The Non Sequitur Project
.A typical housefly lives about twenty-eight days. A month if it’s lucky. And at night, flies shelter under blades of grass or on tree trunks until it’s light enough for them to see in the morning.
Apparently ancient Romans used urine in their dental hygiene. Specifically to whiten their teeth. Some merchants even paid a urine tax to be able to use publicly collected urine in various products. Animal urine was just as good as human to achieve that brighter smile…
Corn Blue Sky
She is small and freckled. She doesn’t wear make-up and her hair is piled carelessly on top of her head. That hair! Thick and luxurious. Showstopper red hair. A sweet face, a pale oval like one you’d find in a locket. Long ago.
The horizon is a line of green and blue, corn and sky. She recognizes what was left of a rickety barn. Someone has harvested beams for a kitchen renovation and now it stands cannibalized, slats missing, nothing left but a rib cage…
The night of my father’s death, I dream of a fox. On waking the specifics blur, either the fox has stolen my food, or I have fed it. This presents a problem when later I try to analyse the dream using an online dictionary. According to this unreliable source, I need to know if I’m feeding it or if it’s stealing my food, this is the part on which subsequent meaning hinges, without it, I am unable to fully decipher the dream. Whatever reading I choose to make; a fox is a bad omen…
Robert L. Penick
I Am Trying to Save Your Life
They got into the on-demand porn market for a couple of reasons. Susan was an exhibitionist at heart, and the medium fulfilled a longing to be seen by other people. Also, she and her husband Ken arrived on the scene after mainstream adult films had largely ceased to be profitable. Free smut had flooded the internet, making it very difficult for small-time operators to generate revenue. The on-demand niche was a way for them to make money and have fun at the same time…
Kristina T. Saccone
At age 10, Suzanne forgot her homework at home. Mrs. Montgomery looked down her nose and said, “Don’t lie.” When words welled up, Suzanne choked them back. A burn started in her cheeks and then set her body aflame. The next day, she brought the homework to Mrs. Montgomery, who sniffed it like something rotten before slipping it into the trash.
At age 19, Suzanne forgot her wallet in the cab…..
We, his oldest friends, arrive at Patrick’s with bottles of wine, bags of snacks, help him prepare the table: glasses, plates, silverware; iced bottles of sparkling water; apples, strawberries, banana bread.
The table is at the corner of Patrick’s garden, though soon we’ll move our chairs into the shade under the yellow birch. At first it’s, “What a beautiful afternoon!”…
You know you were supposed to get married to me this morning, a woman says into her phone as she steps into my elevator.
Hello? The doors are closing, and she’s losing reception. Bit of panic in her voice, but no tears, not yet.
She looks at the floor. It will be a long ride up today. And frankly, I have my own problems.
If we make it to the top, there will be a view of City Hall and the park. Fountain. Flowers. Lovers. Others….
Cora in Brooklyn
Her self insisted upon a daily dose of incandescence in the form of ruby seeds. Her mother packed half a pomegranate in the squat jelly jar that happened to be the perfect size. Unabashedly, Cora ate from bent and twisted and torn rind but before she bent and twisted and tore, with her tongue she delicately extracted every seed left bleeding at the cut.
Antony watched pomegranate juice saturate Cora’s lips, its color, texture, and finish more pleasing than lipstick. Antony had been watching the lips of women and girls for a long time….
When He Is
his mother beats him every day with an old plastic slipper, and when the boys—Mexican boys, Black Boys, Filipino boys—knock on his door to call him for kickball or candy stealing at 7-11, his brown face is streaked with tears. “Yo, sad boy,” they will say, nudging him and offering peanut butter cups, sticks of gum, tiny sour things. “Sad boy, you okay?” The nickname will stick, and in time he’ll tattoo it in squid-black ink across his chest….
Friday is born with a yawn like a rose arch – pink petal teeth in a half-moon smile. Florence dreams her up: Made of cloud wisps and white silk, robes of marquee canvas perfumed with crushed grass, hair of fondant icing. Friday, June 12. Wedding. Flo dreams of flower arrangements and gold rings. ‘I dos’ and lace veils. Friday makes the flowers her ears and hangs the rings from them. She makes the veil her tongue and practices: I do, I do, I do….
The Real Sarah
The wail comes at the exact wrong moment. Sarah hasn’t yet gotten the onions into the pan and, any moment now, the garlic—already fringed with brown—will burn and taint the whole sauce. There isn’t time to check on the baby and save dinner, so Sarah spins off another Sarah. That Sarah, the copy, goes and gets on the floor with the baby in the living room while the real Sarah rescues the garlic, sliding a small mountain of diced onions into the pan and swirling them around to redistribute the heat…