by Christopher Albert
Flash Fiction 2018
It was a grueling thirteen months for Theresa. After being promoted to CEO of a company that already required much of her time, the commemoration was revered only by her bank, but never extended that same deference at home.
Her time away and dedication to her career would eventually lead to a delicately-handled divorce from a decades-long marriage, be it an easy excuse used by an indifferent partner. Given the already ill-fated circumstances, it would prove even more painful for Theresa to learn of her mother’s stage 4 diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma soon thereafter. The enduring Theresa, finally broken.
The hours, days, weeks and months to come were all borrowed time towards working hard to ensure that her mother’s quality of life would never be depreciated.
This evening, sitting silently by her mother’s bedside, Theresa regained composure after an extensive weep. She remained secure in knowing that there was nothing left to do differently, and after taking stock of all their shared moments together, she was sure they had done it all, and more importantly, left nothing unsaid.
Keeping her mother’s wishes, Theresa reluctantly – yet dutifully – gave the attending physician the okay, to gently let her mother off life support.
A MOTHER'S DAY TALE
Flash Fiction 2018
Tiffany let her evocative, silk purple negligee fall gently to the floor, when an even gentler knock struck upon her bedroom door. Though she barely heard it, she did see its accompanying shadow loom through the frosted glass. She hurriedly cupped her prosperous bosoms with one hand and grabbed a bat with the other. At 12:30 a.m., and with her boyfriend Larry thousands of miles away on a business trip, she was frightened. And armed.
For Tiffany – a Marine vet – screaming or calling the police was not part of her plan, rather, she remained stealthily calm. It wasn’t clear yet if the peculiar silhouette on the other side was even real; she did down two glasses of Pink Moscato just fifteen minutes prior, so it could very well be an apparition she thought.
That was, until the strange, dim knock advanced once again.
Tiffany resigned to the reality that she would have to fend off who – or whatever it was at the other end of that opaque doorway. She raised her bat, revealing every inch of her naked work-of-art, swung open the door, and launched into left-handed swings that would make even ex-Yankees infielder, A-Rod, and his steroid dealer proud. Not only was her beautifully papered wall freshly decorated with holes, but her phantom friend unexpectedly ruptured into a piercing shriek. Falling feebly to the floor, Tiffany cowered beside her bat, as her adversary’s shrill softened to a small chuckle.
Standing beside her with a mischievous grin, Tiffany’s unsuspecting visitor was none other than her eleven-month-old son, Brendan, flaunting his first successful walk across the hallway. And apparently, his first climb out of the crib.
Relieved, Tiffany was glad she hadn’t unintentionally killed her own infant, and happier to know that it was just his diaper, that smelled like death.
SOUP KITCHEN KERFUFFLE
Flash Fiction 2018
“She’s disgusting,” Marianne said with her nose up in the air. “Why would anyone ever walk out the house without at least the decency to brush the hair on their head?” she continued to gripe.
I tried to explain to Marianne that the hippie, ‘rolled-out-of-bed’ look was making a comeback, and that Pamela was only sixteen – young enough to experiment with her hair, clothes and whatever else she wanted to, without a care.
“But we are in church for crying out loud! The lord can’t be pleased about this.”
Marianne wasn’t lying, but if truth were to actually be told, we were there as volunteers, “not as worshipers,” I reminded her.
“Well,” Marianne hissed, “shouldn’t she be wearing a hair net like we are? If not to cover up that mop, then to comply with the hygiene code or some junk like that?”
“Not necessarily. We may be handling the food, but she’s the entertainment.”
“More like a meandering circus act, if you ask me,” Marianne muttered underneath her stale, peppermint gum breath. Also – I never asked.
I didn’t understand Marianne’s sudden interest/abhorrence toward the young woman, but as soon Pamela put down her guitar, Marianne had to serve her.
HELLO DOWN THERE...IT'S ME
Flash Fiction 2018
Excuse me…hello. Yes, you dear reader. It’s me, GOD. The God to be exact. For many, I am the supposed ruler of all creation, and yet, even I can’t get an adequate cell signal around here.
Despite being the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, I’ve never even graduated High School. How cray is that? Not that I need the formal education. Anything I can dare dream up just magically happens. You should see some of things I could accomplish in just seven days. Actually, make that six - I tend to get a little lazy on Sundays.
Believe it or not, most of my creations that ‘appear’ to be majestic, are admittedly, gastrological. Take the Sun, for example. Perhaps you believe that it’s somehow part of my grand design, but in reality: that’s me...having indigestion. And it’s excruciatingly painful.
God forbid anyone thinks about making an antacid pill celestial enough for me. Though, maybe it’s for the best. If my intestines weren’t so tightly wound in discomfort, you dear friends would have to go on about your days without the warmth of sunlight. And trust me when I say: Melanoma is far safer than a vampire infestation.
Then there’s the Moon – can you believe that guy? Always freeloading its light from the Sun without so much as a gift basket in return! I don’t even know where that thing came from. What I do know is that when you see a Solar Eclipse, I’m constipated as f**k.
I’m excited to share with you my latest endeavor, however: The Apocalypse.
Ha. I’m kidding, of course. My actual aspiration is to go back to school. I have enthusiastically registered for online classes at the University of Phoenix. This should be easy – I mean, what teacher knows more than I?
Another Christmas season was under way, which fretfully meant one thing for Lucille: she and Santa had some serious reconciling to do.
Last year’s holiday was not exactly cheery, for either of them. In fact, it was a downright disaster. Lucy-Poo (that’s what the elves call her), was saddened to see Santa storm up her chimney the way he did, all because he was irritatingly upset about the cookie-deficient choice of snacks she had set out for him: a platter of carrots, cucumbers and celery sticks. To be fair, she did have plenty of cookies to spare – oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and peanut butter crunch. What she didn’t have were the facts: Santa had become a big giant baby.
After many years of delivering toys to spoiled, little rotten children, the jolly one himself degenerated into a spoiled rotten imp. He’s actually the very reason Webster’s Dictionary™ added ‘Santantrum’ to their collection.
While Lucy-Boo (that’s what Mrs. Claus calls her), thought it amusing to gift Santa some vegetables, he was miffed, and didn’t even take the time to wink an eye before huffing and puffing onto his sleigh. It was what Lucille loved the most about his visits, however creepy it appeared.
Lucy-Loo (what Lucy Liu calls her), tried to make amends, and the very next morning made a pilgrimage to the mall’s Meet-and-Greet with St. Nick. It was there that she was notified by her bank that she was dejectedly clear in the red, and unable to afford the ten-dollar price tag the trip demanded.
Santa never did notice her there, atop of that lovely high horse of his, but from where she stood – where the middle-class has dissipated – a new pair of shoes to replace the ones with a hole in it, was too much of an extravagance.