By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 435
Jane checks outside before she leaves. She sees her neighbor down by his truck, holding his Chihuahua, Alfred, and a cup of tea. It freaks Jane out how he is out there almost every morning. It is far too frequently to be a coincidence. Jane has never intentionally given him the wrong impression and she does not want his attention or affection. She talks pleasantly all day at work. She dreads starting this soon.
He is not attractive, or even plain. His thinning black hair always in a pathetic comb over. His serial killer smile makes her skin creep.
She cannot be late again. She balances her purse, lunch and house keys and steps outside, desperately wanting to close the door quietly and avoid bringing his attention to her.
``Morning, Jane. Off to work?''
``It’s Monday, Tony. Some of us still have to work?'' The words are out before she can bite her lip. When she bites, too late, she draws blood. Tony probably enjoyed this; after all, he gave her the creeps and was probably a mass murderer.
``I sometime wish I were not retrenched,'' He looks too happy to be talked to. “Forced into an early retirement, cause not much work for a fifty-four year old laborer.
``Sorry, I did not mean it like that, Tony. I am running late. Damned alarm did not go off again.'' She turns and feels his smile collapse. Teeth and chin disintegrate. He dissolves like popcorn in milk. She feels him speak to himself unkindly.
Tony walks outside, carrying Alfred. Most of his neighbors leave for work about now. If his wife had not passed away the year before he retired, he would not really care. Now, now, he is alone. The only words he said yesterday were to the checkout girl at Coles.
Last night he had that dream where he screams and no sound comes out. He came awake with his mouth open. He reached for the end of the bed, touched Alfred and went back to sleep.
Jane comes out of her apartment. She seems nice. Plain. Always in a hurry. They've never had much of a conversation.
He throws out some small talk about work, glad to use his voice. Her face looks like she is chewing stones. She rarely smiles. He thinks of making her a birdhouse.
She says goodbye. He nods and walks back toward his truck, considering the materials he will need for the project. He puts the dog down and drinks from his insulated mug. The mouthful of heat brings him fully awake and he forgets his dream.
The Fringe is open to submissions of poetry, flash fiction and short stories of any genre. Stories accepted will be published online in our Ezine and also in the monthly pdf magazine.
We are also open to submissions from artists for inclusion in the magazine.
Submissions should be in RTF format or in the body of the email. Send email submissions only to email@example.com
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We are open to unpublished and previously published stories up to 40,000 words in length.
About The Fringe Magazine
Here at The Fringe Magazine we publish Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry in all genres and reviews of books, roleplay games, music and movies.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.
Our variety seems to be hiting the mark with over 100,000 views of our Online Magazine with a good spread across all articles.?xml:namespace>From surveys we've conducted, our readers are like most people and enjoy reading all kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction.
With over 350 readers visiting our site each day, we listen to the voice of the masses and try and procure books in all genres to review. To date, we have reviewed over 600 books, including; non-fiction reference, music, art, photography, gardening, cooking, Self Help, architecture, design, biographies and roleplay games.
We also review fiction in all genres; Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Horror, Crime, Thriller, Comedy, Western. We also publish Author Interviews, Paintings, Sketches, Art Work, Art Work by Susie Wilson, and non-fiction articles. The only thing you won't find at The Fringe Magazine is a bad review, if we don't like something, we won't put up a review at all.
You will also find music and dvd reviews and the occasional interview with musicians and actors.
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