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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 15: Sept. 2022
Haibun Story: 197 words
By Kyle Hemmings



Beethoven became bored with his life. He began to experiment playing the piano with his toes. He took on a lover named Heidi who in turn took on a house boy from Stuttgart. His name was Olaf and he claimed to have been descended from a tsar with a horse phobia. Olaf cleaned the dishes while Beethoven ranted that the world was coming to an end. Heidi continued to stuff her face with apple strudels that she made from scratch. She said the recipe was from her grandmother, who later attempted to assassinate the Duke of Saxony (sic) for lack of child support for an illegitimate son.

House arrangements: on weekends everyone slept with blindfolds to heighten sensitivity. On week nights, everyone was all thumbs. Over time, Beethoven grew dictatorial demanding that he would be loved in precise intervals. The three became distant. They drifted. Olaf slept under the bed. Heidi eloped with an elephant trainer in a local carnival. Beethoven became a strict vegetarian and stopped speaking to children. By an unexplained accident, the house burned down. And as if by some strange miracle, the vegetables were left untouched.

stray forms
without time signatures

Kyle Hemmings’
Issue 15, September 2022

writing has been published in Sonic Boom, Deracine, Cherry Tree, and elsewhere. He loves ’60s garage bands and ’50s sci-fi movies. Find more of his poetry, plus flash fiction and photography, at his blog:
DogPunk & Psychedelic Stinky Cat

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Freakbeat, microfiction by Hemmings in Issue 3 of MacQ (May 2020); subsequently selected for publication in The Best Small Fictions 2021 anthology

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