Flash Fiction: “The Robbed” by Tim W. Boiteau
(Originally published at Every Day Fiction.)
You can’t find your keys this morning, so your wife drives you to work.
At dinner, it seems, the salt is lacking, but when you attempt to add some more, the shaker is bare.
The only consolation at the end of such a troubling day, of course, is Aurelius, but he too is absent from the shelf.
When sleep doesn’t come, the bedroom grows long, the blankets constrict the body, stretching over with elastic tension, blood stagnates in the head, and the ears sharpen to the muted creeping of thieves, careful things, biding their time in air vents and drains and the narrow crevices between walls, watching through miniscule peepholes.
Tim W. Boiteau’s fiction has appeared in such places as Every Day Fiction, The Writing Disorder, LampLight, Kasma Magazine, and Write Room. He was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s 2013 Fiction Open contest. Tim holds a PhD in experimental psychology and lectures at Eastern Michigan University. He lives in Michigan with his wife and son.
Main Story: “Notes on a Page” by Barbara A. Barnett
(Originally published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show #32.)
Yesterday Maestro Fuhrmann took the Beethoven so fast I was gasping for breath; today I’m wondering if I’ll make it to the end of the phrase before turning blue in the face. Rehearsals like this leave me wishing I had learned violin instead of oboe — string players aren’t encumbered by the limits of their lungs. But as the maestro is so fond of reminding me, I have another limitation to worry about.
“Feeling, Ms. Adams!” he says, his German accent as thick as his eyebrows. Every criticism begins with those same words, that same exasperated tone of voice that makes me want to crawl inside the music and hide behind the staff lines. “Beethoven wrote a piece full of passion. You’re just playing notes on a page.”
Barbara A. Barnett is a writer, musician, orchestra librarian, coffee addict, wine lover, bad movie mocker, and all-around geek. Her short fiction has appeared in publications such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, and Flash Fiction Online. She is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and currently serves as managing editor of the workshop’s blog. Barbara lurks about the Philadelphia area and can be found online at babarnett.com.
About the Narrators:
Anthony Babington is a voice in the internet’s head who looks almost, but not quite, exactly how you expect him to. Having escaped from the sinister forces of Texas, he has retreated to an ingeniously disguised bunker in a secure, undisclosed location in Burnsville, Minnesota. his life goal is to someday annoy Norm Sherman into letting him voice a part on Escape Pod, but until then, he’d be happy to voice a project for you. Yes, you in the checked shirt. Contact him on Google Plus, or on Twitter at @AlephBaker.
C.J. Plog has her Master’s from Washington University in St. Louis and has worked in the mental health field for 20 years. She grew up in the Midwest and does not remember a time when she didn’t love reading a good book. Between family life, education and career, time has become a precious commodity and leisurely reading, a guilty pleasure. Listening to audio books became the perfect substitute during long commutes to work. C.J. was always curious about how readers for audio books were selected and secretly desired to be one, but that seemed as ludicrous as dreaming of a career in Hollywood or Nashville. CJ has enjoyed listening to completed works and reading for Librivox since July 2014.