The following is from the collection, New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction. Edited by James Thomas and Robert Scotellaro, New Micro brings together 135 short stories from 89 writers, with each story having a maximum of 300 words. The three stories featured here are by Nancy Stohlman, Pamela Painter, and Kathy Fish.
I Found Your Voodoo Doll on the Dance Floor After Last Call
It was squishy under my feet and at first I thought it was a wad of napkins. But as the crowds cleared, it became obvious. It looked just like me if I’d been made out of cornstalks and had button eyes. Is that really how you see me? I thought as I picked it up and smoothed the yarn hair.
My first instinct was to toss it into the dumpster but I had doubts—what if it landed on its head? Was stabbed by sharp cardboard? What if I woke in the morning and found myself buried alive or impaled on a U- Haul box?
The mantel was out of the question, too far to fall if the cat knocked it down. A cabinet wouldn’t work—there was suffocation, asphyxiation. Anything near a sink was out. Nothing near the fireplace, on the balcony, near a window.
A bird cage seemed the best solution.
One day I rushed home from work and the cage door was open, the voodoo doll missing. I stared a blank, button-eyed stare into its empty depths.
When I saw you at the bar later, voodoo doll on a chain around your neck, I collapsed to my knees in front of you. Thank god, I said.
I knew you’d be back, you said.