Tag Archives: flash fiction

Search for the Doctor

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They walked and walked and walked; his feet were killing him, but he didn’t dare say a word since this trek across London was his idea. But she loved him and didn’t complain at all. They couldn’t find the store he was hoping to find, a huge comic shop that promised him all the Doctor Who stuff that his home in the U.S. failed to provide. She hadn’t even seen an episode, but joined him with a willingness that had to be love.

The store wasn’t where his map promised. They’d walked the block three times. “I’m not sure it’s here anymore, hun,” she said to him with a genuine look of discouragement. She knew how much he hoped to buy some stuff from the show. A few toys, a graphic novel or two, some DVDs, anything, really. The show had been his favorite for years and he expected London to be plastered with images from the show. His disappointment would completely dissipate if only they could find this store.

“We should have followed that person with the bag from the store,” she said.DSCN0392

“How would that have worked? They obviously were coming from it!” The person’s bag only teased him, taunted him, since it meant they were so close.

“But we could have asked them where it was.” She was right, of course. He hadn’t the nerve to ask the stranger for the location. And the possibility was slipping away from him  the later it got; they had tickets to a show that started in just a few hours, and they needed to get to their hotel all the way on the other side of the city, shower, and then get to the show. Frustration mounted as he looked left, right, even up in the insane hope of finding the store.

A pimply teenager walked by in a Green Lantern shirt.

“I have an idea,” he said to her. He followed the teen, and she wondered what his plan was. It didn’t click at first, but at a red light she realized what he was doing.

“Are we following this guy just because his shirt is a superhero shirt?” she whispered.

“Nooo…” he said as he nodded yes.

She laughed at this idea, but shrugged at the possibility that it just may work. The kid crossed the street, made a left and then turned right and there it was. The store.

“YES!” they both said, him out of excitement and her out of sheer happiness that the quest was over. He entered, followed sign after sign and then saw it loom from floor to ceiling. Everything Doctor Who.

“I’ll be in the graphic novel section for the next hour,” she said as she turned to leave him, both smiling.

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Letters

I yanked open the door and there he was, my mailman. We both jumped, startled. His hand was full of letters and literally by my knees, about to stick our mail into the slot in our front door.
“Oh, uh-”DSCN1377
“Sorry-”
“I was just about to-”
“Yeah…”
“Sorry.”
“Yeah, sorry I startled-”
“No, no-”
“It must happen all the time.”
“No, not really…”
“Oh.”
“So yeah…”
“Yeah I’ll take that.”
I took the mail from him.
“Have a nice day!” we both said in unison.
I really need to get a mailbox.

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You Bowl Me Over

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 8.36.51 AM“What’s that?”
He looked at the box of random items he’d yard saled that morning. Sticking out at the top was a rounded white end.
“It’s a bowling pin.”
“What’s it for?”
He put it on the coffee table in front of her.
“It’s a conversation piece.”
She gave him that look. You know, that look.
“What, you don’t like it?”
He flopped onto the couch next to her and pushed up against her side.
“I just don’t see how it could start conversations. It better have cost a quarter.”
“What can I say, you bowl me over.”
She smiled. “You can pin me any day.”
“We could have a ball.”
“You never know, you could strike out.”
“Wrong sport.”
“Shut up…how about…strike…strike…”
“You’re a real strike?”
“Don’t be such a turkey.”
“Hun…a turkey is a good thing in bowling.”
“How about you move on over to my lane?”
“Hun…”
“Nice bowling shoes, wanna fuck?”
“HUN…”
“Come on, don’t SPARE my feelings!”
“Oh my God…”
“Let’s never split!”
“PLEASE STOP!”
“You bowl me over.”
“You stole that one! It was mine! I opened with it.”
She kicked the table and the pin wobbled a bit, but righted itself.
“Darn,” she said.
“See…like I said…conversation starter.”

