Tag Archives: flash fiction

After the Movie

March 23, 2013

It was the stupid commercial that finally pushed her over the edge. The hot office broad, up on her desk like a pole dancer, and those goofy executive types leering at her. Be more attractive to your employers, it said, and I laughed.

Rachel jumped up off the couch and took a few jerky steps toward the kitchen. I thought at first she was going for more snacks. Then she turned on me, hair flying around her head in a pale yellow storm.

“You goddamned men. You’re all the same.”

I didn’t stand a chance. “Rach…it was just a commercial. What’s the big deal?” Is this another one of your rape things? I almost said.

“If you’d been with me that night, instead of out drinking with your fucking football buddies, it never would have happened.”

I could only stare up at her, my mouth stopped up tight, my hands making these little butterfly motions. Was she broken for good?

Seeing that yet another apology wasn’t forthcoming, she stomped off to the bedroom, her slight form refusing to lend an ounce of floor-pounding credence to her anger. I heard the bath water, and then the snick of the lock. Looked like I was sleeping on the couch again.

Read the rest: http://www.pendulinepress.com/author-article-archives/after-the-movie/

Yesterday my wife caught me with a picture of her best friend Liz. It was the one of her at the Christmas party, wearing the skimpy red dress and the reindeer antlers. It’s my favorite photo.

So I’m standing there, the photo of Liz propped against the bottle of expensive hand cream Jen always buys, and she busts through the bathroom door like it’s the last toilet on earth.

“Jesus, Jen. Ever heard of knocking?”

She takes one look at the photo and starts bawling. “That was my favorite picture of her,” she says. I try to explain, telling her that even though I’ve been seeing Liz for five years, nearly as long as Jen and I’ve been married, it’s not what she thinks.

She doesn’t buy it. “Bastard,” she says, and runs for the car keys.

My belt buckle scrapes across the kitchen floor as I follow her. She tries to jam her shoes on but the laces have knotted. As I reach to help she pushes me away, furious. “Pull up your pants, pervert.”

I want to tell her she looks like Patty Duke when she’s mad. “I love you, Jennifer,” I plead.

She opens the door to leave and I offer up a last ditch cliché. “She doesn’t mean anything,” I say. But we both know that’s a lie. Liz means everything to me.

Read the rest: http://www.redfez.net/fiction/492

Three weeks ago, I bought a new barbeque grill. It’s one of those big stainless steel jobs, with three burners, a flush-mount auxiliary burner, and 10,000 BTU. That was right before I burned off my facial hair. I’m not talking about a flash of heat and a quick curl of the eyelashes here. I leaned down to push the starter…click, click, click, and WHOOSH! It was like Ground Zero at the Trinity nuclear test site. My neighbor Jim laughed so hard he fell off the picnic table. What a jerk.

I’ve been learning to grill since I got married. I’d be happy eating casseroles and TV dinners, but Marie is in love with grilled meat.  Ribs, chicken, brisket—you name it. Once she even made me grill the Thanksgiving turkey. That was the year we had Chinese takeout, after I got her to agree the bird was beyond salvage.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind cooking for her. But I’d rather do it indoors, where it’s safe. Grilling is dangerous. Charcoal briquettes are chock full of toxic chemicals. Those long-handled cooking implements? You could put an eye out with the fork Marie bought for my birthday last year. And everyone knows that grilled meat causes cancer. I tell her these things and she rolls her eyes, then hands me a platter of raw cow meat.

“Get outside. I’m hungry.”

Read the rest: http://www.clevermag.com/essays2/barbecue.htm

Many people struggle with small talk, especially on a city bus. To Mark Hallman, the bus was like a family reunion where you can’t remember the name of your gap-toothed cousin, or that of the drunk uncle in the Chicago Bears jersey. Every weekday he left the quiet of the Lynwood Mall Park ‘n Ride and, with the apprehension of a visit to the proctologist, climbed into the echoing anonymity of the 13E. From there he rode twenty-five minutes to his job at the credit union, silent and uncomfortable among familiar strangers. Today, Mark would change all that.

To his left sat the young man with the sailor tattoo—Mark called him Popeye (never to his face, of course). Three seats back, the noisy couple who stepped off every day at Murdock Street argued again about who would cook dinner that night. In the very rear of the bus was a plump but not unattractive girl in a tartan knee-length dress and thick Harry Potter glasses. She was staring at him, again. And two seats before Mark was the woman he would someday marry.

Read the rest at First Stop Fiction: http://www.firststopfiction.com/?p=282

Billy Hamilton

November 1, 2012

The day Billy Hamilton drowned at the New Highland Public Swimming Pool, it was hot. It had been hot for weeks, even for West Texas in June. The weather was a tick on a tired dog, heavy and bloated. Afternoon tornadoes square-danced across the dusty horizon like fierce lovers; thunderstorms crackled in at sunset and setup to stay the night. By morning, the storms were long gone, leaving a few downed power lines and wind-shorn trees, but never a drop of rain. It was hot.

That’s why Billy was at the pool. Of course—every kid in New Highland was there that day, except for the losers like Keith Mackenbrook, sentenced to summer school for failing math and art. Who flunks art class? Or Scooter Jones and the rest of the football jocks—busy tackling colorful burlap dummies, and running sweaty laps round the dirt patch the town called an athletic field.

Read the rest at Foundling Review: http://www.foundlingreview.com/Oct2012Issue1Hanson.html

Leaving the Keys

September 10, 2012

Tired and dirty, Jimbo sat in the center of an empty kitchen, determined to drink until he felt normal again. Empty cans of Miller Lite surrounded the legs of the folding chair on which he was perched, a chair more accustomed to the vagaries of family gatherings and picnics at the lake than hard ceramic tile.

Wrapped around him was the cold blanket of plaster, wood, and tile where he’d spent most of his forties and fifties. The floor creaked and the doors squeaked; the roof leaked when it rained. The furnace belched out occasional but alarming gouts of foul- smelling smoke. And yet, one-hundred and thirty-seven payments more and it would have been his. His and Melissa’s.

Read the rest at Eunoia Review: http://eunoiareview.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/leaving-the-keys/

Jihad

July 24, 2011

I enter this airport, this city where nobody lives, suburb of nothing, a specious, spacious, cynical gateway with walls of steel and glass, a pass-through place pulsing with fragile, firefly lives and echoes of the droning voices of salesmen and consultants, bankers and real-estate experts and seminar-attendees who carry complex solutions to nothing.

A highly-paid, arm-waving, finger-pointing businessman cuts before me, failing to notice anyone with skin darker than his as he gesticulates his carefully rehearsed bullet points and negotiates his fifth big deal of the month via Bluetooth headset, until much later tonight he’ll call his family from a hotel room in Orlando or LA or Philly for their previously scheduled Skype videoconference.

Read the rest at Clockwise Cat: http://clockwisecat.blogspot.com/2011/07/jihad-satire-by-kip-hinson.html

The Last Carol

July 7, 2011

My brother is a real baby sometimes. I can understand the kid’s only nine, but…okay, it’s like this. It was two days before Christmas. He’d been bugging me since breakfast, saying it was Christmas Eve-Eve. And that night, we were sitting around the tree: arranging the presents, hanging tinsel, stringing the lights. Mom and Dad and Kyle and me. Of course, Dad had come home late – another executive advertising meeting, he claimed – so Mom was a little bitchy. He told her if she didn’t like it, she could always get a job of her own. She shut up after that.

But there we were, and it was okay for a while. Listening to Christmas carols. Drinking hot apple cider with those little cinnamon sticks. Dad was slurping away at some eggnog. Normally I don’t go in for all this family stuff. I would rather have been in my room listening to some of my own music. Reading Harry Potter, playing Call of Duty, whatever. But I admit it was sort of festive. And then the whole deal with Kyle started.

Read the rest at Full of Crow http://www.fullofcrow.com/fiction/archivedstories/711hanson/

HIroshima’s Children

March 23, 2011

Albert Einstein woke from a dream of dogs ripping at his flesh. With the moon’s ghostly photons streaming through the blinds, he sat in his bed and rubbed his legs. He looked at the faded picture of Roosevelt on the nightstand, his Nobel Peace Prize, and thought about the children of Hiroshima: in the late summer heat, with the sound of the aircraft droning overhead, did they look to their kimonoed mothers and ask why? He told himself Bohr would have signed the letter to Roosevelt anyway. But still, he wondered if it hurt, in that last moment before they burned.

Posted at 101 Words http://www.101words.org/hiroshimas-children/. Thinking about a rewrite

A New Life

September 20, 2010

I was waiting in the beauty shop for my wife to be done with her cut and color when it hit me. Maybe it was the simpy crooning of the GooGoo Dolls coming from overhead, or the dog-eared copy of Vogue I’d by then scanned three times for lingerie ads. Or maybe it’s just that I was two days from Monday and dreading another week of the nine-to-five bullshit. It didn’t matter – sitting in that damned uncomfortable chair, my hemorrhoids burning like a son of a bitch, I finally realized what I want to do with my life.

I would become a hairdresser.

Read the rest at Every Day Fiction http://www.everydayfiction.com/a-new-life-by-kip/

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