Tag Archives: Susmita Ramani

Microfiction Monday – 145th Edition

Mailbox

by Steve Bates

The walk down the lane to the mailbox has become long and difficult, and I still have to walk back to the house. I no longer gaze at the trees and birds and butterflies on my trek, but simply stare at the ground while concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I hadn’t planned on getting old; it just happened when I wasn’t looking. At least it’s a cool, cloudy day, and it isn’t raining. As I near the mailbox, a sudden crash of thunder grabs my attention.

Stories Do What They’re Told

by G.J. Williams

What began with a syrupy drawl ends in a sandpapery whisper, the intervening years having stretched all notions of patience. Martha puts it down to the song she never got to sing, a classy number, the elongated vowels so huskily wrought they’d’ve cut every listener to the quick. That she’s neither pale nor sorry-eyed is testament to her faith in helpful strangers. But that’s another story. Or so we’re told. As it goes with stories.

Programmed Progenitor

by Susmita Ramani

While Genevieve worked full-time, Ned was the model stay-at-home dad. He finger-painted and read with the kids, made them their favorite foods, and took them on outings.

One day when he was chasing little Emma on the playground, he tripped and cut his knee. When he examined the wound, there was no blood. He saw…metal plates, wires, and circuitry.

He sat heavily on a bench.

Another dad, Ron, sat beside him. “You okay?”

Ned shook his head. “My whole life has been a lie.”

Ron patted Ned’s arm. “Think how I must feel. I’m an older model than you.”

Microfiction Monday – 139th Edition

Almost 100

by Robert Runté

Her skin had become so translucent, I could see the flow through the veins stop whenever I held her hand.

Called to her bedside, I asked, “Why now?”

“Birthday,” the nurse explained. “Either it becomes a goal—hanging on for whoever they have left to turn up for their 100th, so they can depart surrounded by family—or they refuse to believe they could get that old, and pass a day or two before.”

“Your mom’s new worker reminded her, ‘You’re turning 100 next Tuesday.’ Just making conversation, but your mom put down her tea. So I knew: this weekend.”

Escape

by Doug Jacquier

You could resign, storm out in high dudgeon and let the cards fall where they may. You could fantasize about finding another job where your skills are finally appreciated and imagine submitting your resignation with an air of smugness. You could become unmanageable and take the fired escape. (Except there’s the money, your unemployable middle age, the mortgage and the kids and your partner’s anger and the looming wasteland of your irrelevance to your former colleagues.) Or you could accept that you built this escape-proof prison and raise birds to release through the bars, before they become like you.

Alice 2.0

by Susmita Ramani

When the package arrived, Walter wrestled off the lid…then gazed at its contents and sighed.

The replicant Alice looked like a poor imitation. Same height, build, and hair color…but he saw gleaming rivets, which felt disconcerting, like he’d dragged home some Frankenstein’s monster to replace his dead wife.

He carried it to the sofa and draped a blanket over it.

Ten days later, he got up the nerve to turn the key.

Her eyes fluttered open–slate blue, like Alice’s.

He gasped. “I…made your favorite, carbonara.” Then he felt foolish; she couldn’t eat.

But she smiled. “Lovely.”

It was.

Hope Towers

by G.J. Williams

Hope Towers. Inaptly named. And there’s a man who won’t move out of one of its third-floor apartments. How to make him see sense has replaced the weather as a talking point. He’ll be the song of the drunks yet. Category NETG: nowhere else to go, one of them. In short, one from whom there’s nothing to fear. Single male, middle-aged, keeps a cat. No comeback.