Concise Prose. Enough Said.
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Three Short Works

By Dianne McKinght

A Good Ending
The Gulf
Last Blue Sky Mile

A Good Ending

It’s twilight, or maybe just a little past; things have lost more color than not, and pale darkness lights the first stars one by one. You sit on the porch, thinking faraway, and watch a jet flying overhead still catching the sun. You watch until it’s out of sight and then you listen, listen for the moment you can’t hear it anymore.

A beginning is up to you.

The Gulf

My 99-year-old mother sits in the passenger’s seat. It’s a breezy October morning in Vermont and I’m driving on a road that winds down for miles into a gulf, a deep hollow between mountains.

Trees at the edge of the road let go of their leaves all at once as we pass, uncovering a sky as blue as the morning glories blooming around doorways. “Heavenly Blue,” they're called.

“My, my,” my mother says, again and again.

She sits still as stone, her purse in her lap, as if the slightest movement might break the spell. She could ride like this forever.

Although, lately, she says, some man keeps calling her up and asking her out. She won’t go. She says she thinks she knows who it is.

Last Blue Sky Mile

The man and his cancer walk heavy up the dirt road. We see the cancer. It’s grey like ashes and its arms don’t move. Dogs bark, bark, bark, hand off to next and next and next. What’s next?

Women in squares, dishes under silver water, crumbs on counters. Counting, counting. Hours, days, weeks, months, years. One, two, three, four, five. Six. Sky blue sky. Count clouds. Not one. Wait, wait, wait. Weight, weight, weight.


Dianne McKnight has a BA and MA in English, and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. Her flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Doorknobs and BodyPaint, Tattoo Highway, riverbabble, flashquake, In Posse Review, Hobart, Mississippi Review online, The Green Tricycle, Pindeldyboz, VerbSap, Thieves Jargon, Cezanne's Carrot, and Opium. She won the 2003 Bloomsday Prize and other flash fiction contests.

Photo Dreamscape 4 courtesy of Barun Patro, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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