Best Friends

Author : Alex Meggitt

I shift around on the couch, flipping through the channels and trying to make myself comfortable. Tim is sitting on the other end, watching the television cycle through sounds and images. The complacent look in his eye clears for a second as he sits upright and slaps me on the shoulder.

“Go back a couple,” he says, and I tap the down arrow on the remote until he gives the signal and the screen settles on a familiar sitcom.

“You’ve seen this like a dozen times,” I say.

“Yeah, but I like it,” he says. I sigh and try to balance the remote lengthways on the couch’s arm. It wavers for a few seconds then falls. When blindly groping the floor proves worthless, I turn on the only lamp within arm’s reach.

“That lamp kind of sucks,” Tim says without looking away from the TV. “Wal-Mart’s having a sale this week. They’ve got some good ones. Saw it in the paper.”

Still bending forward in my seat, now looking under the table next to me, I turn my head to look at him. He’s still transfixed by the screen. After a second, I give up and say I’m hungry.

“Then let’s go to McDonald’s when the show’s over.”

“Why McDonald’s?”

“What? Cause I like it. It’s good. You like it, too.”

I lean back into a normal sitting position. “We go there all the time.”

“Cause it’s good.” He doesn’t close his mouth completely at the end of the sentence, and I stare at the bottoms of his front teeth. They’re very white despite the number of cigarettes he smokes per day. Mine aren’t comparable. He’s been telling me to buy his brand of toothpaste for a while.

When the commercials begin, Tim slouches a little and looks at the ceiling. He’s thinking, and the moment he opens his mouth, I cut him off.

“Tell me something,” I say, pulling a folded piece of paper out of my pocket. I’ve practiced in my head for a while now. Slowly and purposefully, I unfold the paper at an angle that lets him read. His eyes get a little wider as he recognizes the words printed on the gray watermark pattern. It’s his pay stub, a weekly check from a job he’s never mentioned. I have a question to ask, but it comes out a mashup of every topic in my head. “The catalogs, the checks. Honestly. Just tell me how long.”

“Why’d you go through my stuff?” he says.

“I went to borrow your toothpaste because mine ran out. I found it in there.”

“It’s good stuff, isn’t it? Whitens,” he says, smiling a little.

“Come on. How long have you been doing this? Tell me how long you’ve been selling me things.”

He looks at me, makes a sound, and hesitates. I glare.

“Remember when we were sixteen? And I told you to get a few more controllers for your Nintendo?”


“I mean, it was just meant to be a summer job at that point. But they liked me. And it’s good money.”

I stand up, looking at the floor as I rise, and walk out of the room. When I return a minute later with my coat on, he’s still looking at the point where I turned the corner and went out of sight.

“Are you going to tell the rest of the guys about this?” he asks. “If they all know, I’ll find another group of people. I’ll have to move. I like you guys.”

“I thought we were going to McDonald’s. Come on.”

This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows
365 Tomorrows Merchandise: The 365 Tomorrows Store
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow

Random Story :

The Past

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

"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."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member


We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact