By MEG POKRASS.
Clouds, the Day After You Were Born
The day you were born, clouds flirted with each other. They had nice hair, ideas that led to better formations. Easily they blended into pleasant shapes. But the day after you were born, clouds argued about some misunderstanding. In the middle of the night, they collided in the cold kitchen. The one, slouched over martini breath, said, Why do I frighten you? The other in unwrinkled pyjamas said, Excuse me, slipping past.
Monsters on Shore
You’re acting like a child, I tell Frank, but he’s shaking his full head of hair at me. I follow him here and there like a driven chicken, down to the loch and back, around and around the shore. I wake up older in the morning, can’t help scolding him for the holes in his socks. ‘What are they going to think when you don’t find a monster’? I say one night in a fit of worry. He shakes his head at me, as if he has heard it a hundred times before. Stands behind me and hugs my waist. ‘You smell like a sexy sea serpent’, he says. Lets me know that I swore at him in my sleep. It gives me a chill, but the tent is dark and I ask him to hold my hand.
His monster is someone no one else can imagine. She moves through his dreams like a shorebird, flutters around his face, submerges herself in his parsnip soup. He doesn’t know what to do with such a stuck premonition. Doesn’t feel he can stay indoors when she is near. ‘It’s that song of hers’, he says, before heading back to the loch at night. ‘Like no other on earth.’ I try not to worry that he loves me like an unidentifiable water ripple.
MEG POKRASS is the author of nine collections of flash fiction and two novellas in flash. Her work has been published in three Norton anthologies of flash including Flash Fiction America, New Micro, and Flash Fiction International; Best Small Fictions 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2023; Wigleaf Top 50; and many international literary journals including Electric Literature, McSweeney’s, Washington Square Review, Split Lip, storySouth, and Passages North. She has two new forthcoming collections: Breath and Shadow: Six Sentence Stories (co-written with Robert Scotellaro) forthcoming from Mad Hat Press, and The First Law of Holes: New and Selected Stories by Meg Pokrass, forthcoming from Dzanc Books. Meg lives in Inverness, Scotland, where she writes about Nessie hunters.