Five Short Short Short Stories
This is a new venture for me. I hope you enjoy these short, short stories, and I greatly covet your feedback!
A recently widowed woman, impoverished by her dead husband's poor horticultural investments, held a pre-eviction yard sale. Her lawn sported furniture, clothes, linens, dishes, books and an exquisite blue orchid, in full bloom, priced $1.00. A cardboard box sat nearby, labeled, "Fertilizer - Free With Flower." The widow smiled inscrutably as she watched the young mother who purchased the orchid tenderly load it and the box into her mini-van and drive away. A week later, the younger woman noticed a sticker affixed to the box's bottom. It read, "For Crematorium Use - Contains Human Remains."
I dive from the top of the tree, spiraling downward, a flutter, a spike, a once upon a time link to the future. Below, children play in the dirt, with plastic babies, toys, dishes, metal cars, pistols, men. One little tow-headed chap observes my landing and picks me up by my bottom, examines me, twirls me around. Then, toothpick fashion, he stabs me into his sister's arm. She cries.
"Good mornin', Mr. Dean! How you been gettin' on?
The greeter, emerging slowly from her curb parked car, was a plus sized black woman with thick glasses, a flashing smile, and support hose.
Dean Bullard, middle aged and system dimmed, sat on the bench by the post office, scraping his nails with the point of a knife.
"Not too bad, Miss Emma," he murmured softly. "Fair to middlin', I'd say."
Then, being a man of few words, Dean put the knife in his pocket, stood up, touched his hat, and shambled down the sidewalk.
Edna was the kind of woman who believed in keeping things up, and that everything should be done a certain way.
Her husband, Milton, left her one clear autumn day, after sixteen and a half years of marriage. He neglected to take with him his tape measure, his toolbox and his power tools, but left behind a half mounted bric-a-brac shelf, not quite centered.
All winter, Edna continued adding to the honey-do list on the refrigerator: re-caulk bathroom tub, put insulation in attic, paint garage, replace mailbox post. Instead of nagging the honey-gone, she became the honey-who-did. She watched DIY shows on TV and worked through her list her damn self. Martha Stewart helped.
Edna, alone now, was pleased with the work.
His name was William Arthur Linton, and he left his small, Southern town of origin at a young age, having discovered early that his was not an exact fit.. He did not return until his diagnosis of cancer, at the age of fifty-six. With him came a lady-friend from New Orleans, Pascaline Bertrand, a French woman of indeterminate age and tittering laugh, who asserted her identity as a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte. While William Arthur awaited death, he occupied himself giving large parties, coloring Pascaline's graying locks in the back yard with the water hose, and inviting neighborhood children to color his living room walls with crayons.
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