Jane, His Wife

I was good with a camera, I could have done her justice, but I always got the back of her head or her outstretched palm or both.

On our honeymoon, she hid the camera, I didn’t find it for two days. I managed to get some good shots of Niagra Falls, but none of her. When you were born, when your brother was born, I took pictures of you, of him, but none of her holding you. She wouldn’t let me. All the pictures from the hospital are you in her arms, but just the arms.

Grandma and Grandpa said she was always like that, even as a kid. The only picture they ever got, that’s this one. She made them take it; she was so proud of that costume. Can’t see her face at all, just the mask.

I wish I had pictures of her. Especially now, you know?

Fantasy Drabble #344 “Is King Alexander Alive?”

“She’s dying.”

Ross peered down into the water to where the mermaid was huddled in the bottom corner of the deep end. She didn’t look afraid, not really. Just… sick. “Do you think it’s the chlorine?”

“Haven’t put any in yet this season. Only uncovered it three days ago.”

“How the hell did she get in there. It’s gotta be a hundred and fifty yards from the waterline up the beach, through the gate, up the steps—”

“I have no idea.” Dwight ran his hands through his hair. “Well. I’m going to try to find my scuba gear.”

“Wait, what?”

We’ll Meet At Our Regular Spot

“I do so love ‘Mannerism’.”

“And I love that you know it’s ‘Mannerism’.”

“Well how could it be anything else? Note the compositional tension, the instability. The artificial quality—”

“You’ve been reading wikipedia, yes?” She gave him a wry smile. “Do you have it?”

“Already in your pocket.” He didn’t look at her. “I slipped it in while you were pretending to study the Christopher Wool.”

“The one with the scribbles?”

He shook his head in mock disgust. “Yes, ‘the one with the scribbles’. Perhaps next time we should meet,” he said, voice dripping with disdain, “at Dave & Busters.”


Barry pulled slowly into the white zone; more slowly than he otherwise would have, because there was a cop standing there ready to yell and issue tickets.

Corey looked up from his phone, unlatched his seat belt, reached for the door handle. “Thanks.”

“That’s it?” Barry shook his head. “Just ‘thanks’?

“What do you want, Barry? Tears and hugs and promises to call? I’m not going to call.” He stepped out onto the sidewalk. “And neither are you.”

Barry glanced nervously at the policeman. “Keep your voice down. We don’t want—”

“The cop doesn’t care, Barry.”

“We’re  brothers, we should be—”

“What? Close? We were never that close, Barry.” He reached through the passenger’s side rear window to grab his bag with his dirty clothes and odd choice of reading materials and whatever the hell else he’d brought. “We were just adjacent.”

Barry watched him walk briskly into the terminal.