Microfiction Monday – 174th Edition
The Dignity of Work
by Peter Cherches
My job is a simple yet important one. It entails my standing up to my neck in shit for eight hours a day, with a half hour break for lunch; bathroom breaks are considered superfluous. But it’s a job, and I can hold my head up high. I have to.
Once Upon Some Time or Another
by Mercedes Lawry
What’s that, floating on a raft of pencils? A mouse! Is there historical precedent? A sail puffed out with bon mots. A cheery breeze and perhaps, whistling. Inevitably one must have conflict, usually garbed as a villain. Let us pray. Risk and derring-do and a hefty dose of lesson-learned and all can return to the point of origin – shabby flat where several dictionaries vie for attention on the west shelf. And the la-di-da of the neighbor can be heard through the thin walls during her occasional bouts with the kitchen. Invite the mouse in and we begin a novel.
by David Sydney
Mel looked forward to his meal but lost his appetite. He called the waiter over.
Are you sure this restaurant’s okay?
What’d you mean?
I just saw two flies by my plate.
You ordered the cheeseburger, right?
That’s why I recommended the chili dog. I told you I thought it was better.
But there were flies. I had to shoo them away.
I heard; two of them.
I just brushed them away.
Okay. But there were a dozen flies by that guy over there who ordered a chili dog.
Exactly. And can a dozen flies be wrong?
They Came in Peace
When I saw the flashing lights I threw the spray paint can into a hedge and straightened my tinfoil hat. I checked to make sure there were no matches in my pockets. Didn’t want to be blamed for last week’s debacle. They got out of the spaceship and walked towards me. I held up my hands, said, “I only paint.” My voice was calm because of the hat, it worked just like Big Bird said it would. The younger one came closer, his hands nowhere near the taser on his belt. “It’s okay, you’re okay, I won’t take your hat.
Microfiction Monday – 45th Edition
This week’s artwork is “Fading Identities” by Fabio Sassi
A Single Man Visiting Seattle
by Gregory Ramirez
Not bad, you utter as the man onstage sings Elvis. Your sister’s friend stands up, her hand out to you. Go ahead. Take it. It’s just a dance. What starts as a waltz changes once she draws closer to you, her hands wrapped behind your neck, her head pressed to your chest. Your sister’s graduation happened earlier today, and the dinner finished a few hours ago. You fly back tomorrow to California, returning to its drought, leaving the drizzle outside. Deprived of affection, committed to avoiding a one-night stand, you think to yourself, Please keep singing, please keep singing.
by Erika Price
I would curl up with grief whenever I thought he was leaving. I would hold my hands against my chest or strike my head against the wall, my face contorted as the cries came out, knowing it was wrong and manipulative, unable to stop. I am sure that I tormented him. It was only after I left that he began to torment me. He would sit in the parking lot outside my window, curled up like a hurt child, mewling and begging for cars to strike him. His pain made me feel strong, but not at all safe.
by Jason VanFossen
I stabbed my finger with his gold embroidery needle. Instead of testing the iron in my blood, I tested the gold in his needle. Now every time my right thumb touches anything, I feel the prick where my blood fell out. Michael took everything except his embroidery kit and that pillow he made for our one-year anniversary that read “Forever.” In the sunlight of morning, the steam from my coffee dances into nothing. I feel a slight pain when, after another sip, I swipe right. Forever is a short time.
by Lisa Rehfuss
It’s 5:55pm, and he’s where he has stood every night since I started taking the subway. His job is to check subway passes. The purpose is to move people through the turnstiles quickly. I smile and say hello, as I have every night for a year. He never responds. He can’t seem to find it in himself to talk to anyone who is not beautiful. I constantly remind myself there is nothing being gained or lost with a simple ‘hello’. He can treat me like the invisible woman, but I will not, and do not, step quietly through his world.
by Mercedes Lawry
She gave that flinty smile before she drove away. The boy felt his stomach drop and a chilled hand curved around his heart and squeezed. She was gone again, mother or not.
He was staying here, without her and anything that smelled of comfort. I am less than that pile of dirt by the steps, he thought, I’m just an outline, nothing she needs to keep close. The dark was coming now, pushing into the blue-gold sky and he stood watching with the flimsy hope that he too would be swallowed up.
by Michael Kulp
The laborer blinked away sweat and pulled another handful of the Rich Man’s crop. His unfettered mind dulled the grinding sameness with vivid fantasies of a soft future. Calloused hands did the work, and he counted his dreams and regrets. Weeks metastasized into years. He saw his children, then grandchildren, grow and leave. They had no callouses on their hands, and he was worried. Would they amount to anything? At last, as he sighed away his dying breaths, his fading mind felt the gentle caresses from those many soft hands. He had made them soft. And he finished without regrets.