Grace and I have been performing our collaborative piece, “Now That
You’re Dead,” and it’s a big hit. It was a big hit in Modesto
last Tuesday. It got us a spot in the local Peace & Justice
Newsletter and an invitation to perform in Turlock next year.
enough, it’s not even about you.
many others have taken themselves out in these last 21 years, you
didn’t even make the cut.
kidding, you were probably too big and messy to make the cut. I
handed all these pieces of all you dead people to Grace and she
picked three others that fit more neatly into stanzas.
she did a great job tying them in, sandwiched between her glimmering
takes the lead on this one, since she’s still trying to convince
people to stay alive. I’ve more or less let that go.
I would sum it up by saying I keep busy with listening, leaving them
alone, getting back to work on this book, or whatever comes to hand –
there’s always something to help me stay out of trouble.
Windsurfing at least.
Grace is only half our age (half of what would/should be your age),
so she still wants everyone to stay alive. “Goodbye” is a word
she is still “cutting out of every dictionary.” I’m on OK
terms with it though; it stays in my dictionaries.
still, I give you credit. All my dead people are all about you. Or
maybe you are all about them. Or maybe it’s still all about my
Barbara West lives in Davis, California, and works as a Wound/Ostomy Nurse.Her 2017 book, footage of live performances, and award-winning videos can be found at
This piece opens her memoir, a work-in-progress, which uses mis-rememberings of the movie
Edward Scissorhands to explore the tension between Christian/
Buddhist directives to “help others” and 12-step Recovery’s directive to “focus on yourself.”
“ Victor, I'm used to the fact that you smile every time a pretty girl (or indeed any girl) hoves into view. You don't have to lick your lips. It's distasteful.” “ Soz, Babs.” “ And you can stop saying 'soz' as if you wanted to get down with the kids.” “ Sor, Babs.” Babs inhaled aggressively. Victor kicked an innocent tin can with unnecessary force. There was a pause. They continued in silence until they reached the welcoming doors of The Mitre. Babs pushed the door to keep it closed and whispered harshly to Victor. “ And don't you dare smile at the waitress or I'll show you what a steak knife is for.” Victor nodded. The usual waitress, whose name was Nadia, breezed up and handed over the menus. She spoke in a Croatian accent but her English was perfect. “ Here you are, Victor and Babs, our special today is macaroni cheese and we have a special offer I think you will like, Victor. The Casillero del Diablo is two bottles for the pri
“ You take forever to order just like with everything else, you haven’t changed at all have you?” A familiar voice with an unfamiliar face calls from behind. A long-lost friend welcomes unfamiliar emotions. We stare at each other in silence because I don't want to have small talk. I know her life ain’t easy, and at the same time, I still fall into the same small talk I desperately want to avoid. Cause just looking at her I know it’s not easy. Taking care of four kids by herself while working at Church's chicken ain’t nothing to even smile about. But I still ask her “How's everything” because I have no clue what else I should say to you. I want to make a joke, cause you know me as a class clown but life is no joke, and I know that better than anyone. Life's not fair in the slightest and I’ve always known that from being in foster care. Yet even I didn’t think life could be so cruel to just steal Rufina’s life from her. You tell me about how tough things ha
The aim of this blog is to encourage flash fiction in Worthing. However, it would be churlish to turn aside anyone from outside Worthing who wants to contribute so that is not going to happen. Just send your flash fiction (under 1000 words - sometimes as little as 75 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org Writers of the World unite! Now read the stories.