Category Archives: Flash Fiction

Cold-weather gathering

She had a cocktail in a plastic cup, and I remember her nose was a sort of red.

She wore a blue denim jacket at her house party and didn’t care.

The one thing I remember about her was her curls. I remember their frizziness, like if you washed a doll’s hair and just left it as is.

Her apartment floors had old linoleum, and the rooms were low-lit and looked comfortable. Everyone seemed to be happy.

She had an interest in me, and we both liked the Beatles’ White Album. We had discussed it at the student union. Continue reading Cold-weather gathering

Heroine of the hula hoop

A girl in front of her house was doing hula hoop tricks today. She reminded me of a flapper — maybe Josephine Baker, the way she stared dead ahead and smiled — perhaps knowing she had it down and that she would beguile onlookers.

The hula hoop never stopped moving, regardless of where it wound up — seemingly precarious but staying put, like a plate on a stick in a vaudeville act. What kept it gyrating? It reminded me of those yo-yo tricks, where the yo-yo appeared motionless, like a hummingbird probing for pollen. Continue reading Heroine of the hula hoop

Doris

Nobody in the congregation could imagine her not moving. Doris had always moved — as if made of rubber or as if a bouncy spirit had inhabited her.

People remembered her swaying across the gymnasium floor during the church’s centennial celebration. She was dancing to My Girl by the Temptations and all the other songs on the DJ’s playlist, all the way up until the finale of Sister Sledge’s We Are Family. People recalled her lips moving while singing, plump with rouge lipstick and her eyes going all expressive. But now they were still, and her lips looked buttoned and had a cinnamon tone that you could barely even notice. Continue reading Doris

Life

The old man was delivering seedlings to a nursery in a beat-up truck — its platform fenced in by scrap-wood panels.

It was the start of a new day: The man wore a yellow shirt — loud as unmitigated sunshine.

A shovel jutted up from the center of his flatbed— its handle to the sky, as if the spade were staked into deep earth.

No one likes to memorize math

A large sculpture in the library lobby purposely leaned at a slant on a pedestal to give it the effect of falling. It made me think of nodding off.

People sat at tables — some read, some spoke, but it was hard to make out what anyone was saying.

Their indecipherable voices carried up high to the lofty ceiling and dissipated like smoke — maybe from burning incense?

The sounds in the lobby reminded me of churches, with their drafty, cavernous interiors. There, too, voices murmured, only they were prayers. Continue reading No one likes to memorize math