Flash Fiction

October 22, 2016      

Chinese People by Michael K. Meyers

Inside the bean, once I got hold of it, had a good grip—popped it open with my cuticle scissors—inside was an inch-long insect, brown in colour with, I counted, the right number of legs or almost. Lost one during the bean opening operation though having an odd number didn’t seem to slow the thing down. Made it past the salt shaker and managed the shadow of the pepper mill—further than I would have travelled had I one leg, my locomotion limited to hopping—before I permanently slowed it with my palm, antennae’s the last part to stop wiggling. Needing to pee and thinking the moment opportune I risked it, pissed into an empty quart-size tin of plumb tomatoes my piss hitting the bottom sounding kind of tribal then straight away turning seafaring, something aqueous and, well, whatever or whomever was responsible for the redness at the tip of my oft-handled thing and for the burning I experienced when last I gave pissing a try, well, discovering the burning had part-out burned it itself I forgave whatever or whomever responsible and decided to drink sixteen glasses of water to repeat and verify.

And I was doing that, was on my third glass and reading the paper but not having a good time, not the best of times because since those fools stopped swimming around in the tank with the orcas and getting themselves chewed up— I supposed the orcas diminished the fool population to zero—because now the front page had gone back to reporting arson, murderous escapades in grocery store parking lots, racial rampages plus political sexcapades making you wish people who voted would vote for better looking people. And, well, I got nothing to worry about, not really, no one’s knocking on my door since I mailed that letter I got from a convict I had no knowledge of or any, mailed it to the FBI field office in Tallahassee because I’m not that stupid to believe prison authorities are going to let a convict send a letter like that, not like that, hinting at but not exactly saying the word escape, and straight away my nose is twitching smelling a T.R.A.P, though, and I thought this, too, it could have been a test of some kind thought up by the FBI and send to everyone on some kind of list and I’d like to get my hands on the person or persons who volunteered me. So I put the letter from the convict or from the FBI, that test letter as it might have been inside another envelope and send it certified to the FBI, the Tallahassee Field office, because I needed one of those, needed a signature of acceptance, needed proof and, well, I’d cut my thumb opening the bean with the cuticle scissors when I was trying to see what made the thing jump around the top of the table and I got blood on both envelopes, the one from the convict and the other one, the one I sent to the FBI, a little bit of blood here and there on both.

And the bean, the jumping bean, before I opened it my first thought or maybe it was the second about what was making that bean jump around the table was Chinese people. They’d loaded that bean with a miniaturized something, that being my first or second thought and when I opened it up, opened the bean with my cuticle scissors which, it came to me, the Chinese people must have known that, known I would open the bean leading me to wonder if my rear-end had been hacked, that I’d been hacked and the Chinese miniaturized something that might have been in there, in the bean if a brown bug hadn’t been there as it turned out to be, could of have been that, could have been a miniaturized Chinese something with humming-bird-fast metal wings, tiny thing that once freed, once I freed with my cuticle scissors straight away it’s all buzzing and flying into my ear then weaselling itself inside my brain. And inside my brain that weaselling Chinese thing would just get comfortable and hang out until I came into possession of something of value, of enough value to justify the enormous outlay of cash the Chinese people must have put together in order to build that complicated miniaturized burrowing thing. And, well, having the Chinese go to that much bother to invade my brain made me feel kind of special and a little bit hopeful that one day I would win something big or inherit a bunch of wisdom and have a secret or two secrets to share with, what it is now, two or three billion of those Chinese people each of them throwing a buck or two into a hat or whatever it is Chinese people use to accomplish that. A Chinese container to collect money inside of but being unfamiliar as I am with the day-to-day of Chinese people, which I had to put on hold for a moment, put on hold thinking about the day-to-day of Chinese people because just then I experienced a quickly rising need to pee and ferreted around for another empty can in the mess she’d left behind.

About Michael K. Meyers:

Fiction: The New Yorker, Chelsea, Fiction, Quick Fiction, Work Riot, SmokeLong, Alice Blue, Eclectica, NANO, Spork, Bound Off, 2River, The 2nd Hand Journal, Chicago Noir, Requited Journal, Word Riot’s 10th Anniversary Anthology & Drunken Boat. Video: in Ninth Letter, apt, Studio Literary Journal, Word/Sound Play and website, michaelkmeyers.com. Audio: Studio Literary Journal, Fringe deClassified, 2River, Mad Hatter’s Review, Drunken Boat, sound/text, Bound Off & Word/Sound/Play.

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