This 100-word story/prose poem was written probably 10 years ago and published around that time at Tuesday Shorts. Tuesday Shorts was such an early journal of micro-fiction that it was actually hosted on MySpace. Before closing up shop, it moved to blogspot. The editors had been planning a print anthology, and this piece was to be included. The anthology ended up not happening, and the blogspot version of the journal carries this 100-word epitaph:
Tuesday Shorts placed writers we know alongside those we don’t to communicate that quality writers are everywhere, and make one community. Writing—no matter how frustrating an endeavor it can sometimes become—should always be a challenging game we can all play.
Jacquelyn Mitchard, whose Deep End of the Ocean was the first Oprah’s Book Club selection, not only recommended making Tuesday Shorts a MySpace blog, but also contributed the first piece. More excellent work followed by writers known and unknown, and pieces continue to draw readers who want a good story but only have a minute to read it.
Here’s The Good Thief:
My grandfather cannot walk now but his arms and back are strong. He wears a v-neck work shirt and a gold and diamond Christ-head and he’s kneeling on the den floor looking for his pills. His forearms are Italian-dark with latent bulldog power, still big from turning Navy mounts and tagging Mitsubishi Zeros by blood-red dots behind their wings. Now he’s moving the recliner and sweating from his nose and steel wool shadow. His chair crashes heavy and Jesus weeps the nose sweat while my daughter crawls behind him and he doesn’t know I see. Find the red dots, Pop.
A note here about 100-word stories and the impact they seem to still have on my writing.