General Fiction posted March 9, 2021

This work has reached the exceptional level
Two Lives Knitted to a Continuum

Behold: the Cosmic Do-Over

by Jay Squires

THE TELLER, indelicately sprawled in pink-pantied pose. Scarlet rosebud opening to full blossom on her blemished white blouse.

No! No! God, no!

The petals shiver, close upon themselves, devolve to bud. Legs, arms, head spasm like a puppet’s whose strings, tugged by the puppeteer, yank at every joint until she stands, bewildered, mouth twisted.

Unseen, scattered white threads reweave under vanishing bud just as a silvery thread leaves her unblemished blouse, stretches across the counter surface, is sucked into the barrel.

Don’t! My note warned…!

Smile-corners twitch. Painted nails slip under the counter that separates them. Reading scrawled note: throat tightens. Black barrel taunts beneath his newspaper. Keep smiling.

Teller watches his newspaper flatten on the counter, hand beneath it. Smiles back.

Newspaper folds on sandwiched hand. Arm presses newspaper to side.

Smile collapsing.


Nothing lost … Return …

Spans lobby on spongy knees. Through self-opening door.

Show time!


Flash Fiction contest entry



An experiment in transition and sequencing both forwards and back and where the limits lie. It will be awkward if I am the only one understanding what I'm trying to do, but I suspect it will be reflected one way or another. The word count is exactly 150 on Microsoft Word.

Photo by Alexander on Unsplash, which I am proud to display.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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