Flash Fiction

Therapeutic Waltz

Written by: Marie Strobel

Nomi was a large man. Beefy, strong, he had a beard that shadowed his neck at all times. He enjoyed being alone, he was a thinker, a storyteller, a contemplator and a philosopher.

But to his best friend, Harold Tote, he was, in all ways and respects, a therapist.

Harold would walk into Nomi’s home, take off his coat, and immediately describe the day he was having. He’d tell him of the ups, the downs, the all-arounds, and how wonderful, yet horrible, his life was turning out to be.

And Nomi would just look at him, and hold up a blank, red card, before taking a quick glance at the calendar on the wall, which read January 10th, 2008.

“What color is this?” Nomi would ask.

“Red,” Harold would answer confidently.

“No, it’s blue.”

“No, it’s red.”

“It’s blue,” Nomi would argue like this until Harold finally laid back in his seat, feeling defeated and crazy. And then, Nomi would flip the card over, and there on the other side, the card was in fact painted blue.

Nomi would chuckle, before saying, “don’t give an answer before you know both sides of the situation.”

And Harold would think about it for a moment before getting up, thanking Nomi for his time, and then going home, wondering how in the world this lesson applied to anything he had said.

And Nomi would get up, rip off the paper that read January 10th, and go and make himself something to eat.

The next day, Harold would walk in. Nomi would be waiting for him, and Harold would take off his coat, sit down, describe his day in full detail, and in full duplication of the day before.

And Nomi would smile to himself before picking up his red and blue card, and glancing over at the calendar, which read January 10th, 2008.

The Woman Above Me

Written by: Brandon Patterson

I do not peek. I dare not open an eye. Neighbors have told me about the woman who lived here; how she was hushed from life with the heavy end of a hammer. Maybe that’s why she smells of aluminum. It comes faint but before long the smell fills my head. It’s the scent of a musty closet filled with rusted daggers.

That’s when I know it’s time to close my eyes. That’s when she is coming-as she is now, right above me. I have slept in this bed for two years now and she hasn’t missed one rainy night. She must have feared the rain, or worse, maybe she enjoyed it. Her breath is cool, so cool it edges on stinging. Still, the animal-like breathing brushes back my bangs, like a mother to a feverish child. She must have had long beautiful hair. Although I’ve never had the nerve to look, I can feel it. A collection of strands sometimes brush across my cheek; I think, daring me to open my eyes and to see what was done to her. To gaze upon her destroyed face. I would see the dent in her skull, her left eye crushed and hanging. She wants me to see her pain, maybe to feel it. But I do not peek. I dare not open an eye.


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