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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 10: October 2021
Microfiction: 232 words
By Mikki Aronoff


—After Odilon Redon, Partout des Prunelles Flamboient (1888)

“It’s really no bigger than a cinder.” The radiologist points at a corner of the film with his pinkie. A graduation ring, in need of a resizing, flashes rank. He doesn’t look my way.

Looks like Mt. Everest to me. I can’t scrape two words together, can’t say I know what a cinder is but have never seen or touched one, have never lived in a house with a fireplace, poked around in hot ash, danced with a prince, left a shoe on palace steps.

“I’ve never even been camping,” I offer. I’m a walking non sequitur. No wonder there’s a smudge on the x-ray. “Well, I have eaten s’mores but never outside, under stars, friends stick-poking at the fire, making sparks, fake-warring over burnt vs. lightly toasted.” I’m on a roll.

Eyes on me now. Mine close. I’m trying not to return to the dark side. I’ve been here before. Silence. A long one. I open one eye, wide, fix on the rectangle of black, of white, of grey lit up like Vegas.

“Looks pretty big to me.” A squeak. I’m back on track. I nod in his general direction, stand up, wobble out of the room, down airless hallways, out the hospital doors. I go to the store, buy matches, marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars. Oxygen. A tent.


Everywhere Eyeballs Are Blazing: Lithograph by Odilon Redon
Partout des Prunelles Flamboient (1888)
(Everywhere Eyeballs Are Blazing)

Publisher’s Note:

This lithograph by Symbolist painter and printmaker Odilon Redon (1840–1916) is from The Temptation of Saint Anthony (La Tentation de Saint-Antoine), First Series, Plate IX (1888). Portfolio may be viewed at MoMA (click on each image for details).

Image above was downloaded from the public domain via WikiArt.

For more information about the artist, see Odilon Redon: The Complete Works.

Links retrieved on 21 September 2021.

Mikki Aronoff’s
Issue 10, October 2021

writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Ekphrastic Review, Virga, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, London Reader, SurVision, Rogue Agent Journal, Popshot Quarterly, South Shore Review, The Fortnightly Review, Gentian Journal, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, and elsewhere. A two-time Pushcart nominee, she is also involved in animal advocacy.

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