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Things To Remember by Penn Stewart | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

November 15, 2011      

Things To Remember by Penn Stewart

Listen to a reading of “Things To Remember” by Penn Stewart.

I like to say things worked out for me, and on some levels I guess they did.

—I work at a bowling alley now, spraying rental shoes, collecting money out of the video games. At the end of the night I have the place to myself and get to play a few frames for free. I’ve gotten pretty good. I roll the ball, watch it arc in, the pins splash and fall.

-—Years ago lightning struck an oak in the backyard. The bolt cleaved the trunk down to its base. The tree was removed and the stump ground down. Now, on dewy mornings in spring and fall, a fairy ring appears where the tree used to stand.

—I have my own railroad in the basement. Green paper-mâché hills hug a small town and miniature signalmen stand along the track, holding their lanterns high. Overhead, floorboards creak in the kitchen and dust snows onto the village.

Her picture was in the newspaper in May, one of 144 black and white portraits. Mortarboard tilted, tassel on her left, and an infectious smile. Her face was so small I almost missed it. It’s funny how your past can resurface like that, just show up in a newspaper one day. It was good to see her all grown up; I bought a card and wrote a check. It sits on the table, stamped and addressed, all ready. I’m trying to be better.

Penn Stewart

About the author:

Penn Stewart lives and writes in Lincoln, Nebraska. His most recent work appears in 4’33” and is forthcoming in Midwest Literary Magazine.

    1 comment to Things To Remember by Penn Stewart

    • Heather Braid

      I’m not sure that I understand the meaning of this piece. Are these supposed to tie together in some whay or are they all separate sections? To me they sound like parts and pieces of multiple stories. Another thought is that maybe they could be cross-sections from a single person’s life story?

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