January 1, 2012 Fiction




Flash Fiction for January will feature two stories by Evelyn Adams and Michael Organ. These quick bursts of insight will linger in your thoughts long after you’ve read them, making you laugh, cry and perhaps shudder at the essential human  truth contained in each.




Evelyn Adams


“I’ll choke them down,” he said and quickly washed down a handful of pills, “but only for 3 more years. Then? Its whiskey and cigarettes till I die!” His vehemence made his body start to shake with painful coughs. Laughing through them, tears sprang to his eyes and he smiled crazy while wiping them away.

“Sounds fine dad. Is Patty coming to pick you up?” Theresa wiped down the kitchen table. Toast crumbs and coffee stains from breakfast.

“It’s not Patty. Its his son. Bastard lost his license. Told him he never shouldda mentioned it was expired. Kids took the car.” She froze with her back to him and stifled a giggle.

“That isn’t safe dad. If he failed the test, he shouldn’t be driving.” She turned the faucet on to wash a few stray items. His Castle Island coffee mug had seen better days.

“I don’t care. A man needs freedom. Gotta have a car. Even tho I’m not gonna drive it, I’m never letting that Lincoln go.” She chose not to mention that the old Lincoln town car, like something out of Good Fellas, had no working battery.

“What time is he supposed to get here?” She was so tired. Still had to get home and cook dinner for Richie and the kids. Then the lunches for the next day. And either Shane or Michael had baseball. She forgot which sometimes.

“Who fahkin knows. Could be whenever with this guy. Always messing around all the time. Dizzy bastard.” Patty and her father had been friends for 36 years. She had begged Patty to reach out to her dad, since her mom had died 6 years ago from a stroke.

They had three standing dates; Bingo on Tuesdays at St. Agnes, the Knights of Columbus on Thursday nights where they “secretly” smoked cigars and drank, then the bar on Saturday nights. O’Rourke’s had an area of bar stools in front of door size windows that they opened in the warmer weather. She had stopped on a Tuesday night to ask Rory, the regular bartender to water down her father’s drinks as much as possible.

“Sure doll. Easier with some of these old timers. Your old man is a good shit.” His shirt was wet towards the bottom from rubbing against the ice bin, slips with the seltzer and beer taps. The sleeves bulged with his gym biceps. ” Don’t worry Theresa. Head home to the kids.”

“Last week Old Murph wasn’t there. Turns out he had emergency surgery.” Steve Murphy had coached hockey when she was growing up.

“Yeah? What was it?” She said, preparing herself, oh how the old Irish loved to share the stories of disease and death.

” Gaul bladdah.” He said while picking his teeth. ” And then of course old Peggy, waked her last Wednesday.”

“I know Dad. Teddy and I went together. The prayer card was pretty.” He was pivoting in doorways as she wandered around slowly picking up the apartment. Bless the Lord he had always been mostly tidy, sweet on her mom and tender about her doing too much.

“Oh, they were gaudy.” He said, throwing his hands up in disgust. Her thinking the garish cards were pretty pointed out some fundamental failure on his part with her upbringing. Bending over to pick up a book, she noticed the side table drawer open. And cigars inside.

Snatching the cigars, she shoved them into her purse. He could AT LEAST hide it better from me, she thought.

“Old man! Why are there cigars out here!” Her brash voice filled the apartment. Something was placed heavily and his response came blustery and roaring.

” I am old! And dying! So shut up about my fahkin cigars!” He kept talking, but now it was to himself. The clink of the glass hitting the counter. The ice-cube tray cracked, then the icy pop. Three glass swirls. Assuring thunk of the bottle, swift twist of the cap,and the practiced steady pour. Steady hands. The sounds of the ritual put Theresa in a coma.

The phone rang. She jumped, then headed to the phone with the long curly brown cord. Circa 1978.


“Yea, Tree?”

“Oh hey, whats up? You and Patty outside?”

” No. Patty died. I’m at the house. Let him know, will ya?” Fahhhhhhk, she thought. Her father’s head poked around the door frame.

” I’m so sorry. I’ll see you in a bit, ok? I’m going to run home, then I’ll be there.”

” Sure thing, Tree. Thanks.” Her father had a knowing look on his face, the look of a man who was practiced at burying those closest to him, starting with his youngest son at the age of 22. He pulled a handkerchief from his back pocket and blotted his eyes.

Shuffling to his chair, he wearily lowered himself. Theresa took out his cigars and placed them on the side table, where he could reach them.

“Thank Gawd. Sick of that fahkin bar anyway.” Then he switched on the channel 7 news.


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