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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Microfiction: 303 words
By Guy Biederman

I Won’t Be Long


Mom pressed her lips together and smiled into the rearview mirror, easing out of her boyfriend’s Skylark towards the bank where he worked.

“I won’t be long,” she said.

I clicked the seatbelt latch open and closed. Spun the radio knob and watched the orange line move back and forth behind numbers on the glass. Sunlight warmed the seat. I kicked my legs up and down beneath the glovebox, staring at my scabby knees, momentum building until it felt like my legs were not part of me, moving on their own, Converse low tops knocking against the seat, bouncing off the bottom of the dash, faster and faster, me alone in the car, in another world waiting for a mom who wouldn’t be long, kicking and kicking, waiting and waiting, waiting for Mom, waiting, still waiting when the glovebox popped open revealing hidden treasures of envelopes and maps, lipstick and chapstick, a pen, a black comb with white flecks, and a penknife that I knew better than to touch but did—punching holes and carving up the side of the seat near the passenger door of Mom’s boyfriend’s car that no one would see, though he was no boy, and no friend; but he did make Mom smile which wasn’t the same as happy which happened when she pulled out her coin purse at 31 Flavors, just the two of us, and told me I could have whatever I wanted which was always chocolate chip, two scoops, and she laughed for no reason and hugged me so tight and grinned as I licked the ice cream and ate the cone all the way down, but not in the boyfriend’s car which she said was just like new though I knew better, and soon the boyfriend would know better, too.

Guy Biederman
Issue 14, August 2022

is the author of five books, among them Nova Nights (Nomadic Press, 2021), Edible Grace (KYSO Flash Press, 2019), and Soundings & Fathoms (Finishing Line Press). His next collection, Translated From the Original: one-inch punch fiction, will be published by Nomadic Press in December 2022.

His stories have appeared in many journals such as Bull, Carve, Flash Frontier, Flashback Fiction, great weather for Media, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Riddled with Arrows, The Ekphrastic Review, and Exposition Review, where he was twice a Flash 405 winner. His work has recently received a Publisher’s Choice Award and an Editor’s Choice Award, and has been nominated for Best of The Net.

Guy’s writing apprenticeship began in a goat herder’s shack during a civil war in Guatemala. He now lives on a houseboat with his wife and salty cat, and walks the planks daily.

Author’s website: https://www.guybiederman.com/

Author’s blog: This Day Afloat: Reflections of Life on the Water

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Quite, a prose poem by Biederman which was the winner of the “Triple-Q” Writing Challenge in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 11, January 2022); to hear him read this piece, see Recordings at his website.

Edible Grace: An e-Collection of 12 Micro-Prose in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019); click on Next Page at bottom left of each piece to access the next one.

Edible Grace is also available in print and offers bonus content, including six additional micro-prose and five more photographs by the author, plus a pen-and-ink drawing by Tula Biederman.

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