Thursday, May 5, 2011

Writer: Bill Floyd

Plague Clock

He cleans the gun reciting
like an insomniac
counts sheep:
San Ysidro, CA, Killeen, TX, Blacksburg, VA, Littleton, CO, Tucson, AZ, etc.

It is never quiet anymore
"I have been wronged"
and now you
will listen to me.

He lives down
across divides measuring the
slimmest of

Distant Sighting

We just went to the mall to get me some shoes.
Ronnie’d been working his new job for about six weeks and he’d finally saved up some money and wanted to buy me something. I was always carrying on about how my feet hurt cause I had to stay on my feet all day talking to the customers. I think about that a lot, how it was my bitching that got Ronnie killed. Even his own mama said that’s bullshit and it wasn’t no one’s fault except that sick crazy bastard’s. But I don’t know. There’s this look in her eyes when she says it.
Everyone saw the news reports from afterwards or the security camera footage that leaked on the Internet, so you know what the mall looked like. It was Saturday afternoon, lots of people there. They say the guy was trying to set some kind of record. We never even got to the Foot Locker. We were in front of the fountain outside the bakery, you know how it always smells so good you just have to buy a cookie? That’s when the guy started letting loose. This blank look on his face. The shots were so loud. So unexpected, so out of place.
Ronnie pushed me behind him and fell on top of me. I heard him grunt a few times and I knew he was shot. One of the bullets came right through him and hit me in the knee but I was so scared I didn’t really realize it until after. The screaming from all around. The crazy guy made this sort of wailing sound right before he put the gun in his mouth. Horrible.
I rolled Ronnie over and started calling for help. He had this real strange look on his face, kinda peaceful. The big dumbass always wanted to be a hero.
My hero.
I had a mind to go after the crazy guy and do something to him even though he was already dead. But when I tried to get up my leg just went out from under me. People held me down and told me the paramedics were on their way. They thought they were being helpful. I guess I kind of lost my mind for a minute there.

After I got home from the hospital all kinds of strangers sent me messages and gifts. This church group from First Presbyterian came by the house with food and some things they figured I’d need for when I recovered. One of the things they brought me was this brand new pair of walking shoes with real cushiony soles and all. The minister said the doctors had told them I’d need shoes with some support. They even got the size right.
I just cried and cried. I took it as a sign, like Ronnie was trying to tell me he was okay. Can’t nobody tell me any different.

© William Floyd 2011

Bill Floyd is a writer from North Carolina who is feeling his way around the on-line world of micro-fiction. He blogs occasionally at


  1. Great writing Bill- I like the 2 postings and how they can connect- the voice in the second piece is perfect-

  2. I didn't make the connection that Paul did, but found the second piece very angry-sad, but I haven't been able to analyse why; something to do with dumb acceptance I think but not sure that's what you meant.
    I liked the reference to counting sheep in the first, allied to place names.

  3. I wasn't sure of a connection, but I like the fact there could be or they could be taken separately without losing any value. I've been long aware of you prose prowess but that poem was, (pun unavoidable) lethal.


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