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FEBRUARY FLASHERS

FEBRUARY FLASHERS

 

 

Flash Fiction written by members and friends of the MuseItUp Club. Submissions are invited for this page.*

 

 

 

Patina

 

by Marti Hurst

 

 

“Don’t let the kids get to you,” my husband said, placing his arm around my shoulder.

Stepping into the room, I glanced around. Calmness replaced dread. My father’s desk sat next to the window, an unfinished story scattered across its worn surface. 

This room was my haven, a private Eden.  I drew strength from this room.  

My daughter had been nagging me to modernize. She didn’t understand that I like things familiar, comfortable, natural. I abhor change. She was due in ten minutes; I knew the argument would continue.

“Why do young people want to change things?” I asked, leaning against his shoulder.

“Because they’re young.” He laughed. “Remember Kent State? We wanted change too. Put your foot down. Stand up to her! You’re the parent—take control and end this.  She’s here,” he whispered when the front door slammed.

“Coward," I hissed as he disappeared around the corner leaving me alone to deal with our daughter.

“Mom?”

“In my writing room!” I yelled.

“Have you made up your mind? I’m on my way to the store and can get what we need while I’m there. I’ll do it for you.”

My hand caressed the desk’s satiny surface, its patina softened by age. Time had not changed it—just dulled the brilliance it once had.

“I like it the way it is.”

"Mom! It’s old-fashioned. The color is dull,” my daughter declared, leaning against the battered desk. “We could do it in a mahogany shade, or something as dark as walnut.”  

She doesn't understand. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; change isn’t always for the best, with age comes dignity, grace.

“No!"

“You’re kidding! You’re really not going to redo it?” she asked.

I reached up and removed the rubber band that tethered my grey hair into a ponytail. As it cascaded around my shoulders, I answered, “Forget it. I’m not dyeing my hair!”

 

Marti Hurst

 

Marti Hurst is a native of Oklahoma, USA. She and her husband operate a convenience store and cattle ranch.  Between children, grandchildren and business, she can't devote the time she would like to her favorite hobbies: reading and writing.

 

 

 

Tongue Twister

 

by  Eric Rosenbaum

 

 

 

They all think I can't. I could before, so I know I can. But why do I have to talk like everybody else, anyway?

 

They told me it's the right way. I've got to learn. For my own good. Some of the kids laugh, even if I'm not saying anything funny. When I grow up maybe I'm gonna have a disability. That's how they call it.

 

So they decided that after lunch period, when everybody else stays in our room cutting out doilies or something for art class, I've got to go out for speech class. From the whole class it's only me and Arthur who has to go.

 

Mr. Bongiorno says he can help me get rid of my problem. He gives me a bunch of words to read out loud. She sells sea shells by the sea shore. Dumb stuff like that. He says I've got to make that hissing sound. Like a snake. To me that's a stupid sound. I'm not a snake.

 

It's not that I couldn't make that sound if I wanted to. I could before. I know I still can. But why should I?

 

I don't much like it that it's only me and Arthur who has to go out for speech. Arthur's OK. It's just that when he talks, he tries saying the same word 5 times before he says it. And sometimes a little spit dribbles out from the side of his mouth.

 

All I have to do is read it right, Mr. Bongiorno says. Come on, just show me you can do it once, he says. She sells sea shells. Then he'll let me get out of there. After that I could talk any way I please.

 

I used to not say it like they wanted me to just because I didn't want to. Now, when I'm in speech class, I don't know why, my tongue gets all thick and heavy. Mr. Bongiorno shows me how I've got to push it up on the bumpy part of my mouth, right up against my top teeth. Just one time I have to push it up there where he shows me and hiss it like I'm supposed to. She sells. Then I can get myself out of there. For good.

 

I could do it before. I know I can do it if I want to.

 

But why doesn't it come out that way?

 

 

 

Eric Rosenbaum

 

 

Eric Rosenbaum has taught writing, adult literacy and English as a Second Language at several campuses of the City University of New York and currently works with adult public assistance recipients. He received an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Brooklyn College.

 

 

*Send Flash Fiction submissions to underamuse@yahoo.com.au .

Please include the words “Muse Marquee Flash Submission” in the subject line.

 

 

The Flashers page is edited by Lea Schizas and Les Stephenson.