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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 6: January 2021
Micro-fiction: 206 words
By Guy Biederman

Measure

 

You measure the room with the Stanley tape, careful of your fingers when the metal strip retracts. You like the high-speed sound it makes disappearing into the case. 5'3" x 5'9". You do the math. Doesn’t look good. This room was once a closet, this house a summer cabin for San Franciscans seeking sunshine in July. Now it’s going to be a second bedroom in a house for five: you, Felicia, two strays, and a baby well on the way. The crib is 6 feet long. A gift from Felicia’s dad, who didn’t ask for dimensions, just bought it on Amazon, had it delivered. Unassembled. The crib is in pieces on the kitchen floor, instructions spread across the table covering the fruit bowl. Felicia’s on bed-rest in the master bedroom, itself barely six feet long—were people shorter back then?—resting with the two strays and baby in utero, unaware of this math problem, and depending on you to figure things out. You practice a deep Lamaze breath, refold the instructions—a crisp map for a journey you’re not sure you’re built for—and you squeeze into the cozy double bed, leaving a tiny space between you and Felicia where a baby-sized pillow now fits.

Guy Biederman
Issue 6, January 2021

teaches “low fat fiction” and is the author of four collections of short prose: Edible Grace (KYSO Flash Press, 2019), Soundings and Fathoms: Stories (Finishing Line Press, 2018), House Samurai (Iota Press, 2006), and Parts & Labor (Thumbprint Press, 1992). His stories have appeared in dozens of venues including Carve, daCunha, Flashback Fiction, KYSO Flash, Sea Letter, Third Wednesday, and Exposition Review, where he was twice a Flash 405 winner. In 2018, his flash was nominated for the Best of the Net anthology.

Born in the Chihuahua desert near the Mexican border, Guy grew up on a Sting-Ray in Ventura, learned to write in the Peace Corps during a civil war in Guatemala, honed his craft pulling weeds and planting flowers as a gardener in San Francisco, and later received his M.A. from San Francisco State, where his teaching career began. He’s been a creative-writing midwife since 1991.

Guy lives on a houseboat with his wife and a salty cat, and walks the planks daily. It’s all true, especially the fiction.

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

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

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

 
 
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