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55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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U and I Paint Supply

(2009)
There was a time when every family in America had to have a backyard fallout shelter. The past was not a simpler time, it is simply remembered that way.
an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

The store was open six days — 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 weekdays with abbreviated hours on Saturday. Gordon always arrived first, parked out back in his reserved space, unlocked and entered through the rear exit coming forward switching on lights as he went, interior darkness evaporating as he approached the front door.

Waiting on the sidewalk outside the wide windows, a man in his mid-thirties and a boy of eleven with his bicycle. The tumbler in the lock clicked, the glass door opened. The boy knocked the kickstand up and the spring made a twanging sound as he rolled his ten speed into the store proper. Anthony stepped into the shop behind the boy and said, “Thanks boss. Kind of chilly out there.”

The boy guided his bicycle into the back with one hand on the gooseneck that connected the round drop down handlebars. “Yah, thanks Mister Miter.”

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The cool morning air was deceptive. Riverside lay inland on an arid plain: cold to freezing over night, but the temperature rose with the sun. It was going to be another hot desert day, perfect for watching paint dry, Gordon thought and chuckled at his own wry sense of humor.

The boy picked up a broom and began sweeping the floor in the customer area. Both Anthony and Gordon stood behind the counter with cigarettes dangling from their lips. Occasionally they flicked an ash toward where the boy worked, but Saturdays rarely

This story is 23 pages long, available in PDF format.
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