3 Connected Drabbles
pulls the hem of her skirt down, hoping to hide the abrasions on her knees. The
other secretaries in the office act like they don’t notice. The boss drops by
her desk, whispers nonsense into her hair. Aloud, he orders Theresa to follow
him for dictation. Momentarily, the other secretaries freeze, hold their
collective breath. She opens her desk drawer, gathers her pen, pad, and antique
letter opener. The one the previous secretary left behind for her, with the
terse note on scratch paper: “You’ll know when to use this.” Theresa glances at
the clock. It’s well past time.
the bar Paula, grumbled, “I’d give anything to be on a hot, sunny
her last customer queried, stirring his drink with his pinky.
eye-teeth, my first born, my—”
The old gent added, eyes glittering in the bar’s dim light.
Her customer held out his hand and she slapped his palm.
licked her cracked lips as her nose and shoulders burned, blistered, and
peeled. Searching for shade—a palm tree, anything—she found nothing. Only an
she couldn’t even cry. “My dear,” the old gent whispered. “A deal’s a deal.”
love a spectacle: Sparks, colorful smoke, music, a vendor selling snacks and
souvenirs. With trembling hand, the magistrate chooses a little girl with
golden curls to light the bonfire. See how she holds the smoldering stick, how
she dances like a fawn over to the pyre of dry wood! Our eyes meet, she thrusts
the stick, ignites the fire. The slow burn begins. The crowd roars! A priest
mumbles; he fears what comes next. Shrieking, I travel through smoke and pain
to land inside that little girl’s head. My new home! Possession is 9/10’s of
the law, you know.
Hillary Lyon holds a Masters
in English Literature, and what did she do with that? She founded and for 20
years acted as senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press.
Her short stories, drabbles, and poems have appeared in numerous print and online publications.
She's lived in Brazil, Canada, France, and several states in the US; she currently resides
in southern Arizona. Hillary also creates illustrations for horror, sci-fi, and pulp fiction