Here is my flash fiction for this week. Please share any constructive criticism you can offer, and thanks so much for reading. To read more flash fiction from a great group of writers, search #fridayflash on Twitter or visit Mad Utopia.
It’s 4 A.M.
By Olivia Tejeda
Early this morning, just before 4 a.m., as the Estates at Vineyard Glen settled in for a final stretch of darkness before sunrise and the last of the fat bodied moths withered away from the street light outside 803 Grapevine Court, Mary Ann Barnes lay silently in her bed after waking up too early – mind racing – for the sixteenth night in a row.
Sleep came with no problem. By 11 o’clock, midnight, she was out, but these past few weeks, her sleep ends at 4, and her brain starts working like it’s slept for hours.
Today’s Tuesday, right? Damn, Tuesday is taco day, I need to make Dillinger lunch. Do I have anything? I should have shopped yesterday. Why can’t he just eat the goddamm tacos? Kids love tacos.
And why the hell did we name him Dillinger? Was I drinking? Why not just call him Berkowitz or Oswald?
She thought of her sweet-faced, blond boy.
Fourth grade already. How is that possible? If he doesn’t start behaving he’s won’t make it to fifth.
If I don’t get some sleep soon, I won’t either.
She took in a deep breath to sigh, but kept inhaling, turning it into the cleansing breath she learned in her yoga class. She wanted to fill up on relaxation now and store her energy before giving in to the demands of the day, but it was useless. She was already exhausted.
What did that doctor on Oprah say? If you’re not sleeping, you’re not dreaming, and then something happens and you could have a heart attack or stroke.
I’m too young for a heart attack.
Probably should exercise more. The yoga’s great, but it does nothing for my heart. Or my ass. My instructor’s ass, though. Boy, she’s got an ass. Even in my best days, my ass couldn’t touch hers.
Pete has a great ass. Is he gonna flirt with me today? That smile. He’s so sexy.
She looked over at her husband. His back was to her, exposed, and she listened to him snore.
Maybe I can rub off a quick one before he wakes up.
Her eyes moved along the path of his spine from his neck down to his waist, the sheets obscured the rest of him.
I could scratch four long welts into his back if I wanted.
She brought her hand to his neck, fingers like claws, ready to tear at him. She held it there, looking at his smooth skin.
Oh, the hell with it.
Should I have an affair? Karen is, and she looks great. I’m not good at lying, though. And I’d have to shave my legs. I haven’t done that since Labor Day.
Oh! Chicken fingers. I can nuke chicken fingers for Dillie’s lunch. Stop calling him Dillie. He hates that. I do, too. Oh, fuck it, I haven’t slept in weeks. The kid can eat a friggin’ taco.
I wonder if Michelle Obama make her kids lunch. Does she shave her legs? She hates pantyhose, so she probably does. I bet she does yoga, too. My instructor has a better ass, though.
The news said Obama is considering sending more troops. God, how do those mothers sleep? Maybe we’ll all have heart attacks and the troops will come home to take care of everything the dead mothers used to take care of.
Did Eric tell me Annie’s Civil War project is done or did I imagine that?
She looked at her husband again. She loved him most of the time, but at that moment she wanted to kick him for being able to sleep like that.
I wish he’d wake up. I’m the tired one. I’m going to wake him up early to make sure Annie’s project is done. And he can help her pack it up before he leaves for work.
I hope he’s not having an affair.
There’s something else I need to tell him. What was it? What was it? I can’t remember anything anymore.
I definitely have to shop today. Fruit, stuff for lunches, face cream, milk, dog biscuits. Five things. I can remember that. And canned goods for the Thanksgiving drive. Six things. I need to get more donations for that. And we still need to put up signs. Shit, we didn’t make the signs. I should ask Karen if they can make them. She’s got time to fool around, she’s got time to make some signs, right?
Is Mom coming for Thanksgiving?
She said her furnace smelled like it’s burning. I wonder if she called the plumber yet. I hope that doesn’t cost her a fortune. I have to remember to call her today.
I should keep a notepad by this bed.
That’s what I needed to ask Eric. Did he pay the cell bill?
Is he having an affair?
I need eggs, too.
I won’t remember all that.
Make a list.
It’s so quiet I could lose my mind. If I listen too long it scares me. Feels lonely.
Oh, the birds. They’re starting to sing.
© Olivia Tejeda and Liv Loves Lit, 2008-2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Olivia Tejeda and Liv Loves Lit with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.