Month: June 2022

Your Secret

You know I know your secret. What you don’t know is that I’ve known it for some time. You thought I only found out that night, when you were indiscreet after one too many glasses of wine. When you looked at him, over the top of your glass, and then looked away. And then you reached out as he was leaving, and with a casual, yet tender brush of your fingers, you removed some stray cat hair from his jacket. It was the ultimate giveaway. You see, I know he doesn’t have a cat and you do. Then you caught my eye. Caught me watching you. You smiled back at me. I had been watching you a lot that evening. Do you remember? I had seen the way you flirted. You think because you do it to everyone nobody will notice when you hone in on him. Do you remember the way you were flirting with me? You also touched me, on the knee, on the arm, but it was never intimate, I never had …

A Study in Paisley

Ever look at a drop of water through a microscope? —In biology class, like everybody else. Why do you ask? Because I’m convinced it can’t be a coincidence. —What? The resemblance between the ciliated unicellular organisms you see frolicking in moisture under magnification and the figures on paisley shirts. Remember paisley shirts? —Vaguely. They were big when we were in high school. As a matter of fact, I happened to be wearing one the night I attracted the notice of a man with no lips. —You exaggerate. Not a bit. In place of a mouth, he had only the hint of a slit, so that I didn’t take it as a compliment when I caught him staring at me in the subway. —I don’t suppose you were dumb enough to encourage him by sustaining eye contact? Even as a kid, I knew better than that. On the reasonable assumption he was a lunatic, I looked straight back down at Madame Bovary. —That’s not a book anybody of my acquaintance would have been reading in high …

Just A Crack

The bedroom door was open again. Just a crack, a hair, as his mom used to say. Dim light from the hallway shone through, momentarily distracting him from the fact that it was open. Hadn’t he closed it earlier, though? Not all the way, just slightly over the frame. Sighing, he got out of bed to close it over again, shutting if fully this time. An undetermined amount of time passed. He woke up to the sound of the door opening. Again, not by him. But not all the way, just a crack. Now he was afraid. But it was just the door, and his own hallway beyond. Matthew Spence was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His work has most recently appeared at