Tag Archives: endings

Measured Response


I haven’t posted a flash piece in a while so here goes:

Measured Response

“It won’t fit.”

Cara caught the smug tone of Everett’s voice when he said those words. She expected his lousy attitude, but that didn’t make it any easier to deal with. After 12 years of marriage, his negativity caused immense aggravation, more now than at any time before. But she persisted and asked him to try again.

“Did you even measure the space before you bought this monstrosity?” He stared at the new refrigerator standing in the middle of the kitchen, failing miserably to hide his frustration.

Cara’s patience was strained. “Do you always have to assume I’m an idiot? Of course I measured the space. You could have taken some interest in making the purchase of the new one, but then you’d have to take some responsibility for the damn thing not fitting.”

The delivery guys were hesitant to bring the refrigerator in to begin with after seeing the space it was to go into, but Cara told them to leave it there anyway. The dimensions were so close. She knew Everett could figure out a way to make it work. But Everett was being difficult and negative and expressing his “can’t do” attitude that made Cara want to throw her hands up in defeat. Of course, she wouldn’t. She was too stubborn to give in to him. Plus, she knew there had to be a way to make the refrigerator work.

She looked at the cabinet beside the space intended to hold the fridge and noticed the edge of the countertop overlapped the cabinet by an inch or so. “Can’t we cut the countertop off about an inch to get the space we need?”

“It’s not that easy Cara. You think you can just cut something off and poof you’ve solved it? The refrigerator is too wide by a half inch and too tall by 1.5 inches. Even if I did cut the countertop off, what am I supposed to do about the cabinet above?”

“Can’t you trim it, too?”

“I’m not a carpenter! You expect me to be able to fix all this shit – well, maybe I can’t!”

Everett’s temper rose to an unhealthy level. He threw his weight against the refrigerator and started pushing as hard as he could, attempting to shove it into the space until it was wedged in so tight it would go neither forward nor backward.

“Well, that’s just great. You’ve got it stuck now.”

Everett didn’t care to hear a word of complaint from Cara at that point. This is the way it always was with her, though. She never knew when to stop. She pushed him until he was ready to explode. He slammed his fist into the side of the stuck refrigerator, leaving a noticeable dent in the white casing.

“Look what you just did! Are you insane? Even if we wanted to return it, we can’t now!”

“We can’t anyway because I’m sure I just left a scratch all along the side when I shoved it in here.”

“I don’t understand you at all.”

“Well that makes two of us Cara, because I don’t understand you at all either. I’m not sure I ever have.”

Cara sat down in the floor. A strange, silly laugh escaped her lips that soon turned into a weeping cry.

“What? Now I get to be the bad guy who always makes you cry? Great.”

“No Everett. I just realized that this refrigerator is like us. It’s big and cold and stubborn and won’t fit where it should. That’s what we are – cold, stubborn, and we don’t fit, not together, not anymore.”

“What are you saying Cara?”

“I’m saying that you were right all along – it won’t fit. No matter how much you shove and push. No matter what you change or move, it will never fit. Just like us. All we’re going to do by trying to force it is cause more damage. Is that what you want to do?”

Everett looked at Cara. For a moment, neither one said a word, but they knew. It was over for them. Cara stacked the paperwork to the new refrigerator on the table and left the kitchen.

Everett fumbled with the tape measure and started to re-measure the white box in front of him.  Forget it… what’s the use?


PhotoPin: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaparral/2921384191/”>Chapendra</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Story Endings


How do you know when to end your story? With poetry, I seem to know. With my short stories, it’s a whole different game. Ask my editor, Scott Morgan of Write Hook. When I write a short story or piece of flash fiction, I like to ‘drop in’ on the story and then ‘drop out.’ It’s my style. It’s my way. My way seems to leave my endings a bit too abrupt. With the following poem, although it’s short, it felt done to me. I had nothing else to say that would add to what I’d already said. So, how about you? How do you know when you’ve reached the end of something you’re working on? Please share your pearls of wisdom.



Deepening that path rarely trod,

Fairly certain transgressions were never



We place our heads upon the grassy knoll,

Our fortunes unknown to us,

By day we speak in whispers,

By night we define the silence


Complacence shadows the ambivalent,

Quiet and graceful he stalks

Until he secures his place;


The faithful are few, go

Make your discoveries


(Image courtesy of Microsoft ClipArt)

Second Look



Mired in the ways of this lethal world

Temptations and traps at every turn, watch your step to avoid a snare

All who can float away, grabbing a balloon full of lighter air

Furious flames lick a silent horizon; no more will music play

Trust no one and nothing; death is whispering to the sails in the bay

Conjured up from some ancient game,

A beast sets to place his foot upon the earth

While the innocent ones lose their battle in birth

And the wealthy seek to prove their worth

No more will things be the same

No more will things be the same…


 (Image courtesy of Microsoft ClipArt)


Down In This Place




I’m down in this place

Where the fish won’t bite

Where the music won’t play

Staring at a yellow moon of

Fear and fantasy today


I’m down in this place

Let the fortune makers know

Jam is in my window seals

Death is in the dough

Funny how we get our thrills


On and on we go

Yeah, on and on we go


I’m down in this place

The punch is spiked with grief

Catch a ride on the tilt-a-whirl

Best ride at the fair, save Sallie

Yeah, she’s your happy girl


I’m down in this place

Cream floats to the top

It’s all good til you realize

You’ve had your last drop

Swallow that mouthful of lies


On and on we go

Yeah, on and on we go



(Image courtesy of Microsoft Clipart)

Blue Cocoon


We’re in the same house but different rooms

You’re in a shell, I’m in a blue cocoon

The way the sky looks, sun glaring on the two of us

Illuminates the damage we’ve both done


Hazy thoughts of yesterday still remain

Laughter and once-upons filter through the day

Like water from a creek river-bound, soft rush of sound

We keep flowing down, down, down


We’ll finally get tired of the silent grief

We’ll seek an answer just to get relief

There’s no going back to a place you never been

You can smile and nod your head, but it’s all pretend


I’m breaking free of my blue cocoon

Rolling, tumbling, loose I’ll fly

You can stay or run from your  self-locked room

I’m dancing on this grave of goodbye

The rhythm’s in the loss; you’ll always wonder why


 (Image courtesy of Microsoft Office ClipArt)