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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 8: June 2021
Micro-Fiction: 248 words
By Daryl Scroggins

No Signal


Daddy says Mama died because she fell asleep wearing 3-D glasses.

“What movie did you see that she kept the glasses from?” I ask.

Daddy stops his spoon of cereal half-way up from his Cool Whip tub—I got him some bowls but he still uses the other.

“I think it was Star Wars.

“Which one?”

“I think the first one.”

“It can’t be,” I say, “that one came out before they had 3-D.”

“Well,” he says. And he eats more Os. Then he says, “Maybe it was The Sound of Music.

“Same problem,” I say.

“Well, it had so much action in it your mother couldn’t eat her sour candy, and I said Oh Jesus it’s just a fucking movie, everything’s going to be okay. But we got home and she still had the glasses on. She felt bad about that. She knows you’re supposed to turn them in on your way out. We ate mashed potatoes and peas, and she nodded off. Died right there in the recliner where you’re sitting.”

We look at our knees in the TV’s blank screen.


“Where’s the remote?” Daddy asks.

I look for it. He looks for it. I get up because I can, turn cushions over, move magazines. “I don’t see it anywhere,” I say.

“I need the remote,” Daddy says. “I need it. Nothing’s going to work without it.”

“I’m looking, I’m looking. You can see I’m looking.”

“I don’t feel so good,” Daddy says.

Daryl Scroggins
Issue 8, June 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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