Posts Tagged ‘short-short fiction’

Story – Dolly, et al.

Thursday, September 15th, 2011



Bernard took the car out of the garage and rolled it slowly backward, looking left and right and checking in his rear-view mirror, then sped up slightly and ran over four cats, two dogs, one puppy, three hamsters, a frog and fourteen confused snails.


This was a pain. Because it meant Bernard would have to get out of his car, get the hose, turn it up full blast and wash down his driveway. Aiming the water, he watched the dogs, puppy and cats turn limp somersaults moving toward the gutter.


Then, inevitably, the neighborhood kids came to gather round to look. Some pointed their phones to take photos and send them to their friends with remarks like, “Cooooool.”


Then one kid pointed and sobbed, “My dog Fido!” Another kid screamed, “Dolly! Dolly! Dolly!”


Soon parents gathered around to make caustic remarks.


“You can’t keep doing this,” one said to Bernard.
“I don’t mean to,” Bernard answered as two of the dead cats finally made it to the gutter and flopped over into it and out of his sight. “They all just rushed under my tires I backed out.”
“You said that yesterday,” said another parent, not believing a word.
“And the day before that,” reminded another.


“Dolly!” bellowed the kid again and again.
A damp, fur-matted dog disappeared over the curb.


“I check,” Bernard said. “Every day, I check. Is there another animal out there, is there something I don’t see? The driveway is always empty when I roll out. Then, all of a sudden, they are there, diving under my tires. It happens so fast I can’t stop in time.”
“Dolly!”
The frog fell on top of the dog.


The last dog fell into the street gutter, then a cat. Barnard was going to be late for work again.


Three parents crossed their arms tight over their chests.
“So you’re saying you think this is some sort of unexplained natural phenomenon where domestic animal life commits suicide under your car wheels?”


Bernard turned off the water, tossed the hose aside. “I didn’t say that.” The animals were gone from his property now, bodies resting floppy and over-flowing in the gutter. “But I wouldn’t rule that out.” Most traces of the animal blood was also gone from his driveway. “I don’t know, really. It just happens.” He got into his car.


“Dolly….” It was more a whimper now, the boy already half-wondering whether his mother would buy him another dog. Bigger. So it wouldn’t get run over so easily.


“You like to kill animals,” someone shouted.
Bernard rolled down his window. “Maybe they are not happy.”
“Who isn’t happy?”
“Your pets.”
“What are you talking about?”
“So they come over here and kamikaze themselves under the wheels of my car day after day.”
“You saying we’re lousy pet lovers?”
“I’m saying maybe you should try feeding them better food on a regular basis. Talk to them more often. Pet them. Be better humans.”
“Damn! He’s lecturing us and he’s the murderer.”


Bernard shouted as he drove off, “And how many pets do you people have, anyway? I’ve run over at least eighty this month!” He glanced at his watch. He was going to be twenty minutes late. Again. He rolled up the window, swerved around a cat that threw itself in front of his car, and started making good time as soon as he left his neighborhood behind.

STORY – She fell

Monday, February 7th, 2011



She flew off her feet and landed on her butt when he pushed her out of his way so he could get to where he was going. She stood up slowly, brushed herself off, and gazed at his back as he diminished in the distance, hurrying away. She took a step toward him.


She landed with a hard thump and four red marks on her forehead where he had pushed her with the fingers of his left hand. This time he stood there, looking down. Her looking up. She stood, slowly, carefully, her eyes never leaving his. Took a step toward him. He put his fingertips right back on the same places on her forehead and pushed. Harder.


She was getting used to landing on her backside and seeing life from this angle. Or if not life, at least him. The guy who kept pushing her down when she approached him. She thought she should maybe sit there for a while and think over getting up again for him, but the feelings were too strong, too wild. She was up and moving toward him again watching his hands, both of them, getting ready to push her again.


For a few weeks now she had taken to wearing cushions on her backside. Her bottom had become so black and blue with this pushing down business that it was starting to hurt and could not be ignored even with this overwhelming instinct, need, passion, this desire. So when she fell, this time on gravel in his driveway, it hurt some, but not as much, because of the cushion. In fact, she bounced a bit, which was different.


