by G.J. Williams
Like the Buddha, I’m held together by the forces of electromagnetism.
Like Queen Nefertiti, I take approximately 20,000 breaths of air every single day.
Like Florence Nightingale, I talk at the rate of about 180 words a minute.
I walk like Shakespeare and make the same sound as Jesus when I laugh.
Who am I?
300 Miles of Obligation
I rush to your bedside, secretly lamenting the things I will have to cancel. Important meetings, a long overdue haircut, a weekend away.
All it took was a call from the doctor. I probably would not have answered if it had come from you.
“I’m at work! Why are you calling?” I’ve complained countless times. Only blood and societal pressures compel us to come together. Christmas festivities have become quieter over the years as we have both chosen to endure endless silence to avoid any drama.
I rush to your bedside, not because I want to, but because I should.
So That’s Who You Are
by Mel Fawcett
There’s a young woman sitting next to me on the park bench. She’s been talking to me for ages, but I haven’t been listening to what she’s saying–I’ve been too busy wondering who she is. I’m getting annoyed by her incessant chatter.
I’ve been annoyed a lot lately. One day last week, when I went to the corner shop, I couldn’t remember how to get home and started haranguing passers-by until someone showed me the way.
Now, finally unable to take any more, I stand up to leave. The woman leans forward and says, “Where’re you going, Dad?”
A Bar Joke
by Peter Cherches
Three things exist in a bar. The bartender notices them for the first time, though they’d been hiding in plain sight for ages. In fact, they’d been in the bar so long they had collected a thick veneer of dust. It’s a slow day, so the bartender dusts the three things off, revealing their true natures. One of the things strikes the bartender’s fancy, so he moves it behind the bar, a place of honor. Now all the customers begin to comment on the thing. It has become a conversation piece, which cannot be said of the other two things!
What Daedalus Really Said to Icarus
by Dave Donovan
As he fastened the straps around the boy’s broadening shoulders, the craftsman spoke: “Listen to me. These wings aren’t built for a joy ride–they’re a means to an end. We’re escaping a dickhead who’s pissed that his wife fucked a bull. So here’s the deal: fly too high, you’re dead. Too low, dead. Got it?”
After a moment, the father sighed with despair: “Still, you are meant to die. That’s what young men do when given a chance like this. To you, it beats farming and growing old. I understand. I’m just letting you know you were loved.”
Documentarians Went There So You Don’t Have To
by Todd Mercer
The film festival Jane and I attended showcased nations that are terrible safety risks for filmgoers to visit. Transitioning from a pitch-dark theater into sunlight, reflecting on why Yemen is disqualified from vacations, I tripped. Laid on the concrete awhile.
Jane said, “See, Marshall? Nowhere is completely safe.”
Then she helped me up.
I didn’t want to draw attention to my bleeding knee. The festival reminded us: people are bleeding all over. People gasp for breath. They starve in a time of plenty.
We recovered at a sandwich shop. Jane’s was a Cuban, mine a Rachel—a turkey Reuben.
Where Did That Leave Him?
by Mel Fawcett
When Michael was learning French he began watching a filmed interview of a famous French actor. Over time, he learned to copy the actor’s intonation–to such an extent that people said he sounded like him. Flattered by this, he began to develop the mannerisms of the actor, and then move like him. He even started to dress like him. Eventually, it got so that in his mind there was no difference between the actor and himself. That was why he started to use his name. But then he read that the actor had committed suicide.