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Albert’s Arc

John was trying to communicate but just couldn’t get anyone to assist him. “Excuse eh mwa,” he said to a man who ignored him and continued through the Jardin de Petit Palais.
A tall thin man passing by overheard his struggles and approached.
“Bonjour, madame, monsieur,” he said in a thick French accent. He spoke in his native tongue to the man who nodded and walked away.
“Well, it’s nice to know not all Frenchmen are rude,” John said to the stranger. “I’m John, this is my wife, Mabel. Won’t you join us?” The man adjusted his glasses and sat down with them on a park bench.
“I’m Albert. First time in Paris?”
This time Mabel spoke. “Bon-joor, Al-bear,” she exaggerated his French name, trying her best. “Yes, it’s our first time. And we love it. Dja adoor,” she said with a smile. He smiled back, appreciative of her attempt.
“Don’t judge Paris on this man. Not all Parisians are like him. Where are you from?”
“New York City,” John said with pride.
“Ah, yes, ze big pomme…er…apple, yes? I’ve been zere once. I loved it. Very fast. What have you zeen zo far in Paris?”
“We climbed that tower of yours. It’s no Empire State, that’s for sure,” John responded.
“But beautiful and very romantic,” added Mabel. She adjusted her jacket and fixed her white hat.
“Ah, been to ze famous Parisian stores, hmm?” Albert asked her, regarding her hat. She giggled and blushed a bit. “It is very…you – as you Americans say. Where are you headed now?”
John pulled out a small travel guide and flipped to a specific page. “The Arch De Triumph.”
“Say it like ze Noah’s Ark. Ark.”
“Aha! The Arc de Triumph. Got it. Thanks, Al-bert,” he said, forgetting not to say the final t of his name. “Er…Al-bear.” Albert nodded in appreciation.
“I am heading that way, would you like me to show you?”
Mabel giggled again. “Oh, yes, please do join us! Is it okay Johnny? Imagine being shown around by a true-blue Frenchman!” John nodded and they were off.
The café was just three short blocks from the arc, so they barely had time to chat before they came upon the street they had to cross to get there. “Be careful crossing here, it is a very busy street and Parisians don’t always stop.” He laughed as Mabel looked nervous. “I kid, I kid. Come.”
As they approached, another man in some sort of uniform saw them approaching the building and headed for them. He spoke French to Albert, who responded quickly as if the two were great friends.
“Zis is my friend, Francoise, and he has agreed to let us go up to the top. Would you like zis?”
“Oh yes! Of course we would!” Mabel said. Francoise led them to a door and unlocked it with a smile.
“Bon journee!” he said to them after shaking Albert’s hand.
After many stone steps, they made it to the roof. Mabel ran to the stone wall that surrounded the top and pulled out her camera to take a shot of the Eiffel Tower.

“Look at this view!” she said with a gasp. “John! Look at Paris from up here! This is better than from the tower!” She snapped a few shots while John and Albert watched.
“We really appreciate this, Al-bear,” he said. “Mabel sure loves it up here.” She ran from side to side snapping shots and advancing the film in her camera as the two men watched on.
Albert walked to the wall facing the tower and sat. “You can see all of the arrondisements, from here. I am from the 4th, which is just zere,” he said, pointing. “And I work in the 11th, as a professor, that way,” he pointed again. “I’ve fallen in love in each of ze arrondisements except the 12th. No luck there, yet.” Mabel sighed and leaned into John, taking his hand. He was startled just the smallest bit because he wasn’t aware she was there listening.
“You’ve fallen in love that many times?”
“Oui. How many times pour vous?”
“Just the once…John!”
Albert sighed. “Perhaps I should be in ze twelfth.”
Mabel smiled. “Oh yes! That’s probably where she is! Waiting for you!”
Albert leaned back and let the sun warm his face. “I have a…friend there. Geraldine. She is lovely. I adore her. But…she is just a friend. She does not see me zees way.”
“Nonsense! You’ve got a stable profession, you’re good looking, what else could a woman want?”
He stood and placed his hands in his pockets, looking over the city in the direction of the twelfth.
“You should ask her on a date. Why not? She’d be crazy not to fall for you lickety-split, I tell you. Tell him!” she said, nudging her husband. He just stood looking toward the tower, pretending not to hear.
Albert’s eyes looked distant as he continued to stare into the twelfth arrondisement. “Perhaps,” he whispered.

Denial

Flash fiction typed onto a vintage photograph using an antique typewriter. A collection of similar pieces is available here for Kindle and here for paperback.

Long Lost William from Coney Island

They all gathered to hear the letter from their long-missing relative, William, Junior. His mother Betty called to her sisters from her alley window, who called their children from slumber, and they all met on the community patio outside of Betty’s home to hear the news. Frank, a second cousin, had secretly been taking bets that young Will had been killed in a bar fight, while his sister Evangeline insisted he had joined the Peace Corps and was saving the world.

Betty didn’t even change from the robe she wore around the house; as a matter of fact, she hadn’t even bothered putting on shoes or slippers. The others, some of whom took the time to get dressed in their day suits, some still in pajamas, all congregated around the family matriarch, whispering at the possibilities of what the letter might contain as she carefully pulled at the envelope. The markings on the postage said California, which was quite a long trip from William’s hometown of Coney Island.

They were waiting for Will’s youngest brother, Peter, who had run into town to get his father, only to have the elder William return before him. Moments later, Peter ran up to the group, panting. Nobody bothered to ask what had taken him so long as Betty pulled the three pages out and started skimming the letter before her public reading. A single tear ran down her cheek as she cleared her throat and prepared to read aloud.

Deliverance

Another piece of flash fiction typed onto a vintage photograph using my antique typewriter. And of course, my shameless plug for the book.