Next time when she landed on her rear end in the parking lot of the liquor store, she put her hands down for landing stability and sharp-edged pebbles dug into her hands. She cried out. She looked up to see if this mattered to the man. But he had already turned away.


Again she fell, like a fluffy animal tossed on the floor.


Once more she fell and this time she fell into the ocean and a wave came and the salt went into her wounds and stung and the man stepped back, ever determined. She got up again, ever determined. They stood facing each other, her hands ready to grab him, his hands ready to repel her.


As she fell, she grabbed a bit of his leather coat and wouldn’t let go and as she fell, he lost his balance. He came after her. She landed hard on her bottom, on her back, in the dirt beside the bushes. He landed hard, on her, his front, on her front. It was progress. Perhaps a breakthrough. They lay like this in a public space until he pushed up and away from her.


Next time he pushed her away and she fell, she felt, or she thought she felt, his heart wasn’t really in it so much. Not like before. So she fell, more than ever, in love.


The next time, he didn’t walk away after he had pushed her down. He turned away, but he was not walking away. At last. Finally. She knew in her heart of hearts that now she was not the only one falling.

Story – A bit of a blur

Friday, January 21st, 2011




When, at odd moments during the day, when Roger moved his hand, it blurred. Which caught his attention. He dropped everything to stare at his hand. Waiting for it to come back into focus.


Later, his hand affected his arm, and it too became a bit blurry. And now standing naked before the bathroom mirror, he didn’t see himself. He saw a blur. He reached out toward the blur, but that too turned out to be a blur.


“Honey, come see. I’m out of focus.”
“Again?”
“What do you mean, again?”

STORY – Killing the Furniture

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010




When people come knocking on my front door, the first thing I do is ignore them. I didn’t ask them to come.


If they insist by knock and knocking again, then I creep over to stand on the other side of the shut and locked door and wait a long second…then I knock on the door from my side.


Now I believe they stand there on the other side of the door no longer knowing whether they are knocking to come in, or I am knocking to get out.


So we stand there together on either side of the shut door, silent and thoughtful and hesitant, until, for some strange reason, they knock on my door, again. This time oh so lighter, gentler, with a certain healthy trepidation.


Since they are insisting, I unlock and rip open the door: “What do you want?”


“We—“
“Hurry up. Say what you have to say. I’m busy killing my furniture.”
“You’re what…?”
“Give me a moment.”


I nearly close the door, enough so they can’t see. I grab a nearby chair and toss it across the room. It smacks against the opposite wall, cracks a leg, takes a chunk of plaster from the wall, then I open the door a bit. “What were you saying?”


“Did you just do what I think you did?”
“Oh crap. It’s started again. One sec.”


Once more I almost close the door. I reach for a nearby picture and Frisbee it down the hallway. “Die!” I yell after it.


I return to the door. “Make it snappy, there’s a lot of death I have to handle in here.”
“Maybe it would be better if I returned—”
“Watch out!” I shout and spin around and catch the blurred sight of the cactus in a vase that is hurtling itself toward me while my back was turned. I barely have time to jerk my head out of the way as some of its needles tear across my cheek. The cactus and its pot bust up against the rear of the door, falling to the floor and rolling around as though in pain. I kick it away. I touch my cheek and my fingertips come away with some bright blood that seconds ago was safe within my body traveling around, taking cells for their one minute trip all around my body. A telephone receiver smacks hard against my shin.


I go “Ouch!” before stomping my right heel hard into its mouthpiece, cracking it open.


It’s a tough business, killing your furniture, but I’ve learned, over time, it’s me or them.


I feel bits and pieces of costume jewelery pelting my back.
A throw rug tries to hug my ankles to trip me up.
Postcards people sent me and I forgot to throw away slice through the air and toward my neck.
My stereo’s loud speakers have mouths with teeth.
The tissue paper in the box comes out used with snot embedded around bits of blood and they float determinedly toward me like huge stained butterflies.
The pens on the desk are lined up and furious, their hard points out.


