I Never Gave Her a Name
I remember my synthetic baby girl. Like me, a smiling-sad little thing. My childhood doll was a plump thermoplastic form dad had brought home one unusual night. Unusual because he wasn’t in the habit of walking through the door holding little baby dolls in his big hands. He was thrilled I wanted a doll. My first. My only. My younger sister’s flaxen-haired, bow-lipped dollies had never bothered to kiss away my tears. My brown-haired baby doll was beautiful to me, a full-bellied, coffee-eyed friend. I never gave her a name. Then I gave her away.
by David Henson
A golf course snaked around the facility where they cooped the old woman after her name flew away from her. One day she snuck out behind the mail carrier and meandered the fairways and greens, snatching balls — eggs to bake the chocolate cake that once lured family to her home.
A foursome tried to corral her, but she out-maneuvered their carts and crouched among a gaggle by the hazard on seven. When the golfers charged, the birds honked into the sky and wedged away.
They found her housecoat floating in the pond, but Grandmother Goose was never seen again.
by G.J. Williams
There was no Dexter Mahon. He was made up, to account for the sinister edge that entered proceedings. He was never anywhere near. His matter-of-fact approach was the fruit of agonised retellings, each word honed. He’d no link to the lower echelons, no say to speak of. What daylight there was found him out, as it was bound to, of course, there being no such person. He was not even in the shadows.
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.
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.
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?
The Microfiction Monday Magazine team is excited to announce that, beginning in January 2022, we will be publishing WEEKLY instead of monthly. That’s right–there will be a new set of microfictions published to the site every single Monday, not just the first Monday of the month.
Microfiction Monday Magazine was originally a weekly publication when it first entered the scene in June of 2014. However, it transitioned to monthly by December of that year due to time constraints and submission volume. Ever since, we’ve aimed to publish at least 5 microfiction pieces each month.
But submission volume and quality have crept steadily upward in recent years, and we regularly find ourselves struggling to select just 5, often publishing 6, 7, or more at a time and agonizing over some of the rejections. Ultimately, we decided it’s time for a change.
Beginning in the new year, we will be publishing a minimum of 3 pieces every single Monday. So sharpen those pencils, open those word processors, and send us more brilliant submissions. We look forward to publishing a much greater number of microfiction pieces this coming year!
by Keith Norris
He wears his loneliness like a winter coat in a snowstorm. He is never warm enough. Rain pounding on the roof of his trailer reminds him of days looking out waiting for his dog to come home. His only buddy.
Too many opinions, too much criticism, and loss of empathy for the complex emotional ailments of others pushed people away.
Now he marks time by the rooster’s wailing every morning. He bathes sorrows and regrets in the day’s fleeting Autumn sunshine. But he never feels clean and is looking forward to the warmth of Summer.
by Sally Wagner
After she moved away, no one back home ever wanted to break any bad news to her. Not to bother her, they said. They didn’t even call her the night her brother’s house caught fire. She was enjoying a soft serve in her backyard the moment his life was reduced to ashes. She had felt so isolated, so helpless, so guilt-ridden when she found out about the incident months later.
She takes a deep breath and presses the urn closer to her chest. She will tell them about Ben tonight, she decides. For she knows that ignorance isn’t always bliss.
A Hole in Kentucky
by B.G. Smith
He glanced inside the square hole, pondering the depth for its intended purpose, and at the tiny silhouette wrapped in the green duvet lying on the ground beside it. A throbbing, angry blister formed on the webspace of his right hand as he plunged the spaded shovel into the frozen earth.
It was November in Kentucky, and an early cold snap made the red clay impossible to penetrate. That should do. He never met the disabled woman before today after responding to a post published on a local neighborhood social media page: HELP NEEDED DIGGING GRAVE FOR LHASA APSO (DOG).
My Jury Returned
I stood, best I could. The courtroom blurred then shimmered like a hot desert road. I went there. Took a ride in my pickup with my mutt Romeo, dry wind whipped through the cab, and I slugged a cold beer. Somebody read the verdict. I hit the brakes, crashed right into my mother’s cries. That sound hurt worse than a scorpion bite to my heart. Things weren’t going to be ok for her. I stared down the jury. Shook my head hard hoping Mom saw. ‘Cause I never wanted her to know. Even think. They’d gotten it right about me.
by Jack Galati
Dancing in the sky are those northern lights seen from the creek. A short walk from the cabin. When I moved to Alaska they told me I’d only find the cold and harrowing.
Oh, but how warm, these lights. How much on those nights they say I am not alone.
And when I return home, I come back to a feast of love. Open door to the warm and kind. The familiar. And when I set off again, know it is not forever. And that whenever I return, it will all be there. There, baking, in that wondrous, sonorous, familiar.