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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 22: 4 Feb. 2024
Micro-CNF: 101 words
By Bella Mahaya Carter



Handing out brown paper bags to ten neighborhood kids, Mom says, “The one who picks the most wins a quarter.” We scatter like a flock of birds hearing gunshots. Although I can taste the twenty-five pieces of cherry Bazooka bubble gum I’ll buy with this prize, I’m a distracted picker. In a single puffball, I see Mom cleaning the basement flood alone, Dad’s jaw tightening when we play with Mom’s Mrs. Long Island tiara, Mom’s hand rattling the locked master bedroom doorknob, screaming, “Let her go!” I blow it all away with one breath, spewing seeds over Dad’s mowed lawn.

Bella Mahaya Carter
Issue 22 (February 2024)

is an award-winning author of three books, most recently, Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? Finding Peace of Mind While You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book. A devoted wordsmith and spiritual psychology practitioner, Bella facilitates online writing circles for writers, artists, healers, and seekers. Her work has appeared in The Sun Magazine, Calyx, Lilith, Literary Mama, MacQueen’s Quinterly, The Dribble Drabble Review, and elsewhere. She’s currently working on an intergenerational family memoir in flash.

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