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Mistralismus by Dan Reiter | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

August 15, 2014      

Mistralismus by Dan Reiter

Listen to a reading of “Mistralismus” by Dan Reiter.

He took one of the sunnier seats and sat in contemplation over the menu, but ordered neither lunch, nor wine, nor coffee. His regret was nourishment enough: a sweet wilted bouquet, tinted with the blue shadows on the cobblestones.

The Mistral came purling its ancient breath over the hills, and it blew across the square to where he was sitting and coalesced his regret into the contours of his face so that the skin above his cheekbones thickened, and his forehead and chin browned like leather. His body fused with his clothing, and his clothing melted into the iron chair.

The waiter watched and muttered bitterly—it was a waste of such a sunny seat. The afternoon dimmed to cornflower. The wind slackened. The waiter began to stack the chairs. The seat was not so sunny anymore.

The regret did not subside with the coming of evening. It sparkled and grew and crystallized in his chest until his breaths spread out and slowed, like the flow from a gutter after a passing storm, till finally they stopped.

The waiter collected the tables and lit a cigarette and swept the concrete, and when he came to this chair he brushed the Mistral dust from the iron legs, and then from the legs of the man.

When the maître d’ came out, slurring and jangling his keys, he instructed the waiter to move the statue into the green space by the trees. “Ask the sous-chef to help,” he said. “If it is too heavy.”

Dan ReiterAbout the author:

Dan Reiter is always working on something. His most recent offerings won The Florida Review Editor’s Award in fiction and Bartleby Snopes story of the month. A more bizarre piece is currently on display at Burrow Press Review. More of his sudden fiction is upcoming in Spork and other journals. He lives and dreams here:

    5 comments to Mistralismus by Dan Reiter

    • After dental school all dentists are familiar with
      the basics and therefore are approximately equal in competence.

      All attempts prior to powered flight of the twentieth century ended in disappointment or disaster.

      Invisalign is one among those treatments developed that
      uses aligners or braces that get barely noticed.

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    • Dan Reiter

      All dental school students
      are familiar with the basics of flight,
      and therefore do not need
      laser gum surgery.

    • “His regret was nourishment enough…” Now that’s how you string together some fuckin’ words. I very much enjoyed the story, though perhaps calling it a “prose poem” would be more appropriate? I don’t know, but then I never went to dental school. So what do I know.

    • I used “know” in the last two sentences of my previous comment and can’t change it. It sounds bad. This makes me sad.

    • Samuel:

      Dental school students are not the only people familiar with the basics of flight. Also, it is not true that all competent dentists graduated from flight school.

      Thanks and good cheers,


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