When I met Jenny, she worked as a waitress at the diner where I often ate after my shift.
The day I fell in love with her, she gave me the middle finger—the whole middle finger, with the telltale writer’s callus and both knuckles. It floated alongside chunks of chicken in the creamy soup that she served me.
I was more curious than appalled. “How does one get the whole middle finger chopped off?”
“By flipping off a ninja,” said Jenny, deadpan. At that moment, I knew she was the one.
The settlement I received paid for our honeymoon.
Bio: Maura’s short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiction Pool, Storyland, Microfiction Monday Magazine, The Dirty Pool, and 50-Word Stories.
Again, I’m left waiting. It’s the third time someone forgot to pick me up at school this month. Mom will blame Dad and Dad will blame Mom. I blame them both. Living half my life with one and half with another. In other words, all of my life without someone.
They say it will get better. They say they just have to work out a better schedule. Ever since the separation I am told just give it time and the kinks will get worked out. I know better. This is the new norm. I’m done waiting. I’ll just walk home.
You will fall in love with words and writing, and in the process, you’ll hear this a lot: “Don’t write like a victim.”
Don’t listen! Don’t let anyone else tell you how to express your truth.
Someday soon you will come to realize the Universe is arbitrary. Things will happen that are outside of your control, and some of those things will be painful. Yet, somehow you will make it through, I promise.
I’ve written this because I love you, and I don’t want you to ever forget that.
How long did it take
turning battlefields into blooms?
Nourished from fallen soldiers,
clutching hearts not their own.
Nameless warriors, yesterday’s schoolboys
with combed hair and brushed teeth.
Given bayonets, helmets and cigarettes,
whispering to their mamas as they
colored fields with their death.