Flash Fiction by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois 


I fed from a hive whose honey had the molecular structure of anxiety. I lived in a row house built by Donald Trump’s father.


Dear God, let everything broken be unbroken.


The huddled masses yearn for thermostats.


The people of Denver lined up by the thousands to see the Corpse Plant. It allegedly had the largest flower in the world. It only bloomed every fifteen years. It smelled like shit. People waited for hours to get a whiff. Only the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars stayed away. They’d already smelled plenty of death.


I walk into the house. I see that my wife has scraped away the popcorn ceiling. I had told her we needed to get it tested for asbestos first. She said we didn’t. She sits on a wooden chair, wet crumbles of the former ceiling strewn around her. Her smile is triumphant. It was even easier than they showed on YouTube.


The roadway is not asphalt but the bodies of Doberman Pinschers.


Yom Kippur was coming. Jews were confessing their sins, even sins they had never themselves committed. They were asking G to write them down in the Book of Life for another year. Many of them were cheating on the required fasting. They were eating yogurt or candy bars. They didn’t think G would notice. They filed by the Corpse Plant just like anyone else who was not a member of the Chosen People.


Now your beauty is all furniture. It has been moved around too much. (Henry Miller)


I took my one-year-old granddaughter. She was very well-behaved. She waited like a little adult to catch the whiff of death.


I feel the color in my cheeks rising. I must be the color of The Communist Manifesto, my wife recites. She has memorized Fifty Shades of Grey. My wife throws her blouse to one side atop a pile of popcorn litter. She wears no bra. Her tits are small, but “perky.” We make love on the wet asbestos. Afterwards we shower together, but the damage has been done. I already feel the cracklings of MESOTHELIOMA in the lobes of my lungs.


My one-year-old granddaughter found other one-year-olds to play with. They joined hands, even the ones who could not yet walk, skipped around a circle, and sang Ring around the rosie, pockets full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over twelve-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad, including FORMER PEOPLE. He has been nominated for numerous prizes.  His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.

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