Tag Archives: J. Harley McIlrath

Microfiction Monday – 177th Edition

Steam Heat

by J. Harley McIlrath

The window slid open, and she crawled through. I never bothered locking it. I never imagined anyone coming in through it. It opened onto the roof. “Do you have heat?” she said. “Mine’s off.” She was already stepping out of her sweatpants. “It’s steam heat,” I said. “The boiler breaks down all the time.” She lifted the covers and crawled in beside me.

I made sure the window was not locked after that. I kept the shade up. I slept with the light on. But the landlord fixed the boiler, and the heat stayed on all winter.

The Adversary

by James Watt

The court was waiting for Jeremy to begin questioning the witness. Clinging to the lectern, he glanced at the opposing counsel, an experienced trial lawyer with a formidable reputation. Head bowed and breathing deeply he stared at his notes. He looked up, coughed, and then sipped some water. The awkward silence continued.

His co-counsel scribbled a note and handed it to him: ‘lack of preparation is your only foe.’ A few moments later Jeremy’s voice reverberated around the courtroom.

“You were drunk when you struck my client with your car, weren’t you?”

Now his focus was on litigating the case.

Exercise in Futility

by Ian Willey

When I asked what he did for a living he said I’ve spent the last thirty years trying to improve the Oreo. It’s no easy task. Change the cookie and it no longer goes with the cream; change the cream and it no longer goes with the cookie. Maybe, I said, the Oreo is evolutionarily perfect, like the cockroach or the horseshoe crab. It can stay as it is for millions of years and be fine. I wish I hadn’t said it. He spent the rest of the night crumbling. I offered him some milk, but it was no use.

Flyover Tale

by Pratik Mitra

The flyover* was inaugurated days ago. Shreya was maddened by the deafening noise vehicles made rushing through that flyover. Unlike her, Anil liked the hustle-bustle. In fact he felt its proximity was cool. It’s like they could shake hands with the passengers if they wanted. Soon reading, films, sex, and money were replaced by that flyover as their favourite hobby horse. They were obsessed with what to do with a flyover that so filthily symbolized urbanity. They were tossed up between committing suicide by jumping at it or making love on rooftops. Only breezy drizzle was needed.

*note: in British English, a flyover is an overpass