October 1, 2011 Fiction

Two Blue Plates


Evelyn Adams

The white table-cloth was crisp and lined like an old woman. It was only used on special occasions that required the putting on of airs. Due to the nature of white, and its inability to match itself from one item to the next, Mara decided against white napkins and had purchased napkins of cobalt blue instead. This was the catalyst for the purchase of two orphan plates; beautiful pottery plates, deep blue and bright, found at a yard sale. There were only two, but she didn’t care when he pointed this out. Was this just another vagary of her illness? She reminded Richard there were only two of them as well.

Josephine arrived to finalize things and sat down at the square table in the middle of a tiny room with cracked linoleum. The stiff white table cloth was adorned with the blue napkins, elegantly folded. Mismatched silverware was placed on each side of the brilliant blue plates.

“When did you get these?” Josephine asked, fondling the edge of the plate.

“After Grace was born. They match the napkins.” Richard said.

“I can see that.”

“Did you bring that book back?” Richard asked.

Josephine slowly removed it from her bag.

“Yes, I am trustworthy.”

“I know. I wasn’t implying otherwise…”Here he paused heavily. He was out of

practice when it came to such matters, but knew he was supposed to say

something. He wanted to say something. “I didn’t mean for it to happen,


“I know. I don’t think either of us did, and,” the pressure in the room

finally forced her to finish her statement which was almost hot to the touch

due to its intimacy, I don’t think Mara would blame you.”

“Blame me?”

“Do you think she would begrudge you happiness?”

“Happiness?” He sounded like a stunned parrot, clinging to the repetition to cover his lack of maneuverability in a strong up draft. Being young, she felt disgust rise in her throat. She didn’t have time for this. They would not be eating.

“The car is waiting. So the plan is all set? Mitch will meet me at 3pm? Does he know when the box will be arriving?”

“Yes. It will go smoothly, I think.”

“Was Mara there? When it happened to you the first time?”

“Yes, she blessed my journey, as I bless yours.”

“What if the balance between the two points is broken before I make contact?”

“I don’t think this will happen. The signal is stronger these days, especially after a storm.”

He removed a small scrap of paper out of his pocket. A pen followed, and he slowly wrote down the 7 numbers needed. She peeked over, but caught herself, thinking about how childish she looked. And then he showed his age as well, carefully tracing over the numbers, fat circular tops of the nines, deliberate heavy distinction between the one and seven, checking and rechecking, leaving nothing to chance, nothing to his own feeble nature to fuck up. He handed her the paper and she removed her cigarettes from her pocket to place the paper safely; deep within.

“Were you nervous when you went, when it was your turn?” She took out a cigarette. He reached over to a side table and put an ashtray in front of her.

“No more than if jumping out of a plane without a parachute”. He smiled like acid.

“Okay. Well, I guess everything is arranged then.”

“Don’t forget to grab something from the table on the way out.”

“You think I should?”



“I said yes” His old fire blazed in his eyes.


“I think Mara wouldn’t consider one encounter happiness.” He said. “But it did make me forget for a moment.” Again out skittered the sourish smile. “Maybe for one breath.”

“That makes me feel bad. You didn’t have to say that.”

“Perhaps I didn’t. But none the less…” He looked away while her fingers hung over the ash tray, her injured mind gave the cigarette a stay of execution despite its own fading suicidal burn. Tears rapidly appeared, then disappeared and she ground the cigarette out.

“It’s starting, I have to go. Thank you for…Well, I’ll be going.” On the way out, she did indeed grab something from the long table in the hall. She checked that it was ready to fulfill its purpose and went to the door. He heard her take several deep breaths and adjust her coat around a wide strap. She opened the door, and the sound was deafening.


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  1. Somethingnewplease October 19, at 03:09

    Great stream of story telling from all present. Enjoyed the issue. Great job Tuck Magazine team.

    • Administrator October 19, at 20:31

      Andrew, your story was one of the reasons the first issue was so brilliant and it has been a joy to publish you and all the other talented writers here. I think this is going to be one of the best creative experiences of my life and I have you and all the writers here as well as those I've yet to work with to thank for it! I am one lucky editor broad. :)

  2. adeeyoyo October 12, at 11:36

    What an interesting array of Flash Fiction! All so original and well written. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. Thank you to the authors for sharing them with us.

  3. Selma October 12, at 03:21

    Andrew, your story is absolutely brilliant. Gave me a good chuckle. Very, very creative!

  4. Administrator October 05, at 20:28

    Thank you Paul for contributing your talent and time, your involvement is deeply appreciated! :)

    • Administrator October 02, at 16:53

      Your talent is evident and appreciated by Tuck, thank you Eric for contributing!

      • Selma October 12, at 04:38

        A beautiful story, Eric. Your imagery is exquisite!

  5. Evelyn October 02, at 02:13

    omg! I didnt realize that was SNP till I clicked on the link. I am going ape-crap Im so excited... Nice to meet you, Andrew...you are so FRIGGIN talented it hurts me.

    • Selma October 12, at 03:24

      Hi Evelyn. I really like your story. The opening sentence is just immaculate. Brilliantly written.

  6. Evelyn October 02, at 02:11

    so besides, YAY ME!! I also want to say this is one of my favorite Eric pieces. Its phenomenal!


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