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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 6: January 2021
Micro-CNF: 211 words
By Daryl Scroggins

Giving Up Control

A few days before my father died, I sat beside his bed as he explained past house repairs and improvements. Drifting in and out of lucidity, but always with a look of concentration on his gaunt face, he spoke of wiring modifications he had made in the attic that would surely be perplexing to anybody who bought the house. “The outside power outlet on the brick beside the chimney is on breaker fifteen,” he said. “The wire goes up into the attic and ties into the box above the bathroom that supplies the heater fan.” He was seeing the wire’s course. The yellow capped ends. And his hand in the air beside him was trying to help. “Maybe you could undo all of that,” he said. “Or...or...you could run it from a different box.”

He faded some then but still looked troubled. “Daddy,” I said, “don’t worry about all of that. There’s no answering ahead of time all the questions people might ask when they buy a house. There are mysteries, and people look around and figure things out.”

He listened to me, but his expression of concern remained. And after a long pause he said, “But, I’m the last one who will know about all of that.”

Daryl Scroggins
Issue 6, January 2021

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

Writer Boy, micro-fiction by Daryl Scroggins in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 4, July 2020); nominated by MacQ for Best Microfiction 2021

Face of the Deep, ekphrastic prose poem in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 3, May 2020)

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

New to School, micro-fiction 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 at Web del Sol

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