Tag Archives: David M Wallace

Microfiction Monday – 140th Edition

Practically Asking For It

by Jackie Morris

Nadine is shopping for a new boyfriend – she’s looking for a two-takeaways-a-week, comes-with-his-own toothbrush type. She doesn’t have the budget for anything else.

In aisle three, there’s been some kind of spillage. A muscular man labeled Colin is clearing up. Watch out love, he says and points at the luminous Hazard, Keep Clear.

In court, Colin will say she stepped out anyway, right into his path. The judge will smirk. Silly Nadine. Too dumb to read the signs.

Assisted Living

by David M Wallace

A thin stream of drool traveled from the corner of his mouth. It hung off his chin like a translucent strand of whitish fish eggs. His lips moved silently as he swayed back and forth. Gently tossed on an invisible tide. The beads of his rosary slipping through his fingers.

At the Hardware Store

by Jennifer Lai

A couple considers paint swatches: Desire Pink, Sleepy Blue, and Lauren’s Surprise. “Lyin’ Eyes” plays in the background while “Special assistance needed in the tools area” blares overhead. I’m wandering aimlessly when an employee asks if I need help. Her tag says Ask Me Anything. I want to know why my best friend hasn’t returned my calls in over a week and why my boyfriend broke up with me last night. Instead, I ask for the bathroom. She gestures left, right, then left again.

“There’s signs along the way”, she says, “but they’re easy to miss if you’re not looking.”

Unreading

by H. A. Eugene

Michael couldn’t afford new ideas. So he regurgitated the words he’d read and presented the book to the librarian, closed; a good-faith gesture meaning the ideas within remained uncomprehended.

“I am choosing not to learn,” Michael announced, walking backward through the library’s entrance.

He continued, carefully placing one foot behind the other until his backside arrived at home, where he resolved to remain until such time that change may not feel so expensive.

Microfiction Monday – 133rd Edition

Soul

by G.J. Williams

She said it was because he didn’t ask about the scar but instead kissed it. That’s what did it, she said. Miri all over. This Joe feller, he kissed that scar, held her wrist, said nothing. Where Miri lives, that’s a man with soul. That’s a bod worth keeping.

Hunger

by Ashley McCurry

After you left, I started packing up boxes and found a picture of myself as an infant.

I was sitting with an unenthusiastic Santa, dressed as a tiny elf with white tights, grinning wildly.

The photo was worn, and a rusty orange smear coated my lips and teeth. I looked as if I had just devoured the raw flesh of my enemies, there on Santa’s lap.

I wish I could transport myself back into that plump, unsuspecting vessel, watching my parents waving at me to coax a smile—

Believing that I would always be the center of someone else’s universe.

Follow, Follow

by David M Wallace

Follow the path of crushed stone, the curled leaf riding the creek. Pass under the bridge with moss hanging from its struts. Climb the bank toward the strains of the calliope, where trinkets dangle, whirligigs spin, and clowns lean from a carousel waving white Jesus on a stick.

There Are Wolves

by Kaitlin Beauchemin

“There’s a mountain lion in the yard.”

The husband presents this information like an accusation. Like he’s taking a stand.

The son yanks out another clump of her hair.

Her eyes water.

“No, honey. No.”

“You can see it from the window. It’s right there.”

The husband watches her very carefully.

The son slaps her face.

She gazes out the window.

Everything stings.

What fucking yard?

Microfiction Monday – 130th Edition

Late Night Coffee

by Steve Bates

“That’s the last of the coffee,” she said. We’d talked half the night. She’d told me more about herself than I wanted to know, and I’d told her more about myself than I intended to. That’s the curse of two lonely people living in the same lonely apartment building in the same lonely city finally meeting. We’d revealed our dreams, dancing around our disappointments, which was really all either of us had found since moving here. No amount of small-town education can prepare you for this. “Should I put on another pot?” she asked. “Sure, why not,” I said.

It’s Not The Music

by G.J. Williams

He thinks the music brought back the rat. It’s not the music I said, and there is no rat. It’ll be the violins he said, the higher-pitched pieces. Or the promise of warmth in a cello. Neither I said, besides there being no rat. The walls are quiet when you’re around he said. And I certainly heard no pattering of feet across any ceiling. The music all the while stayed stopped. That’s not healthy I said, you love your music. There’s no serenading any rat. It’ll be the piccolos he said, it’ll be the woodwind the flutes the pipes.

Feeding the Hungry

by Katherine Rawson

Tiny tunnels lead through the grass to the crime scene – young squash vines strewn over the ground like corpses, decapitated chard shoots poking out of the soil, pole bean seedlings cut off in their prime, a harvest thwarted before it even had a chance. At the edge of the garden, a heron stands in silent vigil, then – stab! – and it’s vole for dinner. “Come back,” I call as it lifts its great blue body into the sky. In the shadows by the riverbank, a crow hovers over the heron’s nest.

Cradle and All

by David M Wallace

There was an official investigation, of course. No one blamed her. These things happen. It’s nobody’s fault. But next morning a little flurry of hail fell. She stood at the window watching it gather against the porch steps and dreamed of fairies and baby teeth.

Microfiction Monday – 129th Edition

Gone

by Linda Lowe

Linen napkins and tablecloths went first, along with candlelight and flowers. Predictable, given the times, but what happened in the heavens was downright surprising. While no one worried much about the disappearance of the Big Dipper, or stars, period, when it came to the moon, there was genuine concern. Short lived, though, as people seemed more intent on leaving than looking up. After a while so much was gone it made more sense to marvel over what was still around. You and me for example. Left to tell the truth I guess. Without a single sharpened pencil to be found.

