50 MM Microfiction Contest

Issue Five

BENDING THE TRUTH AT THE LOCAL BRANCH

Gauguin quit the bank at 44. I think it was Gauguin. He always wanted the world to be mesmerized by orange, pink, and the color of the sea drying out on some canvas. It must have been all that mahogany that got him to go. Do I have the right guy? Men and women leave...

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Remember the Magic

1. Remember the crimson smoulder of my rage? When the crude tedium of life lacking lustre was too much—or too little—to bear. The echo of my fury knocked against the riverbank—This isn’t how it was supposed to be!...to be!...to be! Your warm mittened hand melted anger...

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Asheville

It was a couple years ago, in Asheville. My birthday weekend, Greyhound ticket, reservation at a hostel, but only for the first night. I hadn’t thought much past that. It was gulping air in that crowded bus, sitting in September Carolina heat, passing a jackknife on...

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The Effect of Tears

Babies lay in the living room-slash-workshop, thrown on dirty blankets or in broken cradles. Babushka watched them by yelling to the others to keep them quiet. Alexia was the only worker without kids, and Viktor laughed about it every time she began to bleed. “Still...

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Parental Concerns

To him, it’s as if his daughter eloped with a cretin, for though they sent her to college to become a nurse, she now calls herself a writer. She loves fiction! She loves writing! And so, this afternoon, he follows her email link and reads one of her stories, recently...

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Crush

I have been grinding my teeth in my sleep. I buried my grandfather. I have been waking up at 6am without an alarm clock. I went to the dentist for the first time since my dad left. I am having feelings again. You can replace teeth. I am normally good at ignoring the...

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Worms

Those men who, transformed into small worms, multiplied in paths and directions of the square. They pointed their sharp moustaches to the roots of the green trees. The trees have no longer green leaves. And through the historical transformation era, the trees stopped...

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Bump

Behind the playground, up in the dark woods, lives a man, my classmates say, who'll eat us if we stray there. I'd pay to see that, as long as it isn't me he eats. Maybe Bucky Haggard, who picks on me, or the little girl who sits behind me and whispers in my ear how...

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Yes. Invoke the Big Madison Immediately!

Yes the start. That legendary time when all was fresh and simple but—at the same time both solemn and hilarious simultaneously—which like the day rubber got invented by accident and  popped off some overheated iron oven and hit the ground all bouncy bouncy in a way...

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How This Will End

I drag my left foot on the jagged earth. The last time I took the foot out of my boot, it was swollen, like a light bulb, the ankle bruised blue. I try to shift my weight onto the right foot, but on the steep slopes I am forced to use the left foot again. I clench my...

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In his free time

In his free time the off-duty cop sipped his coffee. Later, he might stop by the pool hall. The owner, a shaky old guy, was always complaining about “hoodlums” and telling the cop he could play for free. Trouble is, he didn’t want free. But even now, the waitress...

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Hairpins

Tucked inside his father’s arm, Roger listens to his father read the familiar story—“Fee Fie Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman!”—but something is different. He has never been such a despondent or angry or loud giant. Somehow Roger knows that his father is...

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Being a Woman

You’re from Denver—you like the cold? You a skier? Oh, I’m sorry, I’m interrupting you. What are you writing there? Oh, you’re a writer. What are you writing about? I mean, what do you really want to discover? Oh, by the way, my name is: So Nancy—can I call you...

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To Dream in Pixels

When I tell them sunset’s basically a guy in a purple toupee and a cheap orange sarong faking a sky, they tell me all the books I’ve read must’ve messed up my brain. When I tell them I want a divorce they tell me a good woman says no such thing. When I tell my Oby/Gen...

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Her Alphabet

There's the way you see lines of the palm cut short by a scar there on the hand where once a kitchen knife may have slipped. He used to tell her he would see her without so much travel, odds and ends, or his adventures. A day ahead, a week later. A month goes by. “I...

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Losing It

Hektor unzips his pants, letting them drop to the floor. He recalls the first time he and Deborah made love. Loud squelching sounds echoed as they writhed, slipping and sliding up and down creamy Naugahyde seats, the afternoon they christened his new Chevrolet. Now,...

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