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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 19: 15 Aug. 2023
Microfiction: 402 words
By Ani Banerjee

Not Financial Advice


The Writer (me) would like to begin by thanking the Facebook group from which some of the ideas were stolen by this shameless Writer. The Writer regrets that she forgot who it was and would thus not be able to share any earnings, but then, who pays writers anyways? The Story asserts that it is real and the title is a disclaimer.

The Story insists that the main character’s name be Mrs. Henrietta Brown although the Writer would have been happy to call her Jane Doe. Hen is a sixty-year-old woman, slightly overweight (the Story interjects that the Writer is overweight as well, and no one should judge Hen for her weight), with brown hair, gray eyes, and mom jeans, who goes to a lawyer. She tells the lawyer she is done, finito, fini, with her husband and needs a divorce. Her lawyer asks, “But haven’t you been married to your husband for forty years?” to which Hen replies, “Yeah, they should give me an award for that. If there is a covid again, I’m not going to be saddled with THAT MAN.” (Capitalized by the Writer for the emphasis Hen puts on these words).

When asked what precisely her husband did to earn this rebuke, Hen proclaims that the day he retired, he took all his IRA savings and bought a stamp. “One stamp, for four hundred thousand dollars! He is certifiably mad. I want the house and all his assets. He can keep only his stamp. Lick it for food.”

Strangely, her husband concedes to these outrageous demands. The judge grants the divorce, and the Story wants to end here, with a happily ever after. But that is not what happens in real life.

In real life Henrietta goes back to the lawyer two years later and says, “The divorce was unfair.” And the lawyer asks, “What the fuck?” And Hen replies that the husband—ex, the lawyer corrects her—and Hen says, “Well, that moron sold the stamp for three million dollars.” And Hen wants half of that. The lawyer advises her not to file a modification, but Hen is hopping mad, so the lawyer files a modification. This time the husband comes with his own lawyer and the judge denies Henrietta’s request.

The Writer wants to end with “Karma is a Bitch,” or some such cliche, but the Story screams, “Don’t you dare touch me!”

Ani Banerjee
Issue 19 (15 August 2023)

is a retiring lawyer and an emerging fiction writer from Houston, Texas, who was born and brought up in Kolkata, India. Her flash fiction has been published in Janus Literary, The Ekphrastic Review, Flash Flood, Friday Flash Fiction, and others.

Author’s website: https://anibanerjee.com/

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