A Full-body Chill

Rapidly approaching the sidewalk after hurling herself from the roof of the financial company where she’s worked since graduating from college, her final memory involves a blind date she had nineteen years earlier at age nineteen with a twenty-six-year-old man; he took her to a trendy restaurant, where, after they’d ordered dinner, he said he worked as a systems analyst for the Pentagon. “I do research to make sure our bombs’ll go ‘boom’ when we drop them on the Middle East or wherever,” he said with a chuckle. She considered him a callous jerk and never dated him again; in fact, she had forgotten about him until now, near the end of her six-story fall. Maybe the subconscious connection involving death from the skies had caused her to remember that jerk, she would have thought if her depressive thoughts hadn’t predominated. Not even the probability of receiving yet another glowing performance review from her company could improve her mental and emotional state.

Meanwhile, six hundred miles away, her older sister, who had set up that blind date, and who works as an assistant district attorney for a county that prides itself on its high percentage of drug-related asset-forfeiture cases, experiences “a full-body chill,” or so the older sister will call it anonymously on a psychic-phenomena chatroom that night. Soon after flying back from the funeral, the older sister will purchase a jasmine-scented, eight-inch-long, herbal “healing candle” from a local strip-mall store that sells paraphernalia related to spirituality, mysticism, and magick-with-a-K; she will keep the candle, unused, in her dresser drawer for a week before thinking Well, might as well, you sucker, then taking out the candle and inserting it inside the crystal candle holder that a boyfriend gave her eight years ago as a present after she’d won her biggest trial to date, sending the county’s biggest marijuana cultivator to prison for life without parole.


Copyright © 2016 by David V. Matthews



When my son Austin was seven, he asked me one day “Could I have a manicure, please?”

“Do you know what a manicure is?” I asked, remaining calm.

“Yeah. I mean yes.”

“So what is it?”

“It’s when you trim and clean up your fingernails and stuff to make ’em look fancy.”

“That’s right. But why do you, personally, want them to look fancy?”

“I just feel like it. So could I have one, please, Mom?”

“Well, now, let’s say you did have one. Do you like playing with your friends?”


“Well, then you couldn’t play with them anymore, because you might get your fingernails dirty and ruin the manicure you just had.”

“I won’t get them dirty, Mom. I promise.”

“Are you sure about that, Austin? Think hard.”

He did just that, for a few moments.

“So, do you still want a manicure?” I asked.

“I guess not,” he replied.

“You made the right choice. Now you can continue to have fun with your friends.”


He never asked for a manicure again. Of course, he still became a homosexual years later, but at least his house now has wonderful landscaping. I don’t know if that has anything to do with homosexuality, but still, he does all the landscaping himself. Even my priest likes Austin’s angular hedges.

Copyright © 2016 by David V. Matthews

Flash fiction (a hundred words or fewer) #11: In the Aeroplane under the Sea

As the aeroplane started sinking into the Pacific Ocean, Mr Tindall realised, while sitting with his fellow evacuees in the inflatable lifeboat, that (in that prehistoric era before cloud computing) he had saved the only copy of his six-hundred-page erotic time-travelling alien zombie novel inside the laptop he had stored inside the carry-on bag he had neglected to retrieve in the commotion after the sudden and somewhat rough water landing.  ‘Oh bugger,’ Mr Tindall said more loudly to himself than he’d intended, drawing the attention of a few evacuees; for authors such as he, true literary inspiration rarely struck twice.

Copyright © 2016 by David V. Matthews

Flash fiction (a hundred words or fewer) #10: Benza

I work in a corporate hellhole—so much for that Master of Library Science Degree I’m still paying off ten years after graduating.  A lot of my coworkers rag on non-Americans and teeter on poverty’s edge and support Trump, because Republicanism equals livin’ large and kickin’ ass.  In undergrad school, I would sometimes attend parties as my Eurotrash alter ego Jacques Benza, ripping on drunken preppies: “I like ze Bud Light, ze bevvaridge for real men, no?”

Everyone loved him.  A little Benza would improve my office; too bad my sense of humor has vanished.  Benza: the next generation, no?

Copyright © 2016 by David V. Matthews

Flash fiction (a hundred words or fewer) #9: The Mechanical Bull

In 1991, my college-freshman stupidity almost reached epic heights at the redneck bar, when I drunkenly accepted a fifty-dollar bet from some guy to ride the mechanical bull at top speed for half a minute.  Which I did.  Then I got off and puked all over the blonde sexpot I’d had my eye on all night. “Don’t drink and ride!” I shouted to everyone’s amusement (but not hers). Then my college-freshman stupidity definitely reached epic heights when I—no, sorry, too incriminating, ha ha ha.  Seriously, I haven’t achieved untouchable, grand-old-man status at my job just yet.  But maybe someday.

Copyright © 2016 by David V. Matthews



Site unseen? I hope not!

DVM holding meltdown book 2015 detail

Yes, I’ve finally entered the Twentieth Century by starting a website named after myself.  I realize websites have long grown ubiquitous (you can’t spell “common” without “com,” after all), but I hope this one adds something more individualistic to cyberspace than the 95,475,203,405,137th Batman-slapping-Robin meme.  This site will feature my writing and art; detailed accounts of my escapades; information about the book Meltdown in the Cereal Aisle and the documentary Aspie Seeks Love; and the requisite quirkiness.  Have a swell time here!