Flash Fiction

Here’s the first draft of a flash fiction piece. It originally appeared in unedited form on the now-defunct Mischievous Prophet website. Thoughts?

January 1st, 2004

     Your favorite show was pre-empted tonight by the Orange Bowl. I watched you nestle down into the cushions of your sofa, feet tucked neatly underneath you, your legs forming half a Z. The remote control was in your hand, and as you pointed it at the set and pressed the buttons, I knew that this was a moment to remember, the single instant between anticipation and the frustration you were about to feel. I could see the colors of your thumb as you changed the channel: the pale white of your skin, the pink hue created by the pressure, the white iris under your nail. I could even see the three blonde hairs growing between the joints. The moment seemed frozen, caught between what was and what was about to be.

     And then the channel changed, and you saw two teams from Florida clashing on a field of green. The crowd roared as one team threw a long pass, the ball arcing up and out and down in a perfect parabola, falling neatly in the arms of a receiver, his legs pumping comically fast like something out of cartoon, the defender leaping as high as he could and missing by inches. The crowd rose to its feet.

     And you rose as well, spiking the remote control like a football. It hit the carpet and bounced end over end, landing underneath the ottoman. You shouted

     Oh, for Christ’s sake

     and fell back on the couch, scowling. In Miami thousands of fans sat back in their seats, slapping each other on the back or shouting obscenities at the lone defender whose outstretched fingers were exactly one and one quarter inches too short.

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