Offcourse Literary Journal
ISSN 1556-4975 

Flash Fiction by Daniel Gallik.


Don’t Forget About Forgetting Things


She forgot to make the bed. She was not doing a good job on her makeup. Her hands were shaking and she didn’t know why. The two kids were late getting up to attend Huron Middle, take tests in pre-algebra and civics. Hubby, Tim had already left the house to get to work early. He had a meeting with the boss about getting a different job at Orfis Tool & Die. This lady had even missed Dr. Phil the previous night. Ginny was forty three. The kids, fifteen and sixteen. Tim was forty seven. Dr. Phil looked like he was sixty two. The temp. on February fourth two thousand ten was thirty two. Gin’s mattress was fifteen. Love was twenty. Bills, forever. “Hey Mom, you picking me up after school?” “Why?” yelled Mom over the shower. “Cause I have a hair appt. at Lauren’s Do’s.” “Oh!” said Gin. “Mom, you done with my sweater yet?” this from son, Tim II. “No, you?” laughed Mom. The phone rang. No one answered it. The clothes dryer, a Sears-Kenmore on the first floor turned off and buzzed that ugly sound throughout the 3 bedroom residence on Green Rd. near Orville Blvd. Gin decided she better call Tim on the way to his fate. “Hey, Tim, you get some clean underwear on?” “No,” said the man, “I don’t need clean ‘Fruit’s’ to work a grinder.” Gin said oh and hung up. She could tell the hubby was in no mood to discuss possible demotion. Gin looked in the mirror and said to herself openly, “I just don’t know what happened to my face. I don’t know what occurred with my age. I don’t know if I want to keep raising two kids and a husband. I am concerned with my life in Huron, OH. We don’t even have a good view of the lake. Lake Erie. I forgot my zip code anyway.” The two kids yelled, bye! Dog, Linny, had pissed on the living room carpeting near the TV. Gin made a mental note of cleaning the spot up with Resolve Spot and Stain Carpet Cleaner. Gin had forgotten to get the oil changed in her 2000 Taurus SE. Her daughter had told her that argyle socks were the rage at school. She forgot that and that President Jeb Bush was speaking tonight on the war in Iraq. And how the problem of war is complex and difficult to solve in only six years. Dr. Phil was dealing with some ladies who had weight problems. Something about how there isn’t enough time to work out and get slim. Gin thought that true twenty miles from the shores of a Great Lake. Timmy called back to say he was sorry and he loved his wife. He said that to her. He spoke, “I love my wife. But I also lost my job altogether at Orfis. Hon, I am going to go out drinking. Even though it’s seven a.m.” Gin said she was sorry to hear that. But just maybe he could look for a job at the Huron Record Courier instead of going to Joe’s Boys’ Bar and Eastern Tap Room over on Fourth. Tim answered, “No. I feel like a few CC’s on ice and one Muscle Dog to have for breakfast at the 24 hr. bar.” He wanted lots of mustard on that hdog cause all hdogs should only have mustard put on them. Never catsup. Gin didn’t tell her husband she loved him. She say any other words. She didn’t think much after that day. Gin didn’t feel much after that day. Not much at all.



Good Things Happen To Extra-Regular People


“Tern’s eating dead meat. Didn’t know they did such a thing.” Jim was getting tired of doing things in his latter years. He’d rather just sit and observe. Wife Linda was getting tired too. She did a lot of crossword puzzles. Called her two kids an awful lot. To the point where Sarah, the youngest one didn’t answer her home phone anymore. And she didn’t give mom her cell no. either. Linda responded much later than those first statements, “The bird probably likes dead things. Now me. I’m different. I like things that have life, new ideas, and some high energy. I only like dead things to look at once in awhile. Then I throw them out.” Jim lisped, “Ready for lunch?” The lake was churning. A possible high humidity storm was coming that evening. At least, that’s what the weatherman was saying on the TV in dear old Cleveland, Ohio. The one that was on continually, day and night, without the sound turned up. He only turned the sound up if a weather bulletin came on. Jim continued, “Anyway we can eat the same thing tonight?” “No,” Linda quipped, “I am not for doing the same thing all the time. Anyway, when you going to die?” Jim lifted his eyelids, lifted his feet, and went to get a puzzle, one of Linda’s old ones, to do before lunch. No calls that day. To either adult. Evening came always in a whisper. After supper, Jim retired. So, he could say to everyone, ‘I get up at five in the morning each day.’ Linda stayed up to watch Letterman. Just after she went out to the Club (one of those private ones) to have a drink and watch all the guys doing the same. Dreaming one would ask her out. Maybe after a couple scotches. That evening one did. His name was Earl, and he was only 55. Linda asked him over to watch her favorite late night show, and he agreed. She tried to get him drunk. And he agreed. She asked him to take her clothes off in her room. And he did so. And he was harder than a lead pole. And she asked him to lick her whole vagina and he did. And she commanded him, even though she didn’t have to, to stick his piece in her twat. The exact words she used. He did, and he began to hump her. She said no. She wanted to hump him and she did. And she came before him. And kissed him gently on the lips. He asked her if he should take his penis out of her vagina, and she said yes. To get it ready for another session. He did. An even stronger, more controlled session of hard core sex. Later, she told him she would call him soon, and said goodbye. He got into his Taurus and tooted his horn and waved at her. She didn’t wave back. Jim had died that night. Sarah did not find out until the next morning. She went in at seven am to wake him up because he never slept late, and to give him his meds. She wasn’t going to tell him about Earl. She figured he wouldn’t have cared that much. He was lying there face up with a smile on his face. She didn’t think much of it, and called the emergency squad. The kids found out from the newspaper. Linda lived happily ever after. Heck, Jim seemed happy. So did the kids. She didn’t call them much anymore. Or anyone else in big America.



