Category Archives: Flash Nonfiction

Flash fiction based on true stories.

Hesitation

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She wasn’t exactly outgoing, but then again she wasn’t even two. She was so small, yet I could see she still had some adult tendencies while trying to find someone with whom to play.

Hesitation.

She inched closer with a small toy in her hand, some kind of little wooden person that went with the large train table where the other kids played. She took quick look at me, maybe for support, maybe not. I smiled and urged her on. The child she approached was taller. Older. Also hesitant and unsure of herself. Maybe more so.

“Play?” she said in her small voice, the one she used when we were not at home. She gently placed the little wooden toy on the table in front of the girl, who looked at it for a moment before turning and running to her mother.

She looked at the toy, left behind on the table, and my heart broke a little. I wanted to reach out to the mom, to the little girl, and let them know it was okay, that they could be friends. But I didn’t. Instead, I picked up the wooden toy and started playing with my daughter.

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Don’t Cry Over Spilled Liquor

I walked into the subway station and there she was, behind a pillar, crying hysterically. I mean tears running down her face, red eyes, and stumbling a little, which made me think she was drunk. Was she? Who knows.

Then I saw the broken pieces of glass shattered everywhere, with a pool of clear liquid surrounding them. The bottom of the bottle, still intact, rose from the liquidy shards like a miniature mountain. For once, the subway didn’t have that dank smell created from too many people shoved into an underground room.

Instead, it smelled of liquor. Purifying, clean liquor. It would have been a nice change if not for the tearful twenty-something sobbing without control.

I assumed she was drunk, hence the stumbling, but as I sat on the subway, I tried to put a better spin on it. Maybe the bottle was a gift for someone. Maybe it was an expensive gift, one she saved for, to impress a boyfriend, or girlfriend, or best friend or boss or lover or some other kind of person important to her life.

That kind of broke my heart, so instead I went back to my original thought. She was drunk, wanted to keep the party going, and would have to figure out another way to do so.

broken-bottle

Inheritance

Hello all! My new book is out and is called Inheritance. It’s a memoir of time I spent interviewing my grandfather about his life. I learned so much and highly recommend that everyone take the time to sit down and talk to their elders, before it’s too late. Read the description below.

It was published by the awesome guys over at WragsInk. I cannot thank them enough.

Here’s an excerpt:

My grandparents were always fun to be around. Even when I was little, they used to fight all the time.
    “Let me try some of that cake.”
    “You’ve had enough of the cake!”
    “I want some more!”
    “Fine. Someone pass him the cake.”
    This all transpired in loud voices, sometimes switching over to Italian that I can only assume was to disguise the cursing from our young ears. But the thing was, I always knew they loved each other. The bickering, the fighting, the complaining, it was all out of love. Not once as a child did I ever think it meant anything else. Only someone there could fully understand how we all knew. Maybe it was just something we inherited from our parents because they knew. Or, possibly, it was just something we felt in our guts.
    It’s funny, but every time I watch Seinfeld and the Costanzas, George’s parents, start fighting, I can’t help but think of my grandparents.
    They lived. Even as they became senior citizens, they were always out and enjoying life. They were in clubs, they went to dances, they attended weekly concerts on the boardwalk whenever there was one. They were always out visiting friends, going to dinners, enjoying themselves. I always looked up to them for that, and hoped that when I reached their age, I would be the same way.

I’ve also gotten an official Facebook page here. Please stop by and like it.

Here’s a description of the book as well:

On the day author Dennis Finocchiaro sat and started interviewing his grandfather for a graduate school project, he never knew how far into the past he would travel or the range of emotions he would feel. This is the story of Rosario “Charlie” Finocchiaro through the eyes of his grandson Dennis, throughout his childhood in 1920s Philadelphia to war in Italy all the way up to his retirement in Havertown; Inheritance introduces the reader to the life of an everyday man, a soldier, contractor and patriarch. Experience childhood in 1920s Philly, wartime Italy during World War II, the Jersey Shore throughout many decades, and contemporary suburban Philadelphia in a memoir that jumps through the last one hundred years and introduces the journey of a grandson getting to know his grandfather thanks to an assignment. Humor, romance and even a few bootleggers make this nonfiction account of one man’s life both heartwarming and informative. Travel through time with a grandson as he learns his family’s history, heritage, and ultimately, his greatest inheritance.

A List (for Fun)

People Who Shouldn’t Be Texting While Working as I Walked Through the Streets of Philadelphia This Morning

I had quite the eventful walk to work today, and couldn’t help but notice the massive amount of people texting, most of whom were “on the clock” as they say. I compiled it here for your amusement.

The police officer (in the jewelry district).

The cab driver (with a fare).

The bike messenger (for real).

The guy who almost got hit by a (different) cab driver.

The other police officer (who was driving at the time[and yes it’s illegal in Philadelphia]).

The food cart worker (with a long line of people waiting for their morning coffee).

The mom walking her kids to school (not technically work, but probably even more wrong than the others).

I wish I could say I was making most of these up, but sadly, I’m not. An interesting walk to work this morning.

 

 

The End of Harry Potter

And so we waited.

The line wrapped almost totally around the fourteen-theater building, filled with wizards of the various houses, and even a few Dobby costumes as we anxiously waited to get in. The crowd was so insane, so large, that this small New Jersey town had police both riding bikes and walking around the crowds. One was even working for the theater.

