Tag Archives: Jennifer Lai

Microfiction Monday – 168th Edition

Fear-Umbrellas

by Robert John Miller

The beach was dotted with fear-umbrellas, fear-bathing suits, fear-Coors Lights and fear-cigarettes, fear-children from fear-marriages on fear-vacations, sitting on fear-beach blankets or playing fear-beach ball. “I’ll take the fear-risotto,” the fear-husband ordered later at the fear-restaurant, “and a double-fear Manhattan.”

“That sounds good,” the fear-wife said. “I’ll have that, too. And two fear-grilled cheese fear-meals.”

Through all of dinner, the fear-kids never looked up from their fear-devices and their fear-vacation Dr. Peppers, except once to say, “Can I have another fear-refill, please?”

On Painting…

by Dr. Vaishnavi Pusapati

Some people want to know. I don’t know why, but they do. They want to know what I do for a living, how much I make, whether my Gucci bag is a real Gucci bag. When I tell people I paint for a living, they either think of students recreating Vermeer or the kind of painting rendered less wanted by the advent of photography or the modern art that they say they could have made and so could their kids who haven’t walked yet. I then tell them I paint nails, and most ask for a discount.

Search and Rescue

by Jennifer Lai

At a wilderness first-aid class, I’m slathered with faux blood and bruises before instructed to head into the urban forest out back and hide. My role as a victim is to await rescue from a fellow classmate who’ll pass if I’m found and given proper first aid. Bodie arrives within seven minutes—amazing, given he’s only here to satisfy his outdoor enthusiast parents. He gives me a once over then lights a joint. After a long exhale, he offers me a hit. “What are you doing?” I say, bewildered. “Chill, dude,” he replies. “It’s medicinal. You’re going to be okay.”

Corroding Bond

by Rebecca Klassen

He jet-washed, waxed, and buffed for hours. Drifted fingertips across the coolness of the frictionless bodywork. That was Saturdays. Sundays, he would join the other petrolheads at yet another show and shine. No one else ever brought their kid along.

“Let him be a teenager,” his wife said.

“It’s father-son time. Besides, he loves it.”

They drove for three hours to the next one, listening to Top Gear podcasts. His son looked down, huffing, thumbs tapping.

“Aren’t you going to get out,” he asked the boy when they got there.

“No,” his voice coarse like rust.

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 – 137th Edition

The Silence

by David Henson

This time we let the silence lie between us. It rolls onto its back, lolls out its tongue, invites someone to scratch its stomach. When no one does, the silence sits, whines, pumps its paws, stands and chases its tail. Neither of us reacts, so the silence scampers into another room, comes back squeaking, drops its playfulness between us. Still ignored, the silence stiffens, ears back, tail erect, hackles raised. Its lips curl, and rising snarls lather its jaws. The silence eyes your throat, mine. I take my chances, bite my tongue.

Bucket List

by Mikki Aronoff

One night I had a dream. I watched a blue whale slap its tail on the calm ocean surface, saw green anacondas slick their way through the steamy Amazon. I ambled along the Left Bank observing painters painting lovers, drove a car through a hole carved through a giant sequoia.

When I awoke, I thought this meant I was going to die. I went to my desk and filled my fountain pen to write my will. It skittered and scratched and blotched the page blue until I relented and replaced it in its stand.

Deep In The Woods

by Kathryn Silver-Hajo

Summer weekends were spent in the old farmhouse. My brother and I sitting in the glow of the fire, our parents reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the smoky aromas of dinner lingering, cricket-song punctuated by the snap of escaping sparks. We’d found a tin box of toys which we gripped as we listened to the story of the lost little girl. When the fire and comforting smells receded and we were tucked in, I listened to the scratch of mice in the walls, drip of rain seeping through musty beams and wondered if the dark might swallow us up.

Away

by Jennifer Lai

After the divorce, her heart turned to stone. He said she was dead weight who kept him from his dreams. From becoming the astronaut he was destined to become. She argued she was his rock, her words heavy like gravity. But he was light-years away. Silenced into a cosmic void. Years later, she saw him on TV. Orbiting in space on a broken shuttle. Outside he went but forgot to tether in and drifted away. Fast and light like a plume into the obsidian expanse, with no one around to keep him grounded.