Friday Fictioneers

Waiting For Eight

Stuart ordered a cup of coffee. He poured cream into it and stirred it in. He swiveled his stool part way around to keep an eye on the building across the street. The man sitting next to him was eating a donut, breaking it in half and dunking one of the halves into the coffee,

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Sick As Your Secrets

A small-town doctor who buys a daily half gallon of whiskey causes gossip.  During the course of a week, I’d hit six different liquor stores in three different towns, none of which I lived in. I’d dispose of the empties the same way, hauling the bottles to the landfill or a dumpster behind a bar. I never drank in

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Århus

The sun felt good on her face. She closed her jet-lagged eyes and breathed in the spring smells. Flowers, baking bread. “Må jeg bringe dig noget at drikke?” She looked up to see the waiter,  his crisp white shirt and black vest. The sun gave his blue eyes an otherworldly glow. She reached for her Danish phrasebook.

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The Invisible Air

It is only when she doesn’t seek  him that she knows he is truly there. She feels his breath on her collar, yet will not turn to see. She believes her eyes have the power to make him disappear, perhaps forever, and this she will not do. His presence does not comfort, does not agitate. She does

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Stuck In The Middle With Mother

Mother’s mediocrity was so consistently applied that it almost became a kind of excellence. She wasn’t especially bad at anything. Nor was she particularly good. In everything she did, Mother was merely adequate. The many dinners she cooked for us excited no praise, yet were always eaten without complaint. When she gave gifts, they were accepted but rarely used

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Take Out

Her hands shook as she fumbled out her keys, the pizza box wedged between her arm and the doorframe. Once inside, she set down the box, and locked the deadbolt and chain,  checked the windows. She grabbed the leftover wine she’d brought home from Saturday’s disastrous blind date and drank straight from the bottle. She opened the

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Avarice

“What is it supposed to be?” he asked. I could see the disappointment on his face. I felt the old fury rising. My selfish son. I struggled  to keep my voice calm. “It’s a bicycle, John.” “It looks weird. The wheels don’t turn. And what’s with the seat?” “It’s a work of art. Your aunt

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Stranger In Our Midst

She gets out the car, phone in her hand. Her brother is waiting for her on the jetty, his tie askew. She points at it. “Aren’t you going to take that off now? The lawyer didn’t come.” He smiles, tugs the tie around like noose, sticks his tongue out. “Grim,” she smiles, turning back to

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The Medical Opinion

The doctor sits across from us at the steel table, mouth pursed. My wife’s hand goes clammy in mine. “Well,” says the doctor, “aside from the things he says he sees, your son does not show any signs of mental illness. None.” “That’s a relief,” I say, smiling. “Isn’t it, honey?” “You said aside from the things

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Hamilton

Word comes down from our senior officers to prepare for evacuation. We busy ourselves making rucksacks and gathering our belongings. I linger in the room and pry up the floorboard to my hidey hole. One of the cartons of cigarettes is missing. In its place is a small German army musette bag. I open the flap.

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