Metamorphic Love


From a distance she seemed an impregnable rock. Too beautiful. Too set in the big city’s scope. Cleveland was in her jaw. In her body. Both concrete. Granite. Dirty but perfect. A fortress she had built herself had become her warlord. She possessed some guise of mischief, but only for good reason. Her name was Misanthrope. She had risen above the inland plain higher than me. Her mammoth outcropping was her persona. Sure she was, and I knew all this. Immediately upon viewing her. I liked keeping her away from me. She was someone I could worship from afar. Like she lived on another continent, and I could see her ever day in a geography book if I wanted to see her. Why was she in me? I was sure she had stood against a thousand sieges. And still with her hard jaw s he wanted more. Who was that poet that wrote about the immutability of life? Who really cares I thought, about poetry, about words? This was the penultimate woman. No one reads anymore anyway. Really, she was strong as the next day because she asked for nothing and became more. I was impressed with the constancy of her color. Her tones. Her jaw, because of what she believed. All there without saying a word. Yet, as fleeting as crime. All this happened before to me. I knew I would say nothing and get nothing. No love. Just a memory. I knew I was like this. I was afraid of strong women. I admired them from afar. I did not want to marry any woman. Any more they all had too much fear attached to their psyches. Strong about their jobs, the kids they would have or wouldn’t have. Their looks. They never prepared their days around men, only other women. The makeup they wore, the clothes, the car they bought. But I thought, “This time I would seize this time.” Make her at least want to be with me. Forever . Or never. I knew it was a chancey thing to do. Especially for me. Still, I desperately wanted to step past my personality and do this. Each hour passed. I walked towards her, said to her, “I am yours.” I don’t know why I said that. Then she looked at me for the longest time. Said not a thing. Nervously,I told her nothing as I waited for her move. She had none. I said to myself, this again? Is this beauty without intelligence. Or I said, she loves herself so much. She doesn’t have room for love. Or me. I said to myself, shade and weather, all I wish from her. This monolith was quiet as the past. I waited. I said to myself, her gradations are multi-gradual. As the sun’s moves. Too slow to be noticed. But there. She had to know I would accept her. Whatever. I kept thinking this. Finally, after an hour she got my message. All my loose thoughts had gotten to her. And she had read them through my brain, not my mouth. And she lifted her eyelids to reflect who I had become. I knew then love would flourish. But I did not smile because we men are not supposed to do such things. Are we? Midday, her look was suffused with a rusty flush. Zenith, the sun took me to her. I hugged her. I hugged her. That is what we men ought to do in these circumstances. I became bleached with her color. I was illuminated by her crevices. I blushed then. (I know we men are not supposed to do this.) Said hello to her without a word. (Now, this is what we are supposed to do always.) Such was our relationship now after a hundred eons. And it works. Nature, love, people. She comes to my surface often. Knows I have a hot-hued surface. My feldspar layers caress her. Even then she smiles. At her base, her spinifex mates with me. I love the green inside her love. No longer a distant castle. But a warm life, because love is beyond and through and in between and always. (Even when she is not around). When her sun is low, I am. When it is high, I am. I don’t mind slavery when it is for a good purpose. I don’t really know what she is thinking.



Gallik has multiple short stories and poems all over the internet and in college journals. The Hiram Poetry Review, Parabola, The Hawaii Review and many others include his work. His first novel, "A Story Of Dumb Fate" can be obtained from


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