By PDMACpayday loans

Fall Colors

Coming up from behind it wasn’t until the car was close that I noticed
the figure walking ahead was wearing a saffron robe. A muted curry color
that stood out from the fall foliage more by shape than color. A few miles away is a Buddhist retreat center so he wasn’t entirely out of place on this back road in western Massachusetts. He wore a large backpack. On one side it had a vertical sleeve for his full sized umbrella. I very much wanted to imagine it was a sword.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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50 Caliber

“Have you ever seen a 50 caliber bullet?” he asked.
“I don’t think so” I replied.
“Here, hold it. Feel the energy inside” he said.
Heavy in my hand all I felt was death.
Doug Mathewson

Filed Under 55 Words / 50 Words
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“Bad Dux, Bad Dux, What You Gonna Do”

My job was doing a book cover, and the storyline was about duck street gangs.
The editor said it was an important and very significant part of the story that
the gang ducks “bumped beaks” when the greeted each other and
should be prominent in the illustration.
These were not to be messed with ducks, mean streets suzies and drakes every one.
Gang colors just looked cute, and bumping beaks just looked like kissing.
Fingerless gloves were out, piercings don’t look like much,
and tattooed feathers just did not make sense. Nothing was working.
But tattoos on duck feet look great. Blue and black strong dark geometric patterns. Very tribal, and very cool.
Maybe the author would do a re-write and make them head-hunter ducks someplace in a jungle. The back ground could be lush green , and in the foreground fierce warrior ducks, not to be messed with ducks, hardened survivor suzies and drakes every one.
We’d loose the bumping thing, and give them cool necklaces made of shrunken beaks.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Micro Fiction
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There never seemed to be a real reason why I did’t go to Meyer’s very often. The place was friendly enough, the coffee okay, and the bagels were mostly decent though the selection was limited. It was off a road near the beach so traffic is a pain in the summer. The only other business out that way was the semi-functional hardware store that only sold items that other hardware stores discontinued years ago. Like skeleton keys and illegal drain openers. If I had a dog maybe we would go for early morning beach walks and stop for coffee regularly at Meyer’s, but I did’t have a dog.
What I did have was a need for some old style brass grommets. The kind that were used in sail making years ago and now have been replaced by better and cheaper teflon ones. I just needed to repair and old deck chair and wanted everything to match.
I only needed a few so it wasn’t worth the effort to poke around Amazon for a
them. After a completely uneventful (but successful) trip to the store, I stopped by
at Meyer’s
The place had a fresh look, not completely different, just not as shabby and run down.
Not the neglected look of scattered week old newspapers. The gum-ball machine for
“Jerry’s Kid’s” that had been empty since the 70’s was gone. Gone too were the two and three year out of date “Fireman’s Carnival” posters, and the framed signed photo of Yogi Berra with the cracked glass. The place smelled great, which was different too. It had the delicious aroma of a bakery. I couldn’t remember the place smelling like anything before, good or bad. So why not? Instead of just a coffee I’d see what they had, some bread maybe or even bagels. The bagel bins were new and so were the kinds of bagel combinations offered. One that struck me as odd was “Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar”. What was going on with old man Meyer? It never occurred to me to ask if Meyer was his first or last name, but he wouldn’t sell “Bacon” anything. The place might be 100% Kosher, but still. Had the old man died or retired? I didn’t see him or his grand kids who sometimes ran the register. Everybody working in the place looked Ecuadorian. I asked a woman behind the counter about Meyer, but she didn’t know who I meant. I asked her about the bacon bagels too, which I noticed they were out of, and she replied “Tomorrow, for you, I save”. So, I’ll go back tomorrow. Maybe I’ll end up getting a dog one of these days.

Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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“We Are All Water” – Yoko Ono

The Army of Morning Dew-Drops has a tradition
Of concealing midnight tear survivors
Hiding them scattered through the ranks
Tears quietly referred to only as “Salty Cadets”
Rank upon rank, and row upon row
Every drop glistens and gleams as the garrison musters for dawn
The Generalissimo turns a saline blind eye

Filed Under Poetry & Essay
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Birthday at Five

My wife and I took our grandson to another five year old’s birthday party. Our main job was to say “Hello, thank you” and “Goodbye, thank you”. For this we would each be paid a piece of cake. Also we would be our grandson’s on call adults if needed (which we were not). Our hosts were welcoming and very gracious. They had planned many fun games and activities. A great deal of thought and work had gone into the event.
The party was outside and moved along at a fast pace that was perfect for a group of eleven excited boys who wanted to run and play.
The Birthday Boy’s two older brothers coordinated the games and entertainment. They were good sports about helping out with the younger kids. The boys attacked the piñata
not only with bamboo poles but with Super Soakers as well, which I had never seen done before. When it was time to completely demolish the piñata I noticed one boy was wearing a John Coltrane shirt. An unusual choice for someone so young. I sought my wife’s hand, gave it a squeeze, and thought of our grandson, and two grand daughters. Then Coltrane came back, A love Supreme.

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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Yogi’s Cat

She was a terrible waitress and we didn’t care. In her charming shy English she and my wife were discussing the history of immunization and plague, while her cousins covered for her. She was a doctoral student specializing in possible future pandemics. Since relatives were putting her up for the semester while she worked at the local university,
it only seemed right she should help out in their small Thai restaurant.
To include me in the conversation, she nodded briefly and said “I like your shirt very much. It is like the song”. She smiled, I smiled, my wife smiled , and I had no idea what song she meant.
My shirt was a lightweight plaid cowboy shirt complete with pearly buttons onto which my wife had sewn 70’s embroidered cats. Two little cats angled over the pockets playing different musical instruments. I tried to think of “shirt song” and did come up with Donavan and Elvis Costello tunes before our waitress gently prompted “you know,” and in her small lovely voice sang “Everybody wants to be a cat……”. The theme song from the “Aristocats”. The Disney animated film for praising cat lifestyles that came out shortly after “Lady and the Tramp” was such a hit. My wife knew it and started to sing, so did the cousins who joined in and in a true Broadway moment a surprising number of the other diners sang along. Only a few people new the song beyond the chorus
and even fewer knew the second verse, but people smiled and hummed along.
One of the cousins brought our food, our waitress gave another little nod and left.
My wife divided brow rice between us, and seemed to think all this was completely normal. I thought what a strange shift in our time-space continuum there had been. Singing a song from a cartoon movie I hadn’t thought of in forty years. Yet who could appreciate all this? Maybe if Yogi Berra had a cat. Deja vu all over again. Meow.
Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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Lend a Hand

Depending on the season Gus-Boy worked construction or fixing cars.
Place he bent wrenches fixed up donated cars and gave ‘em away. Just old cars to get you to work or for folks with kids who lived out in the hills,
Painted his name on the trunk of everyone so if he or a friend saw it broke down, they’d know to stop and lend a hand.
Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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Qui etes-vous

Emily said, “I am nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too? ….
I am not Charlie’
nor The Prophet’s son.
Just a friend of Emily’s,
and that is quite enough.
by Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Micro Fiction, Poetry & Essay
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Wilhelm’s Job

Since Wilhelm was the oldest, his job was wiping snot from Grandfather’s great
walrus like mustache. Wilhelm often waited until long drooping strands were dangling off
Grandfathers chin. Grandfather did not care for Wilhelm. Wilhelm did not care for Grandfather.

Gretchen, the youngest, just knew in her heart she’d knife the old man before she’d take over Wilhelm’s job. She stabbing Grandfather would make their mother very sad Gretchen knew, so she daydreamed about burning their little house down while everyone was asleep.

Wilhelm’s middle sister, Little Martha, told all this to the blind man who sold postcards in front of the Cathedral. They were close friends. Little Martha picked out all the postcards that he sold. She told him they were religious paintings by Renaissance Masters depicting Saints, Holy Miracles, and Bible stories.

They were actually photos naked muscle men. The pictures were well done, Mediterranean sunshine gave a warm tone to the oiled bodies of these young men.
Most often they posed to display their striking physiques. Sometimes they were kissing or just holding hands.

by-Doug Mathewson

Filed Under Flash Fiction
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