Author’s Note: Exciting changes are coming to my blog over the next month or so! I am in the process of converting my offering here in the blogosphere over to a complete author website in preparation for my first full-length novel release later this year (Second Chance).
To make sure you remain connected with me through this transition, I invite each of you to subscribe to my author email list. I promise not to spam you, and you always have the option of unsubscribing at any time. I would be honored and privileged to have each one of you follow along and share with me as I continue onward and take the next step towards becoming a published author.
As a small token of appreciation for your active participation in my community, I am offering you a copy of a previously unpublished short story, Impression, upon joining. Also, once I complete the transition to my new website, I will be offering new and current email subscribers another unpublished short story, Homecoming, that was selected as an honorable mention in the romance category of the Writer’s Digest 2015 Popular Fiction Award Contest.
I’m both anxious and excited (but, more excited) about continuing this journey towards sharing my love of words and the emotions behind them with each and every one of you. As always, stay inspired … And now, on to this week’s flash fiction offering – a bit of tongue in cheek humor to kick off the new year.
A package of bacon, a jar of pickles, and a half gallon of milk. Paul put a checkmark next to each item on his list. It was an odd assortment of items to place on the conveyor belt, but it’s what his mother had written down. He’d come home too many times with the wrong thing to not follow her list to the letter.
Everyone seemed to need milk today. Paul had gotten the last container. Listening to the beeps of the scanner complete his order, Paul dug the cash out of his pocket, handed it to the cashier, and waited for his change. Knowing his mom would ration his intake of milk, Paul opened the jug and took a quick sip.
Grabbing the reusable bag filled with his purchases, he exited the comfortable air conditioned store, emerging into the sweltering heat of the summer evening. That’s odd, thought Paul. He heard the trill of a bicycle bell, the kind he last heard as a toddler on his tricycle.
His choice of words, odd, didn’t begin to shed light on the weirdness unfurling before him. Perched precariously atop the bicycle seat riding past him was a black cow. He had to look twice. Paul rubbed his eyes, but it was still there. The ringing of the bell was followed by a bellowing moo as if to say, “Get outta my way! I’m in a hurry!”
As Paul looked around, no one was fazed. There were humans pushing their shopping carts across the parking lot. They’d stop periodically to wave another bicycle through, yielding the right of way to yet another bovine bicyclist. Paul seemed to be the only one baffled by this sequence of events. He felt his forehead. Maybe it was the heat? Maybe he’d eaten a bad mushroom at dinner?
Earlier that day, on a secret farm over on the far side of town, Bessie sidled up beside Calvin, tail wagging, and asked whether he’d found anymore of the good stuff, that special plant they’d found in the hidden garden behind their master’s shed. It was so good. It made them feel invincible, like they could do anything in the world. Tasted sort of funny with a strange aftertaste, but it was the best stuff they’d ever eaten. They’d become quite fond of it, even if it was in short supply.
Paul sat down on the edge of the sidewalk, trying to make sense of this seemingly surreal world that he was now immersed in. He tried to piece things together logically with no luck. It’s probably just the heat. I just need something to cool me off. The pickles weren’t going to work, so he grabbed the half gallon of milk, opened the lid, and took a few more good swigs.
That’s better, thought Paul, as he wiped the white mustache from his lips. It was the heat. Everything seemed back to normal now as Paul waved the brown cow through the intersection before heading back home.