Gone in a Flash

by A.M. McCaffrey

The civilisation business had finally gone under, and abandoned cars were among its rapidly depreciating assets. Shells and tyres would be gone in a century; engine blocks, five centuries; polyurethane seat cushions, ten; glass windshields, ten thousand. Every human construction, like the machines on the highway, would atrophy, and the second hand on the cosmic clock would twitch barely one space forward.

Winged

by David M Wallace

Every day at lunch Brenda sat alone in the playground sharing her sandwiches with a score of hungry pigeons surging around her. Patiently, she weaved their stray feathers into a dappled carpet.

“Where is Brenda?” asked Ms. Chen one afternoon.

A blur soared past the windows.

Microfiction Monday – 126th Edition

This week’s artwork is by Julian Cloran.

Daddy, Can We Build a Snowman?

by Ryan Thomas LaBee

He knows he should say no, but he can’t. So he bundles his four-year-old in her winter coat and carries her to the center of the road, where together they begin rolling snow into three orbs of differing sizes. After the orbs have been placed in a snowman configuration, he makes his way to their gravely stuck car where they have no cell service, where his wife breastfeeds their newborn, where they only have enough snacks for a day trip and only a half tank of gas, to rummage through their belongings for something that will make a good nose.

Righteous

by Alastair Millar

Upstairs, Carl logs on and searches for forbidden fantasies: classics removed from schools and libraries because the district now calls them “unbalanced” and “inappropriate”.

“Ain’t nobody gonna tell me what to read. I hear worse language in class every day”, he thinks, skimming another ‘offensive’ story. “I know people like this, they’re cool. What are these idiots trying to prove? It’s all online anyhow.”

He loses himself in books the censors don’t want him to see; they’re tinder to the spark inside him. Another file copied, another friend messaged, and he spreads the brushfire further.

Object Lessons

by G.J. Williams

Music as Terror: Discuss. The wiping out of villages to Shostakovich. The snow-muffled strains of Schubert as played by the Angel of Death, circa 1943. Or those funkier numbers favoured by the Mad Sams of the underworld who drill through flesh in derelict basements. Music to kill by. The soaring guitars against the Vietcong. The songs in Manson. The headphones of Nilsen. Not forgetting Stalin’s perfect pitch. For Stalin, every sound had its key. A building might crumble in E-flat, a tram go by in A-minor, a fly buzz in F-sharp. Every human had a special scream. Discuss.

Eastern Approach

by David M Wallace

Lena’s teacup performed a little jig in its saucer as the vibrations grew closer. The tiny cry of porcelain chiming over the rumble of tanks grinding in the street below her window. Soldiers trudged behind, clad in khakis and impunity.

Microfiction Monday – 121st Edition

Blossom

by David M Wallace

In August were buttercups, lady slippers, snapdragons. Bluebells, cockleshells, eevy, ivy, over. Hopscotch and skipping rope. All around the mulberry bush and the ice cream truck. Then September and polka dots and am I pretty? All those tears and scattered leaves.

Anaglypta Dresses

by Justin Rulton

I watch them through the jockeying parade, merging with the walls, pinned like prisoners awaiting execution. Hidden in plain sight, hoping without precedence for something good to happen.

They just want to be asked, “Would you care to dance?”

Instead it’s more likely to be, “Wanna go to my place?”

The corpse of romance trampled underfoot, bleeding out under the pulsing lights.

Desperately numb, they aren’t even considered. Buttressed by my own wall on the other side of the hall, all I can offer is my empathy.

Leftovers go cold if they’re abandoned for too long.

I know.

I am.

The Empty Cupboard

by Jim Latham

His pantry held two kilos of chocolate, two kilos of coffee, two bottles of mezcal.

The chocolate ground with almonds, cinnamon, and sugar and pressed into discs the size of silver dollars.

The coffee grown in the shade by people who preferred the language of their ancestors to that of the Spanish invaders.

The mezcal distilled from wild magueys in small batches by gray-haired masters in villages beyond the reach of paved roads.

He’d eat and drink little else in his few remaining days. Life had been sweet. He wanted to leave it with his favorite tastes in his mouth.

Microfiction Monday – 115th Edition

Feathers

by David M Wallace

Little Amy picked up the head from where it lay in the dust near the axe. It was as soft and weightless as a marigold.

“Come back! I’ll fix you!” she cried, running in frantic circles.

Feathers flew everywhere.

Nocturne

by Carrie Lynn Hawthorne

I sleep on a cot and the cat can’t see, cross-eyed from catnip. He misses his box, sprays my bed, and showers my daughter’s blankie. The laundromat is across 12th, so I lug the week’s clothes on my back. My daughter follows, sucks her fingers, wanders out into traffic. I bite through my tongue; I taste blood. Our underwear strewn across Vermont. The bow of the violin doesn’t care, not one bit. The hand of the clock kills again and again, just like that.

Growing Up

by Natalie Schriefer

Elaine hadn’t meant to start reading, but she’d found a book in the attic, crammed into one of her bins. Sitting on her knees, she’d uncreased the cover and opened it. She would read until she remembered the plot.

That had been hours ago. Book finished, Elaine settled against the plastic bin. Dust spindled in the light. Mom would be in Sarasota by Christmas. Elaine would have to fly down. That seemed the task of someone else. Someone older. A real adult.

In the attic light, the cover of the book shone. What else would she forget, over time?