‘IF SOMEONE NEEDED TO DIE’ AND TWO OTHER FLASH PIECES by frankie bb

if someone needed to die

there is a nervous mushroom in the spinach bed and now everything above it may be ruined. We look up. We discuss bolting the big metal doors. It won’t be enough, says Cheryl, the sky is starting to purr. In our coveralls, we listen to the thing. We listen closely. The purring is gray and steady. Cheryl has done this job longer than anyone alive. She is green with memories of spinach and has seen this all before. She looks up and her earrings dangle. Our duty is to dangle. Our duty is to watch. A duck laughs and then it laughs again. I would like to laugh too but I can’t; my mouth is dry and needs one more pot of coffee to tell you why I love you, to confess how I made the mushroom nervous. Carefully, and with the hope of grace, we watch the sky crumble in a dangling little freezer—everyone getting closer and closer to being left behind.

 

this is a haiku please trust me and stop counting all the syllables

the night you kept getting higher and higher with someone else at the party, surrounded by all our friends, I jumped off a bridge—not to be melodramatic, just to show you I could have fun too. Getting high by going low is a generational motif, and several North American rivers hide my eyeglasses in their murky beds. In bed, you said, “I’m turning into a dust monster.” I believed it because I keep waking up and finding the stuff in my hair and on the stovetop and among our other cutlery. My first goldfish killed himself by jumping out of the bowl. That’s a lie. The bowl was an opaque, green bucket and maybe he just wanted to see what’s going on out there. Now you have a goldfish, and I love it dearly but with precautionary measures. Fill all the cups with water and surround the orange glimmering. Thirty-seven glassy eyes. In the morning every surface is marked with your debris. There is dust in the air and we both breathe it in. You’re afraid to wake up a dust monster, but I’m already a mite. 

 

give up the act, accept the furnace

are there bowlers placing bets on me somewhere? Wearing indigo striped shirts? Or perhaps just the groan of thunder growing closer, waiting to catch me in the act? Digging. I dig while others sleep. Last night I dreamed a man kept sneezing outside my window, stirring paint cans and chewing bubble gum. The gum was pink; the gum was wet; the gum was snapping. This morning I asked for a piece and he said, no hole, no bite. I received his invitation with a swim of the tongue, saying yes, there is no other coven like the darkness of a skull. So, like a god waiting to happen, I opened up and swallowed everything.

 


frankie bb is a map of eyes that have yet to assemble into a crowd, a jaw bone that dislikes being called "mandible" and prefers "crescent catcher." A guilty harvester who believes that milk is best served wild and orca beans are adorable.

Art by Bob Schofield @anothertower

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