Saint

The lady was nervous. She had not been to see him before, he was sure, because he knew all his parishioners down to the last detail. Though he could not see her face, he would have known her by her breath, or by her hesitation. Those he knew learned not to hesitate.

When eventually she spoke, she spoke in ritual.

“Bless me, father, for I have sinned.”

He had no idea what a sin was anymore. Were it not for this impersonal furniture, he would reach out to her and squeeze the guilt right out. She talked of impure thoughts and impure deeds, of addiction and lust, but nothing she mentioned sounded bad to him. A lot of it sounded fun. She knew what she’d enjoy; her problem was she didn’t know how to enjoy it.

“Do not worry, my child.” He reached in his pocket and pressed a slip of pink paper through the divide. She studied it carefully. He had drawn on the paper a feather rubbing gently against his ceremonial robes. “You tickle my fancy,” read the caption.

He stepped out from his curtain. He pulled hers back and stepped in. They sat in the darkness together and he assured her, “It’s all right. You’re safe with me.”

She let him touch her. God was love, in his way, and to be touched by a man of God was love, too. He wrapped her thigh in his fingers, and she was forgiven. She touched him back under his robes, and was baptized with a million tiny ablutions, all over her face.

#absurd, #god-is-love, #holidays, #microfiction, #obscene, #sacrilege, #valentines

Celebrity

Though she had her collar pulled around her face and generic dark glasses over her eyes, glances accumulated as she emptied her cart onto the conveyor belt. Soon a normal would say something.

“Is that Nancine?”

“I think so!”

She pretended not to hear. She had headphones on after all, giant 1980s style cans. How much of her face did she have to cover before she could hide?

Reaching for the divider, she looked up at the tabloids, just to see what they were saying about her today.

“Nancine Snubs Lovers, Buys Cucumbers”

“Is the icon out of touch with salad trends?”

The cashier made no comment as he bagged her produce. He wished her a good weekend in a welcome, impersonal way.

On the news that night, he described the interaction as “forced.” The newscaster pressed him for more details, and he gave them, describing her clothes and her furtive, prey-animal movements.

“Do you think she’s hiding something?”

“Almost definitely.”

Nancine took another bite of her cucumber sandwich and changed the channel. Some pundits were debating whether her friends had abandoned her or she had abandoned her friends. Had they simply drifted apart? Somebody must know.

The noise of the debate put her to sleep. Tomorrow she would call someone, she told herself. She didn’t have the energy today, but tomorrow, she would.

#absurd, #celebrity, #microfiction, #mundane, #social-anxiety, #social-phobia

Tiny Dragons

His phone was ringing. Gerry didn’t mind calls, especially on a Friday night at home, but Fjorik’s nostrils flared, and it was best not to challenge Fjorik. Bjornhard and Thuumbrig were more agreeable, but Gerry doubted he would challenge them either.

The phone rang again. Somehow it sounded more urgent this time. Gerry picked it up and looked at the display. Holding his breath, he accepted the call. Fjorik rolled over onto his knee.

“Hey, Nancy. What’s going on?” She had nothing prepared. She had called just to talk. He had nothing prepared either, but now they were talking.

“How’s your mother? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Lots of people go through worse though, so I wouldn’t worry too much.” Bjornhard lifted an eyebrow. Thuumbrig turned his head. “Yeah, I’m great. I couldn’t complain if I tried, not that I’m going to try.”

Fjorik was squinting. Every word Gerry said irritated him more.

Gerry wanted to end the conversation, but it hadn’t really begun. He couldn’t well hang up until the call had been justified.

“So do you have any plans tonight?” he heard himself say. He couldn’t believe he said it. The three ancient beasts lifted their eyes and stared Gerry straight in the throat. Thuumbrig sharpened his claws against the scales on his opposite forearms. Fjorik spit a tiny flame that Gerry swatted out with his free hand. He swallowed. “That sounds nice. I’d love to come, I really would. But I’m afraid I have other plans tonight.”

Some other time.

Together, the wyrms closed their eyes, and curled their necks downward, at peace. Gerry reached out to pet them, but they didn’t like to be touched.

He crossed his arms and held himself close.

#absurd, #agoraphobia, #awkward, #dragons, #microfiction, #mythical-creatures, #social-anxiety, #social-phobia

Donkey Kong

Although her photoshoot was only a few blocks away, Pauline was considering other routes. No, she had no good alternative. The most direct path took less than ten minutes to walk. Just getting to the nearest subway station would take longer, and due to construction, any cab would have to make a significant detour.

The construction was the problem. Perhaps she should be more accustomed to unwanted attention, but walking past those men in their hard hats had been beyond uncomfortable. Their obscenities came close to threats, but the worst were their stares. Anything they were doing stopped when she went past, just so they could ogle her in unison from their perches.

Disgusting. Pauline had an idea, though.

“Hey, mama. Why don’t you bring that sweet ass up here?”

“Okay,” she yelled back. “Where do you want me to bring it?”

She crossed the caution tape and let them stare. No one had ever encouraged them. They had no idea what to do.

She lifted her hands in mock surprise. “What’s the matter? Cat got your dicks?” Her voice lowered involuntarily as she cursed. She wasn’t used to speaking their language, but she’d made her point. They looked afraid, almost panicked.

She felt a hand grasp her shoulder. She tried to pull away, but it was strong, and it clenched around her. The thousand-pound gorilla wasn’t as shy as the men were, but what was it doing here?

It carried her and climbed. This had been a mistake, but she couldn’t have known.

“Help!” she cried, and she watched her captor throw barrels and girders at the other apes. She watched a man fall and snap his neck. They couldn’t help. Any attempt they made would result in injury or death.

“Help,” she said again, staring.

#absurd, #apes, #catcalls, #donkey-kong, #microfiction, #misogyny, #murder, #pauline, #video-games

“Oh John!” “Oh Marsha!”

John and Marsha were sitting on a rowboat, not rowing, just letting the gentle ripples of the pond ease them along. They had nowhere they wanted to go. Everything they wanted was right here.

With a breath of night air, John whispered into Marsha’s ready ear, “You matter to me.”

Marsha whispered back, “You antimatter to me,” and they kissed. All around them, air melted, water dissolved, and what remained of time and space bolted from the universe in an explosion without fire. Their bodies clung to each other with a force stronger than gravity, stronger than the bonds that hold atoms together. They fell into a singularity, leaving the old universe behind, starting from scratch, so that everything that ever happened would be in their embrace. Stars and planets would form. Within them, life. New lovers would discover each other, even as the edges of the universe grew more distant. And eventually, two more lovers would sit together on a rowboat, not rowing, and the gentle ripples of what remained of John and Marsha would push them together into a timespace of their own.

#absurd, #antimatter, #fake-science, #love, #lovers, #microfiction