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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Micro-Memoir: 300 words
By Guy Biederman

Meow of Now


I feel his warmth as he curls up in my lap across my flannel PJs. So much love still there, so much life. What it’s come down to. He’s 18. He’s lived half his life on a houseboat; loved to watch the gulls and herons soar, the leopard sharks swim at low tide as he walked the narrow ledge of our roof deck three stories above the water line.

Pierre walking the ledge: Photograph by Guy Biederman

Pierre perched on houseboat roof: Photograph by Guy Biederman

The vet gave him 36 hours. A week later here we sit. Length of life, location too, do little to comfort the enormous hole of loss. Grasping at straws. Puff taught us that nothing lives forever. And Pierre is living that story. He has been in so many of mine. And now he’s in this one, a story I wish I didn’t have to write. Teaching me, always teaching without trying. The best kind. The basic stuff. The hard stuff. Tender stuff too.

What an honor to care for a being who is circling to land. How sitting with them, looking for signs becomes a chance to step back from all the other duties and distractions and obligations in life, and simply devote oneself to shared moments in the quiet grey hours, like this one now. Trusting that he knows when he’s done, trusting that he’ll tell me and then I’ll know too. We’ll just know. Teaching me to release the need to know before its time. Relishing the unknowing moment.

Writing buddies: Photograph by Phyllis Biederman

We sit in the chair where we’ve written a thousand stories together, spent thousands of mornings together, and we spend and write one more. Maybe it’s the Tao talking, maybe it’s the way, maybe it’s us listening to the vast and simple secrets of the universe, heartbeat of this moment, right now and now and now. Meow.

Pierre at sunset: Photograph by Guy Biederman



—The first, second, and fourth photographs above were taken by Guy Biederman and feature Pierre surveying his domain from on high. The third photograph, of the trio of writing buddies Guy Biederman, Little Bud (aka Cap’n Orange), and Pierre, was taken by Phyllis Biederman. These photos are copyrighted by their respective photographer, all rights reserved, and appear here with their permission.

Guy Biederman
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is the author of six books, including Translated from the Original: One-Inch Punch Fiction (Nomadic Press, 2022), Nova Nights (Nomadic Press, 2021), Edible Grace (KYSO Flash Press, 2019), and Soundings & Fathoms (Finishing Line Press).

His stories have appeared in many journals such as Bull, Carve, The Disappointed Housewife, The Ekphrastic Review, Flash Frontier, Flashback Fiction, great weather for Media, KYSO Flash, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Riddled with Arrows, and Exposition Review, where he was twice a Flash 405 winner. His work has recently received a Publisher’s Choice Award and an Editor’s Choice Award, and has been nominated for Best of The Net.

A former peace corps volunteer, gardener, and college creative-writing instructor, Guy lives on a houseboat with his wife and salty cat, and walks the planks daily.

Author’s website: https://www.guybiederman.com/

Author’s blog: This Day Afloat: Reflections of Life on the Water

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

I Won’t Be Long, microfiction by Guy Biederman in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 14, August 2022); nominated by MacQ for Best Microfiction 2023

Quite, a prose poem by Biederman selected as winner of the “Triple-Q” Writing Challenge in Issue 11 of MacQ (January 2022); to hear him read this piece, see Recordings at his website.

Edible Grace: An e-Collection of 12 Micro-Prose in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019); click on Next Page at bottom left of each piece to access the next one.

Edible Grace is also available in print and offers bonus content, including six additional micro-prose and five more photographs by the author, plus a pen-and-ink drawing by Tula Biederman.

The Lion Has Lost His Roar, a tribute to Little Bud (aka Cap’n Orange), from the Edible Grace e-collection described above

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