Tag Archives: Zeke Shomler

Microfiction Monday – 173rd Edition


by Krista Rogerson

Speeches are said, mine with shaking hands. My brother wraps it all up with a joke about his love of breakfast and we head to the buffet. Then plates are cleared, orchids boxed, his paintings loaded into cars and returned home.

A small replica of one of his self-portraits leans against a wooden bowl on the kitchen table. It looks just like him. Blue eyes the same shade as his shirt. Brow furrowed in concentration, paintbrush in hand. It’s his right hand, I notice, but he included his wedding ring.

Outside a leaf-blower wails. Sky prepares for more rain.

Gus… in Minnesota Garden-Tool Massacre (1983)

by Martin Murray

It’d taken fifteen years, but Gus got his first starring role. At 6’4″, 300 pounds, and being a certain age, he’d heard: “Not what we’re looking for…” a lot. He was no Gary Cooper, but he had the talent.

The makeup artists asked him to remove his false teeth. They slicked his hair with Vaseline, making it greasier. Eyebrow pencil highlighted his acne scars.

Walking on set, everyone cheered and screamed with delight when they saw Gus. His co-star, a 30-year-old playing a horny teen, that Gus was to butcher with a weedwhacker asked: “How you feelin’?”

“Beautiful,” Gus said.

Farm Queens

by Emma Burnett

Before: It was just a farm. Covered in wheat, and barley, and rye. It’s where Gran birthed my ma, and where ma birthed me. Bathtub babies, we were.

During: Gran had the idea when they banned booze. The bathtub would do for fermenting. She made a lid for the tub. I picked the juniper berries. Ma hauled the water. There was demand for gin, and we provided the supply.

After: They let Gran out of prison when prohibition ended. And the extra money we’d made, they never found it, hidden under the window ledge. It’s why we live like queens.

The Modernist

by Zeke Shomler

She walked backwards everywhere, watching the world through a mirror.

She couldn’t handle the monumentality of it all—couldn’t bring herself to face it head on, the sheer overwhelming everything of it all. The bones in her arm felt out of place, like they belonged to someone else.

When she boarded the bus, her chest faced the sidewalk and heaved, hot smoke exiting her lungs, colors too bright on the bench.

Metacarpals make a nice bracelet, she thought, one that I’ll never lose.

Microfiction Monday – 171st Edition


by Elizabeth Murphy

Her sideways stare warns me I’ve done wrong again because I couldn’t ever do right, my name forever a reprimand or complaint, whether deserved or not because I do try so hard to be her way, some way, not the way I am, but people don’t change including my mother because that’s just how she is, I am, and what I’ll one day accept or else I’ll pretend my mother is the sweet old lady across the hall who offers me tea and conversation, and repeats yes dear, no dear like I’m the child she never had.

Beautiful Day

by David Henson

He wakes her ‘round dawn vomiting in the bathroom. Squint-eyed and feigning sleep, she crosses her fingers as he returns, damp cloth to his forehead. She tenses when he mutters about the hair of the dog, relaxes when, instead of getting up, he groans, turns over and begins to snore. She slips from bed knowing he’ll sleep all day. Minutes later she’s sipping coffee on the patio, enjoying the butterflies and birds.


by Ken Poyner

The boy comes back with only one leg. He learns to fold his excess pants leg invitingly, pin it invisibly. In locomotion, sometimes he prefers his wheelchair, sometimes wooden crutches, sometimes metal ones that clip to the upper arm with a hand stub. At times, one means of self-conveyance seems better than another, argues more shockingly with his chosen attire. Sometimes he rotates based on which has been seen most by whom. Either way, he defaults to being the current hometown hero. When people stare, he says he lost it in the war. They nod. No one asks which war.

When I Place My Palm on the Damp Ground

by Zeke Shomler

When I place my palm on the damp ground, I can feel the earthworms writhing underneath as if they were thrashing and burrowing right next to my skin. I can feel their polyrhythmic syncopated music, their flexing and contracting muscular elegance. I can tell what they feel and what they desire by the twisting of their corpuscles. When I walk barefoot they radiate against my feet.

Sometimes I feel that I can recognize which worms contain materials that were feasted from the bodies of my loved ones.

The dirt has recently begun to smell nostalgic, like a childhood dream.