Her hands were starting to look like lobster claws. She said she wasnâ€™t going to go all the way, and wiggled the smaller claw to show it was still opposable. She said she liked the little teeth, though, and squeezed my arm too hard. She laughed at the little indentions in my arm. She almost fell off her chair.
The cappuccino machine hissed behind her. She liked coming to this place because it still had one of the old cappuccino machines. It was a relic, now. But things used to be built to last, and so this hunk of brass and copper still spewed out caffeine and foamed milk. She liked it because it was shiny and noisy. She used to do an impersonation of the machine, bouncing on the bed, hissing and squealing.
We donâ€™t sleep together anymore. Not since she rolled over on me and I caught the business end of one of her new back-spines. I still have the scar.
She started tapping her claws on her forehead. The clack of chitin on chitin made me feel visibly uncomfortable, and she saw that. She stopped, and reached out with her claws at me. I didnâ€™t want to recoil, but I did anyway.
She used to tickle me. She used to run her fingertips down my face. She used rub my stomach for good luck. I looked at the way the track lighting glinted off her enhanced brow-bumps and sickly noticed how similar it was to the glint off the cappuccino machine.
â€œThings used to be built to last,â€ I mumbled. She heard me anyway. Small tears slid down her face. They were falling much to fast, not having pores to slow their descent. I reached out to wipe her tears away, an instinctual motion. She was still soft around the eyes. They were still her eyes.
That’s when I knew things would be okay.
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
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Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
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