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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Prose Poem: 149 words
By Daryl Scroggins

A Near Miss

—After Rodolphe Bresdin’s etching Hunters Surprised by Death (1857)

Ah, there you are. What an intriguing fanfare you have made of your stealth. Come lean your brave weapons against my tree and rest. Now, at a stroke, even the dressing and eating of your prey are matters of the past. That bird, flushed there, is the one that always escaped, leaving a message largely left unread. Not much hunting required on my part. But when I indulge and dally with it, the stories made thereby are tales of marriage parades run through by the very train arranged ahead to take away the bride and groom. Or of sudden torrents washing away a whole town’s folk as they are gathered to pray for rain.

Wait! Where are you going? You have left your toys behind. Well, go on then, for now. Consider the circle of your flight.


Hunters Surprised by Death: 1857 Etching by Rodolphe Bresdin
Hunters Surprised by Death (etching, 1857)
by French engraver Rodolphe Bresdin (1825-1885);
from the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago

Daryl Scroggins
Issue 23 (April 2024)

has taught creative writing and literature at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of North Texas, and the Writer’s Garret, in Dallas. He now lives in Marfa, Texas. He is the author of This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash novel (Ravenna Press), Winter Investments: Stories (Trilobite Press), and Prairie Shapes: A Flash Novel (winner of the 2004 Robert J. DeMott Prose Contest). His poems, short stories, and creative nonfictions have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country, including Blink Ink, Cutbank, Eastern Iowa Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Star 82 Review, and Third Wednesday, among others.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Suitcase Full of Clay: An Ekphrastic e-Collection in MacQueen’s Quinterly, aka MacQ (Issue 18, April 2023)

Roadshow, microfiction by Daryl Scroggins in MacQ (Issue 15, September 2022); one of three pieces by Scroggins selected as Finalists in “The Question of Questions” Ekphrastic Writing Challenge

Spring, microfiction by Scroggins in MacQ (Issue 12, March 2022)

Writer Boy, microfiction in MacQ (Issue 4, July 2020); nominated by MacQ for Best Microfiction 2021

Field Trips, flash fiction by Scroggins in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019)

New to School, microfiction in Eclectica (Jan/Feb 2018)

Two Fictions: “Almost Baptized” and “Against the Current” in New Flash Fiction Review (Issue 10, January 2018)

Eight Stories: A Mini-Chapbook by Daryl Scroggins at Web del Sol

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