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Flash Fiction

March 27, 2011

Flash Fiction refers to very short stories. Some sources say up to 1000 words, others that there should be no more than 300. NY Times editor Steve Moss stipulates exactly 55 words. In other words, it can be pretty much what the writer wants it to be. Last December I posted a FF about Santa. This week, I’m posting four more, all around the same theme: Where Were You Last Night? (Plus a couple of newspaper clippings – things get weird in the news every now and then.)

 

WHERE WERE YOU LAST NIGHT? #1

Darryl let himself into the apartment with his key. “Beth,” he called, and again, a little louder, “Beth?” Must be in the kitchen he thought. As he headed that way, his eyes found a neatly folded note on the coffee table. He unfolded it and began reading:

Darryl,

Where were you last night? You promised you’d come over but you never did. I

had a nice dinner ready, our favorite wine, and soft music playing. But you never

showed up. Why do you do this to me? Where were you last night?

Beth

“Beth?” he called again, a little louder. “Are you in the kitchen?” He pushed open the swinging door and took in the empty kitchen. He turned and went to the bedroom to look for her. Knocking softly on the closed door he once again said her name. Getting no response, he opened the door and went in. On the bed was another neatly folded note:

 

Darryl,

I told you I’d do something desperate if you kept on treating me this way. I

told you you’d regret it. Now you’re too late. You’ll find me in the closet.

Beth

An icy dread crept through Darryl as he walked to the closet and rested his hand on the knob. He tried not to think about what he might find when he opened the door. Slowly, reluctantly, he turned the knob and pulled the door towards him.

He had no time to register surprise at seeing Beth sitting on a chair in the middle of the walk-in closet, facing him. The two blasts from the .38 caliber Police Special hit him in the chest, sent him reeling back into the room, where he crumpled to the floor.

An odd little smile darted across Beth’s face. “Where were you last night, Darryl?”



 

WHERE WERE YOU LAST NIGHT? #2

“Where were you last night?” The tone of her voice told him she was angry, and he hung his head a little. “I’ve been so worried! And just look at you! You’ve been in a fight, haven’t you?” He uncomfortably shifted his position, and the sharp pain in his ribs brought back the memory of the fight. It had been unequal: three of them and one of him. “And look at your ear! It’s bleeding.” He winced as she touched it. “C’mon. We’ll have to do something about it.” He dutifully followed as she turned and walked toward the bathroom. All he wanted was to go to bed, go to sleep. She got a washcloth, wetted it with hot water and cleaned away the dried blood from his ear. “This will not happen again!” she said with finality. You’re grounded. You’re a bad dog!”

 



WHERE WERE YOU LAST NIGHT? #3

It was eight o’clock. Thomas woke up and stretched. The rain that had started when he went to bed three hours ago continued to beat against the window. He lay there for a moment, watching a small spider climb up the wall opposite. Rosie, his wife, stirred next to him and opened her eyes. “G’morning, honey. Say, where were you last night?”

“I did it, Rosie, I traveled back in time last night! It was only 24 hours back in time, but I did it! I’ve believed for years that time travel was possible, not with some hokey science fiction contraption but simply by focusing on time travel and putting myself into a deep trance. Last night, after years of trying, I finally succeeded. Now I can start going farther back. Just imagine! I could go back to the 17th century and discover where Captain Kidd buried his treasure. Or even where John Dillinger buried his $200,000 in Wisconsin.”

“Isn’t this dangerous, Thomas? What if something goes wrong?”

“Nonsense! I went back to yesterday, saw myself, saw you, saw what we were doing, and now I’m back, safe and sound. Nothing will go wrong, dear, believe me.”

Thomas got out of bed, showered, dressed, and went about his business that day, putting aside his excitement and eagerness to resume the experiment in the evening.

Not long after dinner, Rosie said, “I’m going up to bed, Thomas. Are you coming? I wish you would.” She looked worried.

“No dear, I have to see this through. But don’t worry.” Thomas sat on his meditation cushion, closed his eyes, focused on the past, and almost immediately fell into a trance.

* * *

It was eight o’clock. Thomas woke up and stretched. The rain that had started when he went to bed three hours ago continued to beat against the window. He lay there for a moment, watching a small spider climb up the wall opposite. Rosie, his wife, stirred next to him and opened her eyes. “G’morning, honey. Say, where were you last night?”

 



WHERE WERE YOU LAST NIGHT? #4

Sarah was livid. “I will ask you again: Where were you last night? You left the house at ten without a word. And now you tell me you were gadding about the countryside yelling things at the top of your voice in the middle of the night? Were you drunk? Have you lost your mind?” She stood there, hands on hips, her face flushed with anger.

Paul sighed a weary sigh. “I told you Sarah. The British were coming.”

 

…SEE YOU NEXT WEEK…


 

 


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. NRJ permalink
    March 30, 2011 11:03 pm

    Geez, mom. I tried to get home on time, but this wild alto player was showing me how to scat and I started singing in tongues and landed in the hospital because no one could understand the tune, said I was nutting off. By the time I sang my way out I was married to the nurse and that damn jazz left me hanging for six days before I could quit riffing. You know how it is, after all – you married that drummer for a week before the music even started…

  2. March 31, 2011 12:53 am

    OK, you got me hooked. And, with apologies to Paul Harvey, where’s the rest of the story?

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