Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #38: Geographical Inconvenience

Having found out their health insurance didn’t cover their twelve-year-old’s eventual male-to-female, gender-confirmation surgery, Randall and Grace Yates, who had always considered themselves loyal Americans, now wondered, as they sat in their kitchen, if they should move to Canada, whose government covered that medical procedure, though to differing degrees in each province, causing long waitlists and geographical inconvenience.

“But at least we’d have something to wait for,” Randall said.

“Why don’t we fight for that something here?” Grace said.  She bit into her vegan, gluten-free chocolate brownie.

“And give up computer solitaire?”

Irony soothes.  So does chocolate.  Everyone needs soothing.

 

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

 

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Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #37: Samuel Adams Utopia

The green 2009 Corolla hydroplaned at forty MPH on the ill-kept state highway, almost ramming into Mr. Pal’s black 2018 Escalade.  As the Corolla swerved into the left lane, Mr. Pal thanked the god he worshipped, God.  Later that night, in his living room, Mr. Pal sipped his Samuel Adams Utopia (at $199, the most expensive bottle of beer he’d ever bought) and wondered, ’cause life’s so short, maybe he shouldn’t waste it hating that Jew at work, Ms. Greenberg, ’cause she’d received that promotion and he hadn’t.  Maybe she was better qualified.  He could admit he had some limitations.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #36: An Irritating Irredentist

Due to life’s transitory nature, Ms. Greenberg attempted not to waste time hating anyone she knew; however, she did somewhat loathe her coworker, the ironically-surnamed (in her opinion) Mr. Pal, whom she considered an irritating irredentist, someone who had for the past several years contended in a quasi-facetious, quasi-condemnatory manner that she had usurped the office space he by all rights deserved due to his seniority, his having worked there for eight years and ten months, one month more than she, making her feel at first like an interloper, until she (shallowly?) realized  his sartorial choices tended toward tight garishness.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #35: Cynosure

Never missing a chance to use one of the myriad vocabulary words she still retained from studying for the GRE over two decades ago, Ms. Greenberg, in her latest blog entry, called herself “the cynosure of the survey department, the most well-regarded telephonic inquisitor, the doyenne of data discovery”—a passage her male supervisor, in the gourmet break room the next morning, told her he’d disapprovingly found “a little narcissistic,” making her wonder if she should launch the hashtag Cynosure, since Twitter fame can allegedly have a salubrious (if fleeting, though fleetingness still has its advantages) effect on one’s career.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #34: A Little Rowdy

I’ve worked as an administrative assistant for the past four years at a maximum-security facility for men.  I handle fingerprint cards, DNA samples, photo line-up requests, office supply requisitions, stuff like that.  At first I felt nervous there as a middle-aged woman, but as it turned out, I have no contact with the inmates, and the guards are nice, though they can get a little rowdy sometimes.  My husband thinks working there has made me stronger emotionally.  Maybe.  Physically, I still couldn’t kick a thug’s ass—not for fun, just to improve his behavior.  Okay, maybe if he’s smaller than me.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

updated May 7, 2018

 

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #33: Mental Equilibrium

Not long ago, Ms. Greenberg stopped pitying her coworker Mrs. Breyers for liking high school.  Mrs. Breyers—class of ’89—kept in contact with her classmates, ran the alumni Facebook page, and attended every reunion; she even displayed her diploma on her office wall.  Her husband, the school quarterback, still wore his letterman jacket, most recently to the company’s Patriot Day (September 11) banquet.  Ms. Greenberg—class of ’92—had always valued moving ahead but now thought that connections to a halcyon era before adult responsibilities could help maintain mental equilibrium.  Plus Mrs. Breyers had an office, not a cubicle.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews