Piano Hunting


At his house in the woods, he offered her purple grapes with his hand. She had a bit of a problem about hands and food.

“Please don’t worry,” she said when his dog stuck his nose into her crotch. “I’m used to this.”

He was annoyed with his dog, kept saying “Down! Down!” which made the dog more amorous.

A smile obscured her face, a moonish smile, the kind of smile most men would take a photograph of if they had the right camera.

She wanted to see his piano. This is why she had gone there, mainly. This was her idea. She may want to buy one, someday. After she learned how to play one.

“May I see it?” she asked.

“Sure. What kind of music do you generally play?”

She knelt and smoothed the dogs ears.

He shuffled off to the kitchen, tools clanging like church bells inside his belt. He returned with mugs of hot, mulled cider. She hoped it was spiked. She walked over to the living room with him and his dog. She liked being desired because of the scent of her jeans.

“Your living room is vacuum-packed,” she said. It was stuffed with items. One could hardly move, there was nearly no way to get to the piano. Furniture grew out of furniture. She did not know where to sit, or where not to. He had never been married. She wished in a way she had never been married. There were ways to pretend nothing had ever happened to you.


* * *


MEG POKRASS is the author of the forthcoming novella-in-flash Here, Where We Live (Rose Metal Press, 2014) and Damn Sure Right (Press 53) a collection of flash fiction. Meg’s stories have been widely anthologized, most recently in the forthcoming W.W. Norton Anthology of Flash Fiction International (Shapard, Thomas and Merrill, 2015). Her flash-fiction and micro-fiction stories and humor pieces have appeared in around a hundred and fifty online and print publications, including McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, PANK, Smokelong Quarterly, Mississippi Review, MidAmerican Review, NANO Fiction, 100-Word Story, The Literarian, storySouth, Failbetter, Gigantic. Meg’s humor pieces, co-written with author Bobbie Ann Mason, have recently been showcased in TNB Original Fiction. Her flash fiction has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations, been showcased for Dzanc Books’ Short Story Month and nominated for Best of the Web, Best of the Net, and Wigleaf’s Top 50 [Very] Short Fictions. She currently serves as an associate editor for Frederick Barthelme’s New World Writing.

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