photo of hands fastening belt buckle

Two Rare Flash by Chris Fradkin

Suzi and the Landlord
(From The Saga of Suzi – A life and work in progress)

She was always in arrears—since the layoff at the factory—her rent check never got there by the first.

But thank God she had Felix. He was more than understanding. He took payment in the washroom near the heater.

She’d be duct-taped to the furnace with her panties on the ground. He’d be slobberin’ in her ear like a mosquito.

But he always was a gentleman. He’d hold the door for her. He’d tip his hat when they rode the elevator.

Before the Fall

Before the fall took Addy, Beecious learned to drive. He went upanddown the driveway on his “bikie.” Addy watched him from th’kitchen while she smoked her cigarettes. Upanddown the driveway Beecious drove.

When they moved her into hospice, Beecious asked his father Why? Why did mommy haveto stay inside thedarkroom? Beecious’ dad waswithout answer. Beecious turned and ran to play. That was threedays after Farmer Janus found’er.

She was safe, the doctor told them as heloaded her with morphine. That should see her through to morning—yes it should. Addy lay thereon the sheets. Beecious watched her fromthehallway. Addy’s lips would formthewords that needed saying.

Beecious watched her from thehallway. Addy faded as he watched. When her lips had paused he went to see hisfather. Is mommy goin’ upt’heaven? Beecious’ father shook his head. Beecious climbed upon his lapand there he stayed.

Chris Fradkin is a beet farmer who is tending crops in Central California. His prose and poetry have recently appeared in Far Enough East, Storyglossia, and Thrush Poetry Journal. His songs have been performed by Fergie, The Plimsouls, and The Flamin’ Groovies. His photography has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, and his Emmy-award-winning sound editorial has graced The X-Files.

Lead image: “40+290 Notch” (via Flickr user bark)