20 Seconds by Stephen Hastings-King

He chews lamb peeled off the shank and hums quietly to himself thinking about the lines of birds arrayed along the opalescent gray ice surface of the river and the woman whom he talks from her own private ice flow where she is stranded, freezing and alone, not wanting to be there but not wanting to be elsewhere because not knowing how to be. Like the voice-over in a commercial his inward voice says: “There is only ointment as a place to store flies” as he pushes the lamb against the roof of his mouth and notes the geometry of sensations that radiate from it. Through the dim light across the bar a walrus man is talking loudly about himself again how little activity there is beneath that baseball hat, chewing without focus, fidgeting with a napkin.


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7 responses to “20 Seconds by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. guy

    Ointment is indeed only for storing flies, yes. It’s the kind of thought that i’d chew my cud over.

    I am enjoying the devestation caused by Walrus Man — from a safe distance, of course.

    • stephen

      i tried to make this 20 seconds long but realized well after the fact that i can’t control how fast someone would read it….ah futility…

      this could be non-fiction.

      thanks for the read, comrade…

  2. loved the walrus man bit…talking loudly. nice.

  3. Very creative use of theme here Stephen. Well done my friend!

  4. It’s like one long run on thought careening out of control… :)

  5. stephen

    thanks much for the reads and comments.

    the idea was that this be 20 second of the interior world of a guy sitting by himself in a bar eating a lamb shank dinner. the other one is that the piece take 20 seconds to read out loud.

    the theme bounces around in various ways, which i kinda like.

    and it actually is a fiction.

  6. Pingback: Week #26 – Animal behavior | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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