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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 15: Sept. 2022
Microfiction: 295 words
By Jeanette Topar

Low on Eggs


“I didn’t realize we were so low on eggs,” she said.

“Oh well,” he said.

“You should warn me,” she said. He rarely warned her about such things.

She knew he was only half listening. She knew they’d run out of eggs soon. Or hummus or butter. She would ask him if he used the last of something and he would say, reeking of innocence or astonishment, “No.”

“The bathtub wouldn’t drain this morning,” she said.

“Did you use that stuff?” he asked.

“I did.”

“Yeah, that’s not good,” he said.

“Was the tub draining when you took a shower?” she asked.

“It’s those people downstairs. They do something.”

“So it just got blocked like right after you took a shower?”

“Well, it does usually take a while for it to get blocked up. It blocks up slowly. Hair. Kitty litter. So I don’t know.”

An hour later he asked, “Do you really think I took a shower standing in knee-high water?”

She thought about this. About how she couldn’t prove anything but how he didn’t like to admit to anything but she didn’t want to start an argument right now because they were planning on going out to see a movie, something they rarely did. “No,” she said. “But let me ask you. I can’t find that silver paring knife. The one June gave me.”

“I haven’t seen it,” he said.

“Have you seen my little whisk?” she asked.

“No, when did you use it last?”

“Yesterday,” she said.

“Maybe it got thrown away accidentally,” he said.

As a couple they lost a lot of small kitchen items. The nutmeg grinder that looked like a tiny cheese grater. The lemon reamer. The orange zester. The mushroom brush. The potato peeler.

Jeanette Topar
Issue 15, September 2022

is a New York City-based writer whose short stories have been published in The Southwest Review, The Greensboro Review, Peregrine Journal, Skidrow Penthouse, Liars’ League NYC, 100 Word Story, The Hong Kong Review, and others. She won Pulp Literature’s (Vancouver) 2017 Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction. Her story “Descent” was shortlisted for the 2018 Editors’ Prize by Meridian Journal (University of Virginia). She loves micros and for about ten years she headed a group of alumnae of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program called “Monday’s Words” that weekly shared 100-word stories.

Author’s website: https://jeanettetoparstories.wordpress.com/

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