Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #29: Historical Knowledge

My old man, an inveterate poker player, used to say “If you find yourself in a losing streak, you’ll make things worse by trying to end it.  Just ride it out.”  I’ve ridden my losing streak for the past nine years, after my wife left me and filed for divorce.  She took me for everything, and she badmouthed me to every other woman in the world, it seems.  I’m broke and lonely, but on the bright side, I’ve gotten into World War Two documentaries—nothing too depressing, just battles and patriotism.  Historical knowledge can substitute for carnal knowledge, I guess.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews



Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #28: Two Dumb Caps

I dated Shayne Lester for about three weeks recently.  I’d met him at the radical zine fair at the airport Marriott.  His political fervor appealed to me.  However, he may have too much of it; one day as we walked downtown, he got into a screaming argument about fascism with some guy, because the guy wore a SPAY & NEUTER ANTIFA cap.  The argument lasted forever and embarrassed the shit out of me.  I broke up with Shayne immediately afterwards.  You don’t make converts by screaming at them.  Or by wearing a dumb cap yourself—TUCK FRUMP, in his case.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #27: Like a Sap

I used to read this columnist named Shayne Lester on the left-wing websites.  He definitely didn’t support nonviolent protest, instead arguing that we needed to riot against our right-wing oppressors; only by throwing rocks at cops, destroying property, etc., would we make the oppressors fear us and thus give us what we want.  He seemed like an agent provocateur, at least in his own mind, but he still amused me with his geeky revolution fantasies.  Sometime during Trump’s first year, however, I quit reading anything political, including Lester’s columns; even ironically following politics meant I still cared, like a sap.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

Art by Banksy

The Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam

I would occasionally watch Rocky and Bullwinkle reruns as child, though their cleverness (as compared to the Hanna-Barbera crap I mostly liked) intimidated me a little.  However, not long after I turned nine, I caught the R&B story arc in which everyone pursued the ruby yacht of Omar Khayyam: a little boat (more like a sailboat, as well as I can remember—I saw these episodes only once, over four decades ago) covered with rubies.  I wouldn’t understand the “ruby yacht” pun until college; in the meantime, the story’s intricacies and momentum thrilled me immensely, made me feel mature for enjoying it, and—of course—distracted me from stressing out over the nonstop verbal and physical abuse I received at school from students and teachers, though TV in general (not just one show) probably helped.  Without TV’s companionship, I might have turned into a druggie, like my sister, who endured much worse abuse (including the sexual kind).  Unfortunately, as a self-proclaimed nonconformist, she eschewed what she called “the idiot box.”  Conformity has its advantages sometimes.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #26: The Death of Pepe

Denton: “You heard that Pepe the Frog died?”

Jeff: “No, heh heh.”

“I’m serious.  The cartoonist who created him was upset that the alt-right had adopted him, Pepe, as a mascot.  So that snowflake drew a comic of Pepe’s funeral.  Pepe was in a casket and everything.”

“Really?  Well, good riddance.  Do we really need a Hispanic representing us?”

“Now, Jeff—Pepe did fool the libtards.  Made ’em underestimate us.  Made ’em think we were P.C.”

“I guess.  You know what Pepe died of?”


“Maybe the Jews killed him, heh heh.”

“Yeah, heh heh.”

What an idiot, thought Denton.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #25: Calvin Praying

You know those bootleg car-window stickers in which Calvin, from Calvin and Hobbes, prays before the cross?  Well, my cousin, Milo the Millennial (his beard extends past his clavicles), owns a pickup whose back-window sticker shows Calvin praying before Cthulhu.  Amazingly, no one in this heavily-red (and heavily-redneck) area has threatened to whup Milo’s ass.  Either Cthulhu has lots of followers, or a well-developed sense of irony can win over even the most rabid reactionary, or (my choice) people don’t consider Milo’s ass worth whupping.  He does look homeless, and the homeless can get away with demonic worship, I guess.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews


Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #24: I’m the Goddamn Batman

In 2006, my twin brother Shawn and I would constantly say “I’m the goddamn Batman” to each other in goofy voices.  As sixteen-year-old boys, we needed something to do, now that our parents had blocked the porn sites at home.  The catchphrase came from a comic book published that January: All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, issue two, in which the Dork Knight’s even more psychotic than usual.  All the Net reviewers had slammed it, so we thought Why not?  We love crap.  And it was crap, and we did love it, though we still missed MILF videos.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews