Two Flash-Fiction Pieces by Evan Anderson

Morning Glory by Jayne Martin
May 1, 2018
Dark & Dastardly:The Psychology of Art by J. Ray Paradiso
May 3, 2018

The End of the World, pt. 2

At the end of the world, the light didn’t go out. In fact, it got clearer. The earth became an expanding pupil, pulling in every particle to be absolutely certain that what was happening was actually happening.

 

It was.

 

And the fact that the sun went on shining just made everything even more unreal for the well-lit reality of it. Bodies on pavements baked, car windshields glinted and had the audacity to reflect the birds overhead. Water evaporated and then fell again. Plants made chlorophyll, ignorant to endings. Light doesn’t obey our existence. It rises on faces living or dead.

Basil | a carefully measured tragedy in three parts

[300] I get up to start dinner, chicken pesto pasta, and pull out the dry, store-bought

[285] basil instead of the plants we’ve been growing in the kitchen.

[274] “Do you really love me?” I ask, beginning to measure out each ingredient and

[260] placing them into separate dishes lined up across the counter.

[250] “Yes.”

[249] …2 TBS olive oil, ¼ cup fresh basil…

[241] “You don’t seem happy sometimes. Like maybe you’d be happier with someone

[229] else.”

[228] “Sometimes I think you’d be happier if that were true.” He turns on the TV.

[213] I set a pot of water on low and wait for the boil.

2

[200] The herbs we planted and placed on the kitchen table by the window have grown,

[185] more than anything else, into a metaphor. Mostly dead but alive enough, they

[172] move crookedly toward the bars of light between the wide wood blinds.

[160] “Dinner is ready, sweetheart,” I say, carrying a measuring cup full of too much

[146] water to the plants.

[142] “You really should just throw those things out,” he says, grabbing his plate and

[128] not mine and setting it down on one of the two T.V. trays I’ve set out.
[112] “Yeah,” I say back and wonder, why won’t they just die, already?

3

[100] I tried to arrange us like chapters of a book, but each one ended with a question

[83] that the next would never answer. We began to circle back onto ourselves like a

[68] stuck record. We have left things unsaid and unresolved, like one of those poems

[54] you hate where words are left dangling out in empty space and you could never

[39] figure out why. “Don’t ever do that in your writing,” you said once. Incidentally,

[25] the first poem I wrote for you which I called Green Like Basil, ended like this:

[9] Our love is like a poem—  

[3] this one.

[1

 


Evan Anderson lives and writes in a bowl of a city, surrounded by swamps and brimming with stories and music. He is online
at 
www.evanmichaelanderson.com.