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55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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Nobody Likes a Smartass

(2005)
This was originally written as an essay titled “Snappy Comebacks.” My friend Dano read it and said, “Nobody likes a smartass.” Thus, he renamed the short story.

“Here’s to Space, the Final Frontier” is one of many greetings and salutations you will find in this tale of requited love.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

Warren seated himself among a group of friends meeting at Gordon Biersch along the Embarcadero and had just been introduced to the lovely Natalia when he heard a voice behind him say, “Everyone, I want you to meet Jonathan. He will be taking over for me this evening because I have a rather large party to attend.”

Warren rotated in his uncomfortably high seat, one of those bar stools that passes for not-a-bar-stool-because-you’re-not-at-a-bar-silly-you’re-at-an-uncomfortably-high-small-round-table, and realized it was the waiter speaking, not one of his friends. Warren held a piece of bread pudding, which looked suspiciously like nothing more than a loaf of sour dough sliced and surrounded by ice cream scoop shaped balls of garlic butter, near his lips and said, “I certainly hope you enjoy your party. Is it in your honor?”

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These words came from Warren unbidden and out of the blue. He did not even hear them at first and had to repeat them to himself while the astonished group, as well as the waiter to whom the comment was addressed, took them in, churned them around and around inside the cranial containers that rested atop their brain stems until they obtained some meaning.

The waiter smiled thinly as an expectant pause hung in the air.

Meanwhile, he who had no right to say anything, who should have remained an uninvolved spectator, who had consumed no more than a morsel of the comestibles delivered to the table, this interloper allowed his eyes to rise to meet those of the surprised recipient of the riposte and then gradually to tilt downward to the left and dive

Story is 6 pages long, available in PDF format.
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