Imperfect Circles by Dan Nielsen #FlashFicFriday

One hardened Spaghetti-O from last night’s dinner stuck to the underside of Ray Johnson’s soup spoon. He touched it with his tongue. It tasted like a Cheerio because he was eating Cheerios now, but it was a Spaghetti-O from last night. It made Ray think.    

One side of Paul’s hair was red, the other side blue. She wore white lipstick. 

TV on. Ray and Paul watched a commercial for Dusty Dave’s Crematorium. A corpse in a coffin decomposed in thirty seconds flat. Not the way you want to go when you’re gone. There was information to read, but who has time for that? They listened to Dusty Dave’s voice, but not the words. They ate Cheerios. 

“If a Cheerio is a zero and you add up a whole bowl full, it’s still zero.” When Paul found a practical application for her advanced math degree she was as surprised as anyone.

“Some birds prefer trees, and some prefer wires, but most like both.” Ray waited for Paul to respond. Paul was over for the parade. Kitchen chairs were out on the big front porch. TV trays at their knees, Ray and Paul ate Cheerios. Ray continued, “Birds feel about hawks the way bunnies feel about cats, and birds feel about cats the way bunnies feel about hawks.” They ate their Cheerios. 

The TV sat on TV tray number three. The extension cord was too long, leftover from the near tragic electric lawnmower incident. If either of them tripped on it, the TV was a goner. Paul removed a Labatt Blue from the cooler, opened it, and took a sip. A terrible mistake. With white milk and tan Cheerios in her mouth, Blue beer tasted awful. She bravely swallowed and placed the can on the tray for later. Ray waited. Still no response from Paul. “Birds and bunnies get along fine. Cats and hawks not so much,” Ray all but whispered. 

Her cereal bowl empty, Paul opened another Blue, having forgotten the first. She drank it in one go. Not a big deal. Paul ofttimes slammed Pabst Tallboys in one go, crushing the empty can against her forehead. If it bled, all the better. 

“Most mammals scratch when they itch, but only humans use ointment.” Paul the apologist.

“When a car starts on the first try it’s not how well you turned the key.” Ray had a modest streak.    

First were fire trucks. Streetsweepers marked the end. In between came the parade. Ray and Paul watched the street and the TV. It was the same parade, but the camera was a mile away, way back downtown. It was the same parade, but different. The TV left out the streetsweepers. The TV played Dusty Dave’s commercial again instead. Was the whole parade brought to them by Dusty Dave’s Crematorium? It made Paul think.   


You can find Dan on twitter at @DanNielsenFIVES

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