Sally scarfed down a raspberry tart and licked red goo from each finger, savoring the sweetness with the tip of her tongue. Tom had always hated raspberries. “Too red,” he’d said.

Small bits of paper and glitter covered her sofa and two chairs, even as she sipped her mocha and rum and swayed to the Rhythm and Blues playing on the old record player. Tom hated vinyl records; confetti, too. Matter of fact, Tom hated most things that didn’t have to do with banks. Once, she’d paid two hundred dollars for a room at a resort, and all he could do was divide the cost by the number of hours spent in the room (“Eleven dollars an hour,” he announced at regular intervals, “and most of it sleeping.”).

An old disco ball spun and sparkled as “I Will Survive” filled the empty room. This celebration was just for her. She picked up another tart and ran her finger through the rich filling, relieved to be rid of etiquette and appearances.

“Best New Year’s celebration ever.” She took a sweet bite and smiled.

For decades Sue researched, constructed, supervised and wrote (dry, technical) reports. Now mostly retired, she delights in writing short stories, especially stories of human failings, and when she remembers to submit, she even occasionally gets published. She’s an editor at and, and a trustee of Silver Pen (, a non-profit writing association.

I love words, and the Flash Factory at American Zoetrope is famous for its word challenges. Every week we're given five random words and we all scramble to write microfiction that uses the words in creative ways and tells a complete story. I hope I've achieved these two goals with my story here.



Copyright 2009