The guy’s still at the door. Why, I don’t know and care even less.
“Excuse me for being blunt, but how can I help you because I’m a little occupied in here.” I feel little nudges at my feet and look down. There’s three of my favorite CD music cases trying to bite me. Three quick heel ‘n’ twist movements in the middle of each jewel case takes care of them.


I look to see the guy’s now halfway down the path from my house, glancing over his shoulder as if there’s something wrong with me.


“Thanks for nothing!” I scream at his retreating back and I hear something heavy and turn around just in time to see the television set rolling straight for my crotch. I leap over it and it smacks against the side of the door with a little crunch sound and halts in pain.


Okay, okay, time for a little breather before battle is truly engaged. I glance toward the doorway to the kitchen and there’s the refrigerator and the washing machine already getting traction, preparing to have a go at me. I straighten, roll my head back and forth on my shoulders to snap my bones back in place, getting combat ready, because the next part of this was about to get real, real nasty.

STORY – How to write a novel on the themes of violence and family

Friday, May 21st, 2010

The gun that goes bang to shoot a brother

Prologue
She pointed the gun and took a step closer, placing the barrel against his right nostril, saying, “Now?”


Part One

The man squared his shoulders.
“I have been waiting for you, and for this, for years. Months. Days. Now.”
She nudged the end of the barrel deeper into his nostril. “I’m here for you.”


Part Two

Their mother, stuck in a wheelchair outside the room, hammered on the locked door, shouting, “Stop it! Stop it right now with your nonsense!” Then leaned forward to hear whether they were stopping. Her bladder, over-excited, began flowing into the catheter that ran from her privates to a plastic bag.


Part Three

“Bang,” she said.
“Bang,” he repeated, waiting for her next move.
“No bang!” yelled the old lady’s voice from the other side of the door as her plastic bag overflowed.


Epilogue

There was the loud, quick noise of bang and the old lady gave up hammering on the door, and also gave up all her hopes for the future. Her children were never going to learn.
The puddle on her nice hallway rug spread.

Story – Big Toe Walkabout

Friday, March 26th, 2010

big-toe, story of big toe, big toes, fun fantasy short short fiction on big toes

My big toe detached itself from my foot and took a walk. My foot said, Ah shit, not again. I said, You let him go. My foot said, I didn’t let him anything. He does this when I’m not looking. I never see it coming. He just ups and—what’s he doing?


I looked at my big toe waddle over to the nearest corner and stand, like a little bald egg with hands if he had hands tucked behind his back rocking slightly to and fro and staring intently at the corner as if he was in a museum and he had finally come upon a painting worth his attention.


He’s looking in the corner, I told my foot and my foot said, What’s he doing that for? What’s in the corner that’s so special? I said, Nothing special that I can see. It’s just a corner.


My foot shook itself slowly back and forth. Toes. I’ll never understand them. And with that my other big toe detached itself.


Oh no! my other foot moaned. Oh please, I said.


This big toe headed over to my trash container and stood before it. I watched my toe watching itself in the metal reflection of my trash container and my feet tried to tuck themselves up under me to keep the other toes in place but I wasn’t having any of it.


Feet, I lectured. Feet. Two things I ask, one large thing, one small thing. I ask you to get me from one place to another. Also, I give you the small duty to keep my toes attached to the front of you. And you fail.


Hey, we tried—


I don’t want to hear it, I told my feet, who shut-up. Now I have to get up and go over there in the corner and then over near the trash thing, and retrieve them.


No! said my foot. No! said the other foot. We don’t have any experience walking around without the two big toes and cannot guarantee your safety. We would instead highly recommend that you remain seated until both the big toes return of their own accord.


What if they don’t return?


My feet thought about that. You could crawl?
For my toes? For my toes! I have my self-respect. So I sat there, waiting for my big toes to return but I waited so long that I got drowsy and fell asleep and when I woke up the light from outside was beginning to dim its end of the day light giving the room a soft blue look I always liked and I stood up without thinking and didn’t fall over. I looked down to make sure everything was back in its place before taking my first step.


I said, Hello, again, Big Toes, and welcome back, and then I went for a short walk.