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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 4: July 2020
Micro-Fiction: 156 words
By Nancy Ludmerer

Quiet Enjoyment


Her first husband, Sid, was lively and gregarious, his enthusiasm a counterpoint to her shyness. During sex, he roared; she purred. He always had something “on”: TV, radio, pounding music videos. She craved silence. “Can we please shut that off?” she’d ask. The loud sports commentary was so predictable she could have screamed, if that were her way. Whoever was winning had determination; whoever was losing had lost their focus.

Her second husband, Liam, was a librarian. Quiet and soft-spoken. Her soulmate. Their City Hall wedding was subdued, their vows barely audible. They would raise kind, well-behaved children. Then his twins, Aimee and Arlen, age 10, came for their first visit. Pale and freckled, they barely spoke.

“I’ve trained them to use their inside voices,” Liam bragged.

But when she called cheerfully that dinner was ready, Aimee glared at her. “You don’t have to yell.”

Arlen pitched in, “We heard you the first time.”

Nancy Ludmerer’s
Issue 4, July 2020

stories and flash fictions appear in Kenyon Review, The Best Small Fictions 2016 (“First Night,” a prizewinner in River Styx), Electric Literature, Mid-American Review, Vestal Review, Fish Anthology 2015, A3 Review, KYSO Flash, Cimarron Review, and others. Her story “A Simple Case” was the fiction winner in Carve Magazine’s 2019 Prose & Poetry Contest. She lives in New York City.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Hide-and-Seek, flash fiction by Nancy Ludmerer in KYSO Flash (Issue 8, August 2017)

Learning the Trade in Tenancingo, micro-fiction in KYSO Flash (Issue 6, Fall 2016)

“...Tenancingo” is among 100 personal favorites on Clare’s List, selected from among a thousand works published in KYSO Flash over the course of six years.

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