She couldn’t stop thinking that he had been nothing more than a premonition. She never wanted to see him again, but there he was, as she stood there listening to the dog. The dog’s deep guttural howls were strange, it was as if the dog believed the artist was returning, and it reminded her of the time when he came over to help train the puppy and instead, made the animal howl with pain. His love had once felt possible to her, but she couldn’t touch it, even when he was feeling kind, even when he stood there in her living room disappearing. She noticed that when she felt his presence the most, she could also feel the shadow of the hurt dog. The dog would wander close in, and then yelp, and finally stare at her from a safe distance, as if she was the man who hurt animals. She didn’t want to remember him like this. She tried not to think about the purple parts of the evening, alone with the ruined dog, it was this colour from which a bruise become a whole life from which she could only stand there howling.
Meg Pokrass is the author of eight flash fiction collections, an award-winning collection of prose poetry, two novellas-in-flash, an award winning collection of prose poetry, and a 2020 collection of microfiction, "Spinning to Mars" which won the Blue Light Book Award. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Washington Square Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Split Lip and McSweeney's has been anthologized in New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015) and The Best Small Fictions 2018 and 2019. She serves as Founding Co-Editor of Best Microfiction 2020 and Festival Curator of Flash Fiction Festival U.K. and teaches flash fiction online and in person. Find out more at megpokrass.com.
This story sparked for Meg in our recent Ghost Stories workshop. Join us for an online writing session! Our two-hour ekphrastic workshops are inspiring, supportive, affordable, and generative. Learn more about art and write something new! Click here for upcoming workshops.
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