microfiction: three stories

Trying something new here. Let’s see how it turns out.

***

“Do you suppose there is any market for short stories that are less than 500 words? Seems to be all I can write,” he said. His friend shrugged, not caring near as much as he did about the topic, so he turned back to his computer, dripping mustard from his fast food burger on the keyboard as he scrolled through Facebook posts. He forgot, after a minute, that he had even asked the question.

***

Slowly, cautiously, he lifted up the corners like peeling the plastic of a frozen dinner. A familiar rush shot through his nerves. Kings, a spade and a club. They were down to two tables now. Blinds were getting high, and his chips were dwindling. When it was his action, he raised about three times the blind, which was close to a third of his stack, not too aggressive, but not too feeble either. He wanted a call, but only one. He got four. His heart sank, and he knew then that his raise had not been high enough. The flop was Ace, Queen, Eight, all hearts. When the guy in front of him moved all-in, he knew he had to lay the hand down, and did so reluctantly, shaking his head and frowning.

He got nothing but trash the rest of the way, and ended up moving in with a Jack-Eight off suit. He went out on the bubble.

***

The needle was hovering below the last hash mark. Many miles back, he had passed a gas station, but had not wanted to stop, assuming that another would appear soon. He was regretting that decision now. “I must be the last man on earth without GPS,” he said to himself, and pondered whether it would be better to turn around or just keep going. The road ahead was flat, easy, and desolate as a battlefield.

***

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