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Flash Fiction by Francine Witte

Outside the House Where the Old People Dance


Close like they did long ago. Death watches from the lawn, stalker that he is. He puts his deathpencil behind his ear and stares. Stares at the foxtrot and glide of Mavis and Jim, him promising again to stay on his meds.

Just last week, Jim fell like a stain to the carpet, and Death was watching, licking his salty chops, while stubborn old Jim twitched and looked eyes-open at Mavis, who stood over him like a sparkled fairy, 911 phone in her hands, the squiggled cord from the ancient landline casting a shadow, a coiled snake of a shadow across Jim’s face, but then