20 thoughts on “Reader Friday: Short Short Fiction

  1. She walked right by me. Didn’t even slow down. Glanced at my shirt, made it as far as my tie, then she was gone, all five feet two inches of her lost in the crowd.

    Lost my life all over again, right there in the middle of the sidewalk. Sure, I’d lost a lot of weight and put on sunglasses but she should have at least recognized the tie. She bought it for me before I left. Ten years ago.

    The crowd thinned at the cross walk, most turning right towards the coffee shop, some hurrying straight on, due at work no doubt. Only one stopped, turned around. and looked back.

  2. Jerry dashed down the sidewalk reading texts on her phone, slamming into others, neither saying excuse me or sorry.

    One text was from her brother Tom: You’ve got to come home this Christmas.

    “Not going to happen,” Jerry mumbled.

    The first of eleven from her soon to be ex read: I WANT MY SPORTS MEMORBILIA COLLECTION AND FIDO. BE PREPARED FOR A FIGHT.

    “Bring it on.”

    The last person Jerry crashed into, crossing the street, was a priest, but she didn’t like priests or preachers or anyone else telling her what to do. Then Jerry fell into the open manhole

  3. He’d thought it’d be harder. Lost in the crowd, he laughed.

    His ex, Gwen, had let him in on such a flimsy pretext, then left him standing by the counter with those baubles on it. By the time she realized they were missing, they’d be fenced, and he’d be gone.

    His nose twitched at a a faint trace of Shalimar. Stodgy, but Gwen’s favorite. That’s why he was looking the wrong way when the knife stabbed through his side, piercing his heart.

    From the pavement, the last thing he saw was Gwen, case in hand, losing herself in the crowd.

  4. She had no idea the silver haired man behind her would be on the news tonight. It never entered her mind as they reached the corner and waited for a delivery van to run through the yellow light that his arm would thrust out, strike between her shoulder blades and send her sprawling. She wouldn’t see the news. Ever.

  5. Kathy, bent over, texted, “Got him! You didn’t say he’d be walking his dog. Stupid in this crowd. Keeps looking down at it. A yapper.”
    She hit send, tightened her scarf and paced the mark. She smelled roasting chestnuts. Her mouth watered despite the chill.
    “You’d yap too tied to that creep. Bad idea, rush hour,” filled her screen.
    “Wrong. He drops, the crowd hovers and I’m on the 5:20 eastbound before the saps realize he’s history.”
    She waited, read, “What about Curly? I like that dog.”
    “Gotta go.” She drifted closer. “Jeez, time for a career change.”

  6. It’s not the man in the retro commissar’s cap, or the suit-and-tie. Not the girl in the scarf texting. You see those. The one you don’t see, that’s the one who knows what’s under the manhole, right behind the “Chill” poster. The one counting out a hundred paces, thumb on the button.

  7. You’d think walking down Fifth Avenue in NYC would be a simple thing on a cold day. Every Friday, I did my bookstore route, stopping in a Gino’s for a slice or two and a Pepsi. But that was just before the bomb went off, creating both hell AND high water.

    The explosion didn’t sound like either POW or KABOOM! I I didn’t have time to think what it sounded like. A 30-year career in the Marines made me turn toward what was happening behind me. Something gray and pink was in my face.

    The battle to dodge it and grab it ended when I threw open my arms and–WHOOF!–I grabbed it.
    I blinked at it. It was a little girl in her gray coat and pink scarf. She blinked. Then life returned to her eyes. She turned. She screamed. “DADDY! DADDY!”

    [Sorry. a lot more than 100 words. But I’ve never let limits hinder my story telling.]

  8. C’mon, Really, six four, clean cut, dark glasses, are they graduating high schoolers from the fbi academy now? He’s focused on the fat guy with the military cap, to tight jacket and flag scarf, besides they don’t know they are looking for a woman, and I am going to sail right by under his nose. Amazing what a fifty dollar bill will do. Even the fat guy doesn’t know that I am a women, when they grab him, the description he will give will just add to my very carefully constructed profile…

  9. The View Down Here

    By Berthold

    At three feet tall in a six feet world, one might think it an unenviable view we suffer. The fact is we have the prime vista. For you see we are always just below the radar of the takers, who’re always looking at the clouds to steal from those above. We’re yet above eyes of the slakers, ogling the ground for labor free crumbs. We’re right in line with the makers, whose hands are on the plow, minds and eyes on the work. This is where real things become and life is truly lived.

  10. What I See Behind The Masks

    Fillii’s Farseen Faces

    Mustache Man thinking of a burger
    Curly Girl praying love won’t hurt her
    Sunglass Guy pondering a merger
    Side Glance Suit contemplating murder

  11. “Keep moving,” the voice in his right ear hissed.

    Darrell felt the barrel of a large handgun in his back. Right between the plates of his armor. He stopped on instinct.

    With surprising heft, she shoved again.

    “Move. Your tall friend back there is a prime sniper target.”

    The mission was all, thought Darrell.

    He stiffened and toppled in her direction. Part way through his fall, he felt the slug burning his back. His dead weight crushed the petite assassin.

    Lying there, breathing his last, Darrell regretted ignoring his wife’s nagging about a new vest.

    He died. They all died.

  12. I know I’m late, but here goes:


    Being a pre-cog sucks. Being a pre-cog on the crowded streets of New York is the parking lot two levels below sucks. The slightest touch I have to soak up their angst and drama.

    Red scarf lady, it’s twins.

    ‘Mr. Power Tie, the indictments were unsealed this morning.

    My phone chirped and I plowed into a big guy with a black billed cap.


    A quick count and I dove out of the way.

    I hope this fur hood covers my hair until it grows out after my gender-reassignment surgery.


  13. Donna and Melinda coordinated their stakeout of “The Patriot” via text message. The man–today he wore an American flag tie–lumbered down the street. He had been identified as the favorite bodyguard of Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross, the most wanted socialite in the Northeast. The FBI figured that he wouldn’t suspect two ‘self-involved teenagers engrossed in technology’ as the female agents had disguised themselves. The Patriot spent every Tuesday taking Ms. Ross’ two spoiled dogs, Lady and Liberty, each insured for $1 million, to the Poodle Parlor Doggie Spa. If The Patriot couldn’t ensure the safety of the dogs, the elusive Ms. Ross would have to come out of hiding and Donna and Melinda were ready to take her down.

  14. John rolled his head to the side without taking his eyes off his target. He wanted to yank the goddamn tie from his neck. It was choking him to death, but he didn’t dare. Sweat rolled down his back. He kept walking. Breathing was harder, suffocating. He pulled at the overcoat. He felt like he was buried alive. Ignoring the angry woman rushing past he glanced at the crosswalk, the changing light. He watched with horror as the man stepped from the curb and disappeared. He fell to his knees as her cries, “Daddy,” ripped through his soul.

Comments are closed.