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55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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Small Minds, Spiteful People

(2006)
Families can be so disappointing. Siblings are really only acquainted with one another by the accident of birth and their position in the hierarchy.

Here’s a story about how that falls apart.

an excerpt from this contemporary short story …

Jeannette made a point of looking at her watch which was all she wore. She wanted Seth to see her do it. When he failed to reflect the fact they were on a schedule and he was throwing them off, she said, “You don’t know my brother.”

“And for this I am eternally grateful,” Seth said as he placed a steaming plate of buckwheat pancakes slathered with butter on the kitchen table in front of her. “From what you tell me, he’s a snake charmer and a charlatan all mixed into one. He’s a mortgage broker specializing in sub-prime loans who buys buildings in default before they go to foreclosure. That’s illegal in this state, y’know. Or, at least you have to make so many disclosures the debt ridden homeowner ought to get the idea maybe he isn’t getting such a good deal after all.”

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Jeannette ran a knife through the stack, drizzled several ounces of maple syrup on the fork full she speared off the plate and plunged the mass into her mouth before she dared reply.

Delicious. Yes, Seth knew how to make a great breakfast. What the heck, eat. Take a shower, put on some clothes, get on the road by noon. What the heck. Naked breakfast. The pancakes tasted great.

She made no response to his condemnation of her sibling whom he had only met two times: Once at her mother’s funeral and once in the City when Daryl had business in town and took them out to lunch. Jeannette contentedly sectioned off diamonds of dough drenched in butter and syrup as Seth, too, sat down and began eating.

This story is 18 pages long, available in PDF format.
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