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First-place winner of Atticus Review’s Flash Fiction Contest. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best Short Fictions anthology.
She put her hand over mine. Hers felt as dry and ribbed as corduroy. “
It was getting hot in the instructor’s office. She thought of throwing herself out the window next to her desk, except that the window had stopped opening years before. She often imagined the multiple work orders that she had submitted regarding the window’s recalcitrance languishing in some bottomless inbox in the bowels of the university’s maintenance department.”
When our mother was alive, she used to say that hot weather brought out the beast in our father. She may have said best, not beast, but that’s not how we heard it.
They basically were like those little explanatory notes my mom writes to us, about why she told him to go and how she couldn’t believe when he went. In one of them she said Maybe we should try again, if only for the girls’ sake, and I felt like throwing up when I read that because it’s so completely clear to me and every friend I have whose parents are divorced that what the kids want is pretty much the last thing the grownups consider at times like these.”
My husband had just been diagnosed the week before. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to step inside their house and inhale their life. “
The lawyer’s sonorous voice was as smooth as chocolate pudding and the more he talked, the more she wanted to curl up permanently in the burgundy leather chair across from his desk, lulled by his facileness and gorgeousness in equal doses; except that he had made clear that every minute they spent together was calculated and rounded up to the nearest 10-minute mark, which meant that she was another 67 dollars in the hole just admiring the resemblance of his eyes to Hershey’s kisses.
“No tunnel, no grandparents opening their arms, no Tipper joyously barking, no Anna—childhood best friend, thrown from a careening car driven by her coke-addled boyfriend back in the nineties—waving her on. Just dizziness, the edges of the room blurring, the sense of departing the controlled panic of the OR…”