Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
  • Home
  • About
  • Archive
  • Bio Notes
  • Bookshelf
  • Contents
  • Submit
Flash Fiction
254 words
SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018


by Salvatore Difalco

She’d worn her hair in a bun for most of the courtship. She liked neck scarves, pretty things, pink, mauve, this sort of thing. She walked with a slight limp. The details accumulated as the morning dragged on.

“Is your tooth fixed?”

“Think it’s dead.”

“Was at Shopper’s the other day. They had these things.”

“Yeah? How much?”

“What? I can’t remember.”

Even if help came, would I want it? Sometimes you have to make a decision before the thirty-second clock winds down, and the buzzer goes off and your hands fall flat on the desk.

“Is she tall, the girl?”

“Hm. Probably not that tall.”

“She could be.”

“She could.”

“Make her blonde.”

“That’s a given.”

“But you don’t like blondes.”

“That’s quite true.”

They had complicated my existence, both the real and false ones, though in retrospect, and with the wisdom of experience, most filled the latter category, which is not to suggest they were false people, though some were, but that they adopted false hair colour, perhaps with the mistaken belief that they would have more fun.

“I’d like to ask them if they do.”

“If they do what?”

“If they do have more fun.”

Life is a strange, minority phenomenon in a universe roiling with phenomena, both classical and quantum. Why does it exist at all? Is the universe really in the business of creating busy, chattering ephemera, tiny novelties, cognizant toys? Try as I might, I cannot come to any satisfactory conclusions.

“Coffee’s good this morning.”

“Yeah. Superb.”


—Published previously within Five Short Pieces in Former People: Bangs, Whimpers, Arts, Culture & Commentary (8 December 2017); appears here with author’s permission


SHJ Issue 18
Spring 2018

Salvatore Difalco

is the author of Mean Season, his first novel (Mansfield Press, 2015), and Black Rabbit & Other Stories (Anvil Press, 2007), his second collection of short fiction. His short stories, essays, book reviews, and poker columns have appeared in publications across Canada and the USA. Difalco has worked many jobs including Counsellor at the maximum security Peninsula Youth Centre. Formerly an editor and regular contributor at Toro Magazine, he currently resides in Toronto and works as an Italian translator.


[Webmaster’s Note: Learn more about the author in these two pieces: (1) Meet Orson’s Review Contributor Salvatore Difalco (20 March 2018); and (2) Author Sal Difalco Pays Homage to his Hometown in Mean Season by Erica Cupido in Panoram Italia: Living Italian Style (7 October 2015).]

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury