This summer, “Spectrum”, the shortest story I’ve ever written (around 350 words!), which had previously been a semifinalist in Mid-American Review‘s Fineline Competition, will be published by my favorite microfiction venue, CHEAP POP. If you’re not already reading them, get on it!
I wrote this back in 2005 for a 250-word comedy story challenge.
To my dearest DeeDee,
I know when you arrived home this evening, you were surprised I wasn’t here, huddled under an afghan, watching my soaps. If you haven’t already discovered it, you’ll be still more surprised to discover that your clothes are gone. Yes, your clothes. I can’t think of an easy way to put this, so I’ll just say it. I’m leaving you.
Remember when I went in for that tonsillectomy? And remember how upset I was when they accidentally switched charts and gave me breast implants instead? And now it’s been months, but my lawyers haven’t gotten anything done and I haven’t planned to have them removed? Yeah, um, because it was no accident. I got them on purpose.
This is years in the planning. I’ve been skimming off the top of my Social Security check since before I met you. The circus pays twice what I’m getting from the government! And I’ll feel fulfilled. Since I was a boy, whenever I saw a bearded man, I pictured him in a dress. Like a fuzzy Laura Ingalls.
I know this is hard to understand, and I don’t expect you too. I also don’t expect you to try and find me, knowing who I really am. See, I’ve had this dream, since as long as I can remember… to be in the circus, as the bearded-lady. I’m sorry I lied.
You must be asking yourself, WHY? I can’t answer that. Call it fate, destiny, call Jerry Springer.