Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Micro-CNF: 198 words
By Richard L. Matta



Danny’s like a young Fonzie in the series Happy Days. He captains the football team and when he plays “We are the Champions,” everyone believes him. Most of all, he’s got fireworks. His dad drives out of state and loads up cherry bombs, bottle rockets, and Black Cat firecrackers. Danny portions them out to trusted friends, his dealers. All this before summer vacation begins. I’m to meet him, buy Black Cats, sixteen per pack, a buck each. We make the deal. I feel cool just to be in his presence. In June I visit Grandma, we go over to Mexico, and I sneak off to buy fireworks. I stuff them in my underwear, socks, and shoes. I have big plans to be cool. Grandma speaks to a border guard in Spanish. I can’t understand. Two guards walk me away, take the fireworks, release me. I don’t speak to Grandma for days. On July Fourth, back at home, I pull out two firecrackers purchased from Danny, light them intending to throw. They explode in my hand. I’m afraid to look. Can’t hear anything for thirty minutes. My hand is stained gray, like pencil lead on an apology letter.

Richard L. Matta
Issue 23 (April 2024)

grew up in New York’s rustic Hudson Valley, attended Notre Dame, practiced forensic science, and now lives in San Diego with his golden-doodle dog. Some of his work is found in Dewdrop, Gyroscope, Healing Muse, New Verse News, San Pedro River Review, and many journals of haiku, haibun, and tanka.

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.