I haven’t done it for a while but if I lie very still God strokes my hair. God’s voice sounds like Burt Reynolds’ in Smokey and the Bandit. He doesn’t actually say the Bandit’s lines but his attitude is, What’s there to lose? Everything’s simple actually, take the double or nothing offer, laugh all the way. And I’m there in my Wonder Why Place agonising about making the world a better place and feeling like I need to get cracking with it, and I thank God The Bandit’s voice has all the answers! Though most of the time he’s actually asking me questions in that sneaky way that makes me do all the finding of the answers, ‘cause God told me there’s no point in sitting anyone down and telling anyone anything. That’s the fundamental intentional flaw he drew in at the beginning and it’s the reason for the add-ons, it makes the story have no end, we call it evolution he says, it means that every living thing on the planet is never just a repetition but has a distinct add-on that causes a reaction, and people discover their add-ons for themselves. And in my Wonder Why Place I’m thinking about how some people have big obvious add-ons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and others don’t know they are adding on like Rosa Parks, and we only find out some people’s add-ons after they’re dead like Anne Frank, and there are people whose add-ons were overshadowed by someone else’s add-on like Sylvia Plath, and I wonder what my small add-on might be, maybe as a mother, and then it makes me think of someone I know whose mother tried her best to add-on but those add-ons messed that someone up so she wishes she could take away the add-ons, and before long I see why Sally Field hops into that speeding car in her bridal gown and says to Burt that he has a lyrical way of cutting through the bullshit, and he says to her that she has a unique way with the English language.
Marissa writes flash from a small town in the Swiss Alps. Her work has been shortlisted at Bath Flash Fiction Award, long listed at The London Independent Story Prize, TSS 400, three times at Reflex Press and she’s had a win at Ad Hoc Fiction. She occasionally tweets @Hoffmannwriter and you can find links to her published work at Marissahoffmann.com.