“Theater twelve is opened now. Theater twelve,” the officer, in his blue uniform and shiny badge, was saying as he passed. We frantically looked at our tickers. Damn, we were theater nine.

And so as the officer passed the line, small groups of lucky twelves bolted from the line and ran, full speed, around the corner to the front doors. Some were smart, since we were so far behind the line, to run in the direction that was against the crowd, knowing that at the end of the line they were actually closer to the front doors if they took the other direction.

A guy walked by in a Scooby Doo costume,with a friend dressed as Mario. Me, my girlfriend and my sister were confused.

“Um,” my girlfriend said.

“Who knows.”

A young girl was annoying the shit out of us. Seriously, I’ve never wanted to smack someone more than at this moment.

“My life is going to end tonight. For real. It really is. I will want to die when this is all over. DIE. I’ve lived Harry Potter for my whole life, and tonight I will die.”

Someone in front of her was holding up a DVD player and showing part one, and I could not hear it over her shrill, constant voicing of how she would die tonight. So much for the entertainment of watching the DVD.

So time passes, this girl keeps talking about death, and they finally yell out nine, so we haul ass to the front. At the main doors, there is a clusterfuck of people trying to shove their way in; there is no method to this theater’s Harry Plan at all. Cops and ushers are trying to regain order, but to no avail. We’re shoved in between about a hundred people trying to get in while others whose theater has not been called have formed a wall, keeping us legitimate patrons out.

That’s when I realized that our fourth friend, who was stuck in traffic, would not be able to get her ticket from us.

“I have to wait out here for her” I yelled above the noise. “You guys get us seats!” I pushed my way to the back of this cluster as they continued to push forward. Then  waited for my phone to ring. She finally called about ten minutes later and I found her.

“They called our theater. We just have to push through this,” I said, pointing to the wall of people. Her eyes widened.

That’s when I noticed a girl with pink hair who seemed to know the trick. She stood out from the crowd and I could see her making her way through rather easily, and I said to my friend, “We need to follow her!”

I pushed my way through until I was behind her, and just as I caught up to the pink-haired girl, a path opened and she, her friend and the two of us poured through the crowd and easily made our way in.

The concession lines were small and we needed soda since the film was almost three hours and it was already midnight, so I called the others, who gave me drink orders and told us where they were sitting. A short while later and we were in the theater looking for them. My sister got up and waved, so we started to make our way. When I got to the row, I stopped. The annoying girl was sitting right next to us.

“Seriously?” I asked my girlfriend.

“She sat down after we did! It couldn’t be helped!”

And so I slumped into my seat and waited for the movie. It was a blast, the wait. I love the midnight show for two reasons. One, everyone is SO excited and acts nuts. Two, many dress up. It was intense.

“When I say Harry you say Potter!” a girl yelled.

“Harry!”

“POTTER!” the whole crowd yelled. It was cute.

During the actual film, which I loved, the obnoxious girl was crying the whole second half. Maybe crying isn’t the right word. Sobbing. Uncontrollably. To the point her mom said “Shut up!” to her. I wanted to clap.

After the film, everyone clapped, cheered and cried a bit. It was over. A big part of our lives had just ended, and there was nothing we could do but get in our cars, go home and dream of Harry, Hermoine and Ron. And Neville…let’s not forget Neville, who finally got to be the hero he deserved to be.

Someone Else’s Birthday

“Morning Den. Guess what I got!” the receptionist asked him upon seeing him enter the office.

“Tell me!” he said with a small note of excitement in his voice.

“I bought my boyfriend’s birthday present! Tickets to the Flyers!”

“That’s nice.” He started to walk away.

“Hey, what’s up? Isn’t that exciting?”

He turned and gave her a look. “Sure, sure it is.” He attempted to leave again.

“Hey!” He stopped again. “What’s up?”

“Nothing, except you’re a jerk.”

Her jaw dropped and he walked out of the room.

One of the managers came in the front door and nodded to her as she passed reception. The manager suddenly stopped and turned to her.

“By the way, don’t forget, Den’s birthday is today and we’re doing the party at lunch.”

Based on a true story that happened to me today. I changed a few facts to keep people from harassing the guilty party 🙂

Peace and Love

“Peace and love!” I said loudly to my class when the clock struck noon. What can I say, I’m a huge Ringo fan!

“What are you doing?” someone asked.

“Ringo asked all of his fans to say that at noon, so I did. It’s his birthday.”

“You like Ringo Starr?” someone else asked.

“Of course! I have a bunch of his records.”

“Records? Like real records?”

“Yup. Plus I saw him last weekend in Atlantic City.”

Nobody responded. Finally, after a moment of silence longer than the one in before the pledge of allegiance, someone said, “Wow…I’m jealous.” Many people nodded.

I was surprised. I expected to be teased. Nope.

“Did he sing Beatles songs?”

“Yup.”

“No No Song?”

“Sadly, no. That was the one I wanted to hear the most.”

I had no idea so many people were fans!

“What was he like?”

“Well, he was quite lively, dancing around, really having fun up there, considering he’s seventy.”

“He’s seventy?!?” a few asked.

“Yup. Today is his 70th.”

A bunch of people start typing on their computers.

“Trust me guys, I’m right. I would know.”

Turns out they were Googling No No Song. Nice.

Happy Birthday, Ringo.