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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Microfiction: 239 words
By Mikki Aronoff

You Don’t Mean to Miss Your Appointment


You know it could be life or death. Yours, this time. You’ve driven so many friends to urgent care or to chemo, waited with a tattered Sunset as they puked and brooked bad news. You swirl the list of “who’s left” through your head. There’s no one you trust to take notes or like enough to hold your hand. Your mind drifts to your favorite restaurant, the one with live flowers on every linen-covered table.

My carotid, my prerogative, you tell yourself as you change into your best suit and call a taxi. You grab a book to look less alone, tuck it in your clutch. Decades ago, you dressed to dine—a fur stole, the silver fox he got you for your 25th anniversary.

The maître d’ clasps your wrists. You tilt your head as the waiter presses his warm hand against your back and leads you to a table against the wall. You sink into the calligraphed menu, forget the day, the time. Your phone dings, but you don’t answer. You have all the time in the world, order four small antipasti plates, one after the other. You eat slowly while turning pages without reading. Years, you’ve waved away the dessert cart. You’ll motion for it to park by your table. You’ll ask questions, deliberate a while, pick a couple, perhaps panna cotta and zeppole. Choosing is the ultimate pleasure.

Mikki Aronoff’s
Issue 23 (April 2024)

work appears in 100 word story, Atlas and Alice, Bending Genres, The Citron Review, The Disappointed Housewife, The Dribble Drabble Review, Flash Boulevard, Gone Lawn, New World Writing, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Midway Journal, Milk Candy Review, Mslexia, The Offing, Tiny Molecules, trampset, and elsewhere. She’s received nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, Best American Short Stories, and Best Microfiction.

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