Sitting on a wooden shelf emblazoned “1994”; while at housekeeping she flips its dusty pages with moving lips yet inaudible she reads to her fill.
“Is that me – fat and shrew?”
“No, no,” he assured her.
“Then who is it?”
“It’s my Ex”
“And who’s this low-life slut you always meet at a street corner and have a romp with in the back of your Toyota SUV?”
“Oh, that’s the mother of my children”
“Don’t you remember how we got together?”
Curiosity has a nasty way of exposing pretensions. When you read someone else’s secret you get what you deserve.
Pack your things in heavy-duty corrugated brown boxes. They hold up better in transit. Don’t go cheap on the truck rental either – you’ll want at least 865 cubic feet of cargo space. If you find a letter from an old flame in a dresser drawer, do not read it. The nostalgia will only distract you, and you’ll be compelled to look her up on social media. It will become apparent that she’s doing well for herself on the East Coast, and you’ll still be here with all these boxes to load as the last of the sunlight bleeds away.
Hawkelson Rainier dabbles in short fiction and poetry from time to time. His debut novel, The Lake Erie Lights, It is available at Kellan Publishing.
By Caitlin Pencarrick Hertzman
Doors slammed shut would be better than tear gas. At least you could howl your desperation at them, and know the echoes would hound them along their concrete tunnel. Echoes that would ring out at home in the voices of their own children. Perhaps when their own children cry they’ll forget it was for paw patrol, seeing instead the diapered boy with streaming eyes. The tiny, half-naked girl a mother threw over her shoulder before running as far and fast from the poison as she could. If I can’t even reach the door, where can I give my true name?
Caitlin wrote this drabble in response to a poem in Rupi Kaur’s collection, “The Sun and Her Flowers”, a day after being inundated with media reports that the USA lobbed tear gas across the border into Mexico. Caitlin lives on a gulf island off the coast of BC and writes primarily about issues of social justice.
The sign on the shop door reads “Back in 5 mins.”
This is not unusual. Far from the city, life meanders without process. Post Office closures. Farm vehicles rumbling in the distance. Dog walkers on the riverbank. Church bells every other morning. Cars covered in blossom. Sirens alien and unwelcome.
Nothing stirs at this hour, in the land of perpetual Christmas morning, the air carbon neutral.
Back in 5 mins, it reads.
Today this is unusual.
She takes the key from her pocket, looking over her shoulder, wondering who has put the sign on her shop.
hombrehompson lives and works in Sheffield. His stories have appeared in Spelk Fiction, Ellipsis Zine and The Cabinet of Heed.
By The Drabble
To celebrate the conclusion of the fourth calendar year of our existence, we present some our favorite posts of 2018. While we are grateful to every Drabble reader and writer for helping to make this site such an unexpected success, we want to recognize a few pieces that truly accomplished what we were setting out to do when we began this blog almost four years ago. Here (in no particular order) are a few drabbles we loved in 2018, enjoy:
The Envy of the Village by J.E. Kennedy
Disappearing is Harder Than You’d Think by Anonymous
Grief by J. Hardy Carroll
Pack Your Bags by Hombrehompson
The Very Short Poem by John Malone
Table for One by rlmcooper
A Love Letter by Minyoung Lee
Mother – A Poem by Katharine Griffiths
Unwritten Poetry by B.
Inspiration by D.A. Donaldson
On a Gravestone in Ireland by Sandra Arnold
I can’t help what they hear, my ears.
For example, the other day, I heard my partner when I got home early from work. His grunting always was distinctive. I always hated that part of him.
I never really had him down for this.
I closed the door gently and made my way upstairs.
The grunting continued. Then there were some words: ‘Oh, come on. You can do it.’ His voice again. I flinched.
He didn’t hear me creep into the bedroom.
‘Oh.’ It was all I could say when I found him screwing our new mirror to the wall.
Bladhac64 is a writer of fiction and poetry based in the UK. He has a PhD in literature and creative writing.
By John L. Malone
Please Wait to be Called,
The sign said
So I did.
I waited and waited
At the head of the queue
outside the pearly gates
And when, growing impatient,
I stepped forward,
St. Peter held up his hand:
“There seems to be some problem,”
“You’ll have to wait a little longer,”
I stamped my feet a little
When a light flashed overhead
& a door opened behind
& I was whooshed back
To the operating theatre where the surgeons
Had revived me
One step from paradise.
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry