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Open Heart Surgery

“In our home town, in the nursery where we played and fought like adults. I find it deep in a box of toy cars, remnants of your blood on the plastic, a motorway pile-up in miniature.”

My story “Open Heart Surgery” is published today over at Ellipsis Zine.

http://www.ellipsiszine.com/open-heart-surgery-by-paul-thompson/

Ninety-five percent of my anxieties are unfounded

Ninety-five percent of my anxieties are unfounded. She tells me at our weekly breakfast. To focus on the genuine five percent. The following week I do so, spending ninety-five percent of my time on it. When we meet again, I know ninety-five percent of my anxieties are founded. Focus on the new five percent, she says. And so it goes on, worrying about worrying, and how to tell her I no longer enjoy our breakfasts.

***

This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet

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Younger than records will show

It will be our secret, deep at the bottom of the reservoir. We will meet the others, the boys from town. Buy alcohol with fake identification, from a shopkeeper who has already seen the end of days. Cider sweet and nostalgic, as we go to the water park, where dusk will paint us with mosquitoes and laughter. And many years from now they will find us, when the reservoir is dry. They will find us and our fake identities, and finally treat our bodies as adults.

***

A version of this story recently appeared on Paragraph Planet

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How to Pack a Suitcase with Zero Baggage

“Packing a suitcase is easy. Keeping to the essentials, less so.

I have something new on Spelk today. It’s called ‘How to Pack a Suitcase with Zero Baggage’

https://spelkfiction.com/2019/09/13/how-to-pack-a-suitcase-with-zero-baggage/

Good for the Garden

“Good for the garden, my father says.

His skin prickles, raindrops on the window reflecting his anxiety.

Good for your father, my mother says. Behind his back, whispering it to me as we watch him fidget.”

My story, “Good for the Garden” can be found over at Ellipsis Zine.

http://www.ellipsiszine.com/good-for-the-garden-by-paul-thompson/

Obscured Under a Low Sun

The sun is low, obscuring figures on the pedestrian crossing.

You look up from your phone as they come into focus, slam the brakes hard.

Bam.

You open your eyes at the wheel. A sensation of waking up.

Is this a dream?

Your phone bleeps, answering your question. You approach the same crossing. Everything replays. You slam the brakes hard.

Bam.

Towards the crossing once more, into the low sun.

To wake is to escape this loop, but in the safety of the dream car, no one gets hurt, and everyone gets to keep their limbs.

***

This 100 word story first appeared on the The Drabble