Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over twelve-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.
2 flash fiction stories by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois
A Million Animals
Human beings are animals, and to manage one million animals (that’s how many employees I have) gives me a headache. I also have “ear rocks,” which I keep a secret from all of them, even the most high, the ones closest to me, who cannot hide their awe of me.
“Ear rocks” is fluid in the inner ear that has turned to crystal. When walking, I change course, I have a sense of continuing to travel in the same direction I was going. So where I think I’m going and where my body thinks it’s going are different.
Headaches, and ear rocks, both in the same skull, plenty of room for them, room for a tumor too, and I’ve got a million animals to manage.
I don’t know where I am, and I have vertigo—my condition gives me vertigo—so I don’t know if I can stay balanced on the backs of my million animals.
I have one million animals, but I don’t have to feed them. I only need to give them the scent of food to make them run like the wind. Productivity is high.
A million animals, and if they each have 36 teeth (but many of them have lost some teeth to neglect and the lack of available, affordable dental care) that’s 36 million teeth. Think of what harm 36 million teeth can do, the destructive power.
I’ll have my guards smash them out, ten teeth at a time. I have a million animals. My guards are among my animals, but they are special animals, in uniform, with guns. They’re my favorite animals. They have 72 teeth each, and I give them good dental care.
I’ll take those teeth my guards smash out and use Elmer’s glue to attach them to the jaws of robots, so the robots will look more human. It won’t be a headache to manage one million robots. I’ll dress them up in doll clothes and talk to them, encourage them, tell them: You can accomplish whatever you can dream.
Cheryl shirks from women with omniscient eyebrows. She can’t begin to look them in the eye. The bus is her only salvation. She can always get on and ride. The bus goes everywhere. She takes the back seat so no one can see her, and rearranges her features as if she is Ms. Potato Head. She must be careful, after she removes them, to eventually replace all her features roughly where they belong.
The women with omniscient eyebrows work for the Gestapo, and there’s nothing they like better than pulling her from the bus and shoving her around, throwing her against rusty barbed wire as if it were an Olympic sport. They are muscular under their black uniforms, while Cheryl’s soul has flown off like a manta ray, to somewhere even a bus can’t go.