Man Like That

Summer 2011 Prosetry Contest Winner

I have stories to tell, he says, his diamond eye sparkling in the bright sun. I can hardly believe I would get in a car with a man like that man. Blasting along, wind whipping hair, he’s saying words as fast as he can spit them out, I’m looking with some wonder at the flower growing out of his ear and the blue fire dancing on his tongue and thinking, you’re just crazy as a shit house rat aren’t you baby?  He takes both hands off the wheel and presses ten fingertips into his skull, screaming, My brain! My brain! That’s right baby, that’s right. It’s about 102 degrees and looking for more, dry lighting snaps in the air, a lizard atomizes on the hood, twang factor everywhere. He’s easing down on the brake now, gliding to a silky stop. He turns his dove eye to me and says very sweetly, have you eaten anything yet I haven’t eaten yet what shall I get what would you like what sounds good? I say, yes.

 

Sally Reno is a writer, producer and newscaster for Pacifica-KGNU Radio in Denver-Boulder and the CFO of Shining Mountains Press. Her flash fiction and short stories have appeared in print and online journals, including Fast Forward, Indigo, Lady Jane’s Miscellany, Used Furniture Review and flashparty.

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p style=”text-align: justify;”>Guest-edited by Molly Gaudry, author of the verse novel We Take Me Apart and founder of The Lit Pub. Read an excerpt of her novella, We Take Me Apart, in Moon Milk Review.

Issue No. 14 | Summer 2011


MMR ANTHOLOGY 2011 — Fiction, Poetry, Art

SUBSCRIBE for free online issues of MMR


GALLERY | B. J. Lloyd

COMEDY SPOTLIGHT | Funny or Die: Dear Woman Will Ferrell & Friends

SUMMER 2011 ECLECTIC GROOVE MIX | Featured Indie Rock | Red Directors

Sublime, Sheryl Crow, Sugar Ray

BOOK GALLERY | Cynthia Atkins, Kristina Marie Darling, Meg Tuite, Mel Bosworth, Michael Kimball, Paul Dickey, J. A. Tyler, John Minichillo

FICTION |

Lotería Lisa Marie Basile

Buy Nothing Day Mickey Hess

Emails from the Staybridge Suites Anaheim Suzanne Marie Hopcroft

Permanent Marjorie Maddox

Or Do You Love It? Meg Pokrass

Honey Melissa Ross

The Soul Shoppe Nathaniel Tower

POETRY |

Pork Salt Kay Cosgrove

Echolalia Leslee Rene Wright

PROSETRY |

Spring 2011 Winner | Prophecy as a Reducing Mathematical Certainty Carl James Grindley (Guest-Edited by Laura Ellen Scott)

Summer 2011 Contest | For Your Eyes Only (Guest-edited by Molly Gaudry)

Permanent

Marjorie Maddox Haffer

Before the paramedics arrive, the father tucks in his four-year-old daughter and surrounds her with twenty-two stuffed animals and assorted photographs. In five, she is sitting in his lap. In eight, she is at an amusement park. In two more, she is hugging a stuffed lamb. In one, she is eating Rice Krispies. Her head is carefully propped on the bed’s ruffled pillow. Later, the police count a dozen stab wounds. If Shout were applied immediately to the sheets, the stains would dissolve into temporary.

At the playground, the week before, she played with my son on the short slide, both too afraid of heights. Her father waved when she reached the top. My son gave a thumb’s up, his victory temporary when he slipped and fell. There was no permanent damage.

At home, we cleaned the un-bleeding knee, adhered Spiderman bandages. My son asked about the little girl, if she’d made it down OK. I had forgotten to look but answered immediately. He did not question my truthfulness.

In the future, when my daughter trips and breaks her nose, we ignore the speed limit getting her to the hospital. My son worries about the police, watches out the window for their flashing disc, insists he can hear a siren. Inside the emergency room, the nurses look at me suspiciously. They ask me again how it happened. Before this conversation takes place, I will need to rehearse a scenario.

Today, I wait impatiently in the waiting room, reading Power Ranger books to my son. When he falls asleep, I scan the local paper, looking for the trial, how long the father will be in. After an hour, the nurse asks why I’m there. “No reason,” I say, trying to sound temporary.

Memory often re-arranges events, adds elaborate details. More often than not, the effect is permanent. You will forget this detail immediately after it is read.

 

 

Marjorie Maddox is the director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven University. She has published several books including Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award). Her poems, stories, and essays can be found in Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, and American Literary Review, among other journals. She is the co-editor of Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (PSU Press 2005). Her short story collection, What She Was Saying, was a finalist for the Katherine Anne Porter Book Award. Marjorie lives with her husband and two children in Williamsport, PA.

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