White Picket Fence
by Paul Beckman
Monday, Madison wore her cheerleader’s uniform to breakfast. Mom and Dad clapped–brother Charlie teased her about her big thighs and ate two more chocolate chip pancakes, Madison scrambled her egg whites. They ran to catch the school bus as Mom and Dad stood in the doorway smiling, arms around each other. Mom cleaned up then after lunch popped two Oxycontin pills and watched “girl on girl” porn on her laptop while Dad was driving to meet his sister-in-law at a motel and Madison was in the school bathroom, fingers down her throat, and Charlie was busy bullying a freshman.
No One Believes Anymore
by Naomi Parker
“What does she want with teeth, anyway?” they wonder. She skips down the dark hallways at night, feet lightened by visions of children digging under pillows for a prize. Through the cracked door, casting slight night-light shadows over discarded toys, she creeps. Under the cover of slow breaths, clasping her coin purse so it doesn’t clink, she gently lifts the pillow. All she sees is a puckered sheet, again. One hundred thousand reminders every night that no one knows or cares. Still, she is a good fairy, so she has taken to hiding the loose change under sofa cushions.
by Mark Burnash
“It tickles!” little Elliot squealed as the sunflowers nuzzled him with their disc florets. They had been laughing, singing, and dancing all day long. When the sun reached its zenith, some sunflowers formed a canopy with their ray florets to provide him shade while others told him fantastic fables and fairy tales. When evening finally fell, Elliot, delighted yet exhausted from the day’s festivities, collapsed onto a soft bed woven with green leaves. When dawn broke the next morning, try as they might, the scavengers couldn’t find a single scrap of meat left on Elliot’s bones.
by Franziska Hofhansel
The one thing you do remember was the flick of her wrist. She made a gesture and the way her wrist bent, carefully, a no nonsense upward motion conveying nonchalance, grabbed your gaze and held it there. You turned to ask her something, or maybe just stare, because you’d never seen someone so mired in life and when she took a breath you thought of elderly couples picking apples and when the brakes slammed and her neck snapped up, hard, you thought of that wrist flick.
Bill Died and Left Me a Pig
by D. D. Renforth
Bill died and left me a pig I swear is Bill.
My wife Ellen smirks, “Really? Bill is Hardy the pig?”
When she approaches, Hardy shakes his bottom, smiles, his tongue hangs then stiffens.
Hardy always winks at me with strange eyes, too red for a pig, then turns and farts. In private I scold it, even whip it for mocking me.
“You need help,” Ellen says and makes an appointment.
The doctors ignore me.
The priest holds my hand and prays.
Only the fish in the waiting room agrees.
“You’re right,” it says, “Hardy loves your wife.”
The War on Drugs
by J. Bradley
I look at the officer as she writes down her version of what happened. I calculate when she might not be paying attention to try and make myself more comfortable against the wheel well. The officer stops writing when she hears the chaff of fabric and metal against the tire. She looks at me, moves her hand halfway to the Taser holstered on her belt. An itch spreads across my cheek. I want to grate the dandruff out of my beard in front of her using only my shoulder. No need to wait for the dogs, I want to say.
I hope you enjoy the second edition of Microfiction Monday Magazine. Thanks once again to my assistant editors, Marc Corbier and Jessica Standifird.
Day of Fathers
by Suzy Vitello
That June day half my life ago, two fathers came to me. The first father, my father, pillowed me from shock. His strong arms, his fuzzy beard against my cheek, warm breath in my ear, “He’s gone.” The other father, my freshly dead husband’s father, stood apart from us, melded to the floorboards of our moist, fecund cabin. His empty hands grabbed for flesh, but could only find the tender skin of his baby grandson. A family, all of us. Sliced and erased of a husband. Of a father. A son. Spirit.
by Jessica Standifird
Always wanted to be a lawyer. We were poor, though. Mama’d point her knittin’ needle at me and say, “You got big dreams for such a little man. Ain’t never gonna’ see the lawyer’s side of a courthouse.” At school they said justice was blind. Ran home like I was on fire with the Lord. Busted through the door ‘n went straight to Mama’s sewin’ bag. Grabbed that knittin’ needle, plunged it deep into my eye, screamin’ victory. Should have heard the fuss Mama made. Doesn’t fuss about the house I got her in Henderson, though. Wrought-iron gate ‘n all.
by Bret Fowler
The mudslide took the yard, the porch, and more. I slip in the mud, filling my boots with brown water and soaking my dress. Another slide could wash me away in a second, but I can’t stop. Not until it’s whole. Until I’m safe. In the gray-brown muck there’s the shine of a garbage bag. A gray withered finger pokes through a hole. I reach for it and pull until it slurps free. I smile. Even after everything, his wedding ring still gleams. It’s the last piece of him. This time I’ll bury the bastard in the desert.
by Paul Beckman
On the porch of Harmony House rocking, and drinking iced tea, Bertram pointed to a shadow across the street and said, “Like clouds, you can see different things in shadows.
“Let’s try the shadow behind that man at the bus stop.”
I said, “Okay,” Mary said, “Kid’s game,” and Tess mocked, “How about hop scotch next?”
Bertram said, “You go first.”
I said, “It’s a man with an arrow in his neck carrying a box.”
Just then the man fell over, an arrow sticking out of his neck.
“Good guess,” Bertram said, backing into the house with his bow.
When Susan’s Daughter Sank
by Caleb J. Ross
When Susan’s daughter sank to the bottom of the swimming pool, she was supposed to stay. I reduced her to a drowned raccoon, like the ones always bobbing in Susan’s pool. But her eye followed me, so I hide. The daughter will be rescued, revived enough to finally kill her mother and me. She hated me for not being her real dad, the dad who taught her to burn and skin animals. She hated her mother, too, for sending him to prison after he tried his flames and flaying on Susan. We’re afraid together, Susan and me. Parenting leaves scars.