my heel and trip.

Refreshment cascades in a shimmering arc onto the gentleman behind me, bathing him in icy slush.

He freezes. His white button-up turns translucent. Looking at me, he wipes off his chest and slowly licks the stickiness from his fingers flashing a Rolex.

Rich and dirty? Holy hell.

When he smiles, his eyes crinkle.

I swallow and turn back to the till. “We’ll take two small electric blueberry lemonades, please.”

We’ve Just Met, and I Adore You

by Carmen Farrell

I marvel at your face. You! My new baby. The operating room sterility, spinal block anesthetic effects and clanking of surgical tools mark the frigid ticking of time. Suspended within the white pale blue coldness of our glaring bright operating theatre, your face glows warm, tiny, cherubic. Miniature bow mouth, your five-pound human perfection stops time. Wispy lashes over closed lids I can’t brush. My arms strapped to the table. Instead, my laughter bubbles up through the smell of antiseptic and iodine, to reach you. “Hello, I love you.” Salty tears pool in my ears while I jiggle with joy.

Placing the Man 

by G.J. Williams 

The one they call Glebe, Mr Glebe, he of the muffler and the sorrowful moustache, he’s the one to ask, he’ll know who was who what was what. Treat him to some bottled god he’ll remember everything like it was yesterday. No enquiry too trivial. He’s been here forever, or close enough. Murders, wonders, scandals. You’ll see him about. He’ll be glad of the opportunity. Some liquid sunshine and he’s the world’s. He’ll set you right. He’s a graveyard full of friends. He’ll know the man you’re looking for and how he ended his days in a place like this. 

Escaping the Memory

by Alyce Wood

I found you in the woods, sky still ravaged in ash and amber light. 

Two squirrels waited with you. I always joked your hair was a squirrel’s tail—like that one in our yard, grey with the red streak down its back.

They can sense one of their own in trouble—and you were.

I sank to my knees, the smell of wet earth up my nose.

We were told not to search.

(“Could still be out there,” they’d said).

I crossed your arms over your chest, pressed your eyelids gently closed and asked you to please come home soon.

Mia Visits

by Rachel Miller

In a reversal of our usual roles, I drive. As the rain becomes ever more insistent, electricity arcs between us. We talk about anything and everything, stirring up a warmth that condenses on the windshield. When our voices tire, my mind views us from above: just a speeding metal lozenge, wending its way toward the thundering Pacific.

Thick, cold sea foam runs through the folds of my brain, gently fizzing over each sharp-edged thought. As Mia buckles under jet lag in the passenger seat, it occurs to me that giving in to the waves might not be so bad. 

Microfiction Monday – 186th Edition

Her Son’s Garden

by JD Clapp

Maria sits by the garden, easel and paints set out, her canvas blank. She watches birds. A hummer, translucent reds and greens, buzzes lemon tree blossoms. Two crows watch from the powerline, cawing. The rabbit nibbling greens doesn’t notice the hawk, death’s harbinger circling above.

Maria’s face is moist, salty, despite the cool vernal air. Her husband and daughter, now chemical ghosts, churn in a jumble of neural shards, fading images competing with the empirical.

She sees him and beams.

“Sonny! I saw a robin!”

“Ready to go in Ma?”

Smiling, he sees a splash of yellow on the canvas.

The House That Does Not Die Alone

by Melanie Mulrooney

Generations grew their foundation on my bones—from birth to death to that which comes after. I provided shelter as they ushered decay.

I was once a fresh-faced thing. Made of strong trunks from the ageless forest, my walls built by skilled and callused hands, logs chinked with mud and sweat.

For years, high-pitched squeals bounced off ceiling beams, filling my rooms. Long-suffering mothers cooked countless meals in my kitchen, and knelt on my floorboards to pray.

My inhabitants are mostly silent now, scarce whispers from the chorus. They only ask, “What is next?”

We wait for the answer, together.

Dad’s Wallet

by Julian Cloran

When my Dad died, the hospital handed me a tray with his personal effects, including the wallet, I’d bought him as a boy. The brown leather wallet was bent to the shape of my Dad’s buttock, he always carried it in his back pocket. I remembered buying it in Bexhill with a friend I’d made from the campsite where we’d holidayed nearby. I hadn’t known what colour to choose so my friend asked what colour my Dad’s best suit was. ‘Brown,’ I lied. My Dad didn’t have a suit.

Remembering Muriel

by Carmen Farrell

It’s not possible. She died thirty years ago. But like magic, I smell her as if she’s beside me. I freeze at my desk, staring at the breezy blue summer scene of snap dragons in the window box. Pens in their cylindrical container, papers scattered around me, fingers curved above dormant computer keyboard. Paused, as if we all listen. Is there more? She smells of linen and soap. Then I hear her voice. Fresh and loving, her words fall over my head as they did in childhood. She is not gone. “Imagine that!” my grandmother would say. I am, Grandma. 

Interpretive Shift

by Jennifer Worrell

Solid-gold band, azure stone with a star in the center like a slice of the Milky Way: my dad’s ring was endlessly fascinating. He let me try it on, peer into the little supernova, imagine the planet it came from.

Decades later my parents rented a suburban apartment. Smaller. Who needs that much space? Near dad’s office, to save gas. While helping them pack, I found the ring in a plastic, 35mm film canister. Light as air, too-yellow gilt, star painted in a sky of resin: thirty years fell from the galaxies to crash in the palm of my hand.

Microfiction Monday – 185th Edition

The Magician

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.” 

Thirtysomething Leavings

by Carmen Farrell

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

by Jennifer Worrell

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.

Freedom Floats

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.