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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 22: 4 Feb. 2024
Microfiction: 237 words
By Bella Mahaya Carter

Susan’s Comet


Although she didn’t regret her choice to give up filmmaking to stay home with her kids, and despite them now being in preschool, Susan worried she’d have nothing to contribute to the conversation if she accepted the lunch invitation from two former male colleagues. She thought, what will I tell them? I spent the last three months making my kids a spaceship?

She’d built a magical contraption with lights, gadgets, and switches that all worked, scavenged electronic junkyards, visited NASA’s website late at night while the children slept, searching for the accurate distance in light years from the sun to the planets in our solar system.

Her house was filled with homemade, dried floral arrangements, portrait photography, photo frames fashioned from scraps of recycled materials, and hand-sewn pillows. She designed, produced, and sold dichroic glass jewelry, sang, and played the guitar—at eighteen, she’d spent a year busking in Paris.

But the day her washing machine agitator became covered with tar, and she realized she’d run out of Comet, she lamented, I forgot to buy it. It’s important. We need it, but it’s so trivial I can’t stand it. It makes me wonder, is this what my life is about? Does my whole existence amount to me being the person who buys the damned Comet?

“Hello, John? It’s me, Susan. I’d love to meet you and Michael outside the sound stage at noon on Friday.”

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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