I began my writing career with “flash fiction,” which is defined as very short stories. I self-published a book of flash, Characters in Search of a Novel, which is still and always available on Amazon. Although I went on to write novels (my second, Crossing the Street, is available for preorder on Amazon, published by The Story Plant), I still love to write flash fiction. I can’t seem to stop! I publish these on Medium, a website for writers and readers, and I write there for Literati Magazine. Here is one of my latest, which, of course, I also illustrate!
MARA COOPER KNOWS NOT HER POWER
I love her. Here are some of the things that I would do for Mara: I would eat sushi for her, even though the idea of raw fish makes my insides churn. I would have lunch for seven consecutive days with my Aunt Gert, and I would smile every time she told the same story about how hard she worked at the brassiere factory (why this would impress Mara is anyone’s guess, but I would do this just to suffer for Mara’s love). I would get a tattoo of Mara’s name in a secret place, so as not to embarrass her. I would kiss her after she eats garlic toast.
I would get her flowers every Friday and deliver them in person to her door. Ok, maybe I would have them delivered, because she might think I was a stalker otherwise. I would not buy her chocolates, because she does Paleo. I would look directly into her eyes and smile at her often, because women like men with confidence. I would never walk behind her, unless, of course, she wanted me to.
I would take her to the theatre to see depressing plays about people in crisis. I would sit through all the movies she likes about time travel. I would read all the Stephen King Dark Tower books, even though I think they are boring, because Mara carries one of them into work every day and reads it during break.
Mara loves soup. I know this, because she orders it in for lunch all the time. She eats it properly, with the spoon held parallel to her lips. I would do this, too. Mara has remarked that soup is all one needs for a perfect meal-soup and candle light. I would eat that hot, watery broth with a few leeks floating in it and declare myself sated. For her.
I would start jogging, because Mara has “running a marathon” on her bucket list. I would get those legging things, so that I would look good trying to keep up with Mara in her Lulumen-Lulomom-Lulubel (whatever they are) togs.
I would be patient but persistent. Not stalky or creepy. Just there for her. I would have a handkerchief ready for sad situations, and a pocket full of change for parking meters.
I would kill anybody who tried to hurt her. I would send her mother flowers on Mother’s Day. I stop smoking. I would grow a goatee. I would try to give up watching football. I would start wearing aftershave, but not Axe. I would learn how to tell jokes.
I would throw myself under a train for her.
I am not sure how to introduce myself. “Hi, I am Clayton. I have worked one cubicle over from you for a year.” That just doesn’t cut it. “Hey, Clayton here, you know — from accounting!” GOD, no. “Hey there! Clayton. I am only doing this job until I get out of law school.” (Better. Note to self: apply to law school). “Hi. I’m Clay.” Shit.
Damnation. Here she comes. I got nada.