Curtis, Alone and Aging – B. F. McCune
1050 Words Literary Fiction
Not all war injuries become evident on a soldier’s body, nor do they show themselves without delay. Years after a stint in the service, one man treasures his experiences and boasts about them, yet suffers the real results silently.
“C’mon, Curtis, make up your mind. You’ve had all lunch hour to think.” The young waitress, as lush and appetizing as her pies, bounces the eraser end of her pencil on the order pad. Every part of her pliant body pushes a rounded curve against the thin white uniform. Curtis wonders why he prefers to consider relishing the taste of pie to that of flesh.
The Desk – B. F. McCune
4000 words Women’s Fiction
An old piece of furniture ready to be sold or discarded becomes the symbol of a young mother’s hopes. But when a crisis at home interferes, she must weigh the value of a dream against the reality of her obligations to her family.
The desk is not the main topic on the agenda, but it consumes most of the time at the January meeting of the Cultural Organization of Women. Milly Stone, one of “our senior members,” mentions the desk first. She stands and smoothes her flowered print dress over her cushioned front. “I would like to propose that we sell the desk in the upstairs room and use the proceeds for establishing a scholarship fund for new artists,” she says.
The Incident at Mister Burger – B. F. McCune
2600 words Humour
Fast foods are the foundation of contemporary cookery. But if something goes wrong with the order, what recourse do we have? Here’s one idea from a very determined woman intent on justice for herself, other customers, and the world at large.
All the members of my family share two traits: (1) they’re convinced their opinions are always, absolutely right, and (2) they’re quick, instantaneous to anger. My sister Gloria is the most extreme. To excuse her excesses, she claims, “My passions are larger than life,” as if she’s soul-mates with the great personalities of the ages—Michelangelo, John the Baptist, Madonna. That’s what plunged her into a dangerous situation at the local Mister Burger.