Be Human

Her sister entered the apartment with burglar’s stealth.

April got out of bed, walked to her bedroom door, and stopped when she heard a voice that wasn’t her sister’s. May Sullivan, there might be hope for you yet. It was almost midnight, and her sister had company.

Grinning, April pressed an ear to the door.

“…don’t know about that,” May whispered.

“She isn’t good for you,” responded an unfamiliar voice.

“Kiley, you’ve always been biased when it comes to my sister.”

“Not biased, sweetie. Everyone knows your sister. She won’t help you find the courage that will allow your husband back into your life. Sharing a space with her will hurt—”

April opened the bedroom door. “My sister and I shared a womb for nine months, Kiley sweetie, and we survived just fine.”

“I should leave.” Kiley stood up.

“You should.” April walked across the living room and opened the front door.

Kiley rushed out.

April slammed the door closed.

“That was uncalled for,” May said.

“Uncalled for?” April got in her sister’s face. “That woman wants you ‘to find the courage’ to forgive the bastard who put the horns on you for two fucking years. That’s uncalled for!”

“Please don’t yell.”

“Damnit,” April shouted. “When did your soul die? Why is your carcass feeding everyone’s expectations? Can you breathe through that much weakness? Are you human, May S—?”

“Fuck off, April.” May slapped her sister.

May hit her hard, but it was the words—not the smack—that still rang in April’s ears.

“I’m sorry,” May said. “You were hysterical.

April hugged May, saying over and over, “You hit me.”

“I did,” May said softly. “And earlier, I drove my soon to be ex-husband’s car out of the garage that used to be ours and into the pool that’s now his. Is that human enough?”

April hugged her sister tighter.

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Inspired by “Be Human”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction, 1

wee notes:
1. to put the horns on someone means to be unfaithful.
2. I put Helen Mirren’s super inspirational advice in May Sullivan’s gentle mouth: “At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘fuck off’ much more frequently.”

Nude, by SunshineShelle
Detail from “Nude”, by SunshineShelle

Of Banshees and Clean Underpants

“You promise?”

“I promise.”

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The old heart slowed as summer began to fall towards October.

She howled her promise into the night.

When her cry was swallowed by the roaring of too much city, she ran… but arrived too late—Death took her friend before the Banshee could warn her to change into clean underpants.

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Process Note
: a couple of days ago, I spent time with a group of ladies who have lived for a very long time. We were discussing myths associated with death, when one of them said, “It might be nice to befriend a banshee.” I asked why, and she answered, “Am I the only one who would like some warning, so I can change into clean underpants before the big trip?” Then, pointing towards the city, she added, “With all this damn noise, the banshee might not be able to shriek loud enough.”

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for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads – Flash 55 Plus

Lucy, by A Little Company
“Lucy”, by A Little Company, “Forever in mid joyful expression, in a natural state of being, she is sure to inspire and remind you to live life to the fullest.”