RECEIVED: Slice

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Received – Issue 21 of Slice. I have a short story in it. About THE END OF THE WORLD. Check it out, if you get a chance.

                                                                           

Rolli’s latest book is The Sea-Wave

Buy him a coffee.

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FLASH FICTION: The Dream

 

“I dreamed about him,” said my Master, grabbing my hand. “Last night. I was in the garden. It was night. There were no roses, on the hedges. I looked … everywhere. They were gone. On the edge of the fountain, I sat down. I looked, up. There were no stars. I looked down. There was one. One rose, the flower, in the water. Floating. I reached out. I picked it up. I looked up.

“And there he was. Flying. He was flying. In the night sky. The sky … full of stars. He was smiling. I didn’t—I couldn’t call out to him. I only watched him. Flying. My son.”

He became emotional, my Master. He released my hand. He drew his black handkerchief from his pocket. Rose petals fell to the floor.

He took my hand again. He embraced me. His tears ran down my skin.

“He was smiling.”

                                                                    

If you enjoy my work, why not buy me a coffee? It would warm my heart. More coffee = more stories, poems, cartoons and drawings for you to enjoy. Without coffee … I do not even want to dream, of that.

 

FLASH FICTION: Dr. Greenman Smythe

The grandfather clock in the vestibule is over a century old. It is an object of great beauty, though unreliable as a timepiece. I must often open its glass door and swing back the pendulum to reanimate it. It will then run for minutes, hours or even days, depending on its humor.

As I closed the glass door one morning, I observed the reflected front door of the manor opening—and the image of an unknown man. An intruder. I turned to arrest him.

“It’s alright,” said my Mistress, from the top of the staircase. “He knows Barbara Jameson.” Barbara Jameson is an American actress best known for portraying the tragic Helen Mirrowan in the popular television series Mossgrave Mansion.

The unknown man ascended the stairs. He followed my Mistress around the corner.

“What’s going on?” said my Master, entering the vestibule.

“I’m having a nervous breakdown,” said his wife, reappearing.

“You are?” said my Master.

“Yes,” said my Mistress, disappearing.

A door closed.

My Master rubbed his forehead. He climbed the stairs. He descended the stairs. He climbed again as far as the landing, and again descended. He walked through the vestibule and rapidly down the hall.

A door closed.

*

At 3:00, I served tea in the Green Parlor. Neither my Master nor Mistress was present to receive it.

At 3:45, I wheeled the tea cart back into the Kitchen.

            *

In the course of my dusting, I discovered my Master in the White Parlour. He was re-reading the previous day’s newspaper.

“Dr. Greenman Smythe,” he said, turning a page.

“Sir?”

“Our visitor. A therapist—a kind of.”

My Master folded the Business section and set it on his lap. He touched his forehead.

“Are you unwell?” I asked him, dusting the lamp.

He squeezed his eyes tightly shut.

“I could synthesize a headache tablet?”

“It’ll pass,” he said.

“It would be no trouble.”

My Master closed his eyes.

“I’m fine,” he said.

*

A door opened. Two bolts of laughter preceded my Mistress and the doctor downstairs.

I hurried to the vestibule in time to see the front door close behind the visitor.

My Mistress remained at the foot of the staircase, gazing at the door.

“Do you believe in hypnotism?” she said.

“My Mistress: it is an established science. I am incapable of disbelieving what is true.”

“Neither do I,” she said, still observing the door.

My Master entered the Vestibule.

“How are you feeling?” he said.

My Mistress blinked. She turned her head.

“Not much better,” she said. “A little better.”

My Master took her hand.

“I worry about you,” he whispered.

My Mistress laughed.

“I do.”

He caressed her hand.

“Can I get you something? Some coffee, or something?”

My Mistress blinked.

“Alright,” she said.

Though I would gladly have fetched the coffee—it is my duty—my Master derives pleasure from performing small tasks for his wife. I would not deprive him of that pleasure.

My Mistress entered the Green Parlor. I accompanied her. She stood before the picture window. The visitor’s car vanished down the drive.

She reclined on the green sofa. She observed the ceiling.

“He knows Barbara Jameson.”

“He knows a lot of actresses.”

“In the capacity of a therapist?” I inquired.

She shook her head.

“He used to be a plastic surgeon.”

She did not speak for several minutes.

“You know something?”

“What is that, my Mistress?”

“It’s easier to tell the truth, or to lie, when your eyes are closed.”

My Master returned. He set the coffee on the table and sat on the floor before his wife. He took her hand.

“Are you alright?” he asked her.

She didn’t answer.

“Darling—are you alright?” He caressed her hand.

My Mistress closed her eyes.

“I’m fine,” she said.

“I’m glad,” said my Master.

He kissed her hand.

“I’m so glad.”

Love Goes Away

My Mistress had been sleeping. On a sofa in the Rose Parlor.

She opened her eyes.

“Love goes away. You wouldn’t… Who would guess? That it’s possible. It goes away. More … than anything, that one thing. If it could stay. Living. It wouldn’t be, so difficult.

“You could lose … your livelihood. A limb. Someone. Anything. You could lose anything. But that, is everything. It’s losing everything.

“It goes away. Love goes away. You’ll fall asleep, being loved. You’ll wake up. One morning. And it’s gone. Like a dream. It’s gone away. It’s gone.

She closed her eyes, my Mistress. She appeared tranquil.

I did not disturb her.

The Dream

“I dreamed about him,” said my Master, grabbing my hand. “Last night. I was in the garden. It was night. There were no roses, on the hedges. I looked … everywhere. They were gone. On the edge of the fountain, I sat down. I looked, up. There were no stars. I looked down. There was one. One rose, the flower, in the water. Floating. I reached out. I picked it up. I looked up.

“And there he was. Flying. He was flying. In the night sky. The sky … full of stars. He was smiling. I didn’t—I couldn’t call out to him. I only watched him. Flying. My son.”

He became emotional, my Master. He released my hand. He drew his black handkerchief from his pocket. Rose petals fell to the floor.

He took my hand again. He embraced me. His tears ran down my skin.

“He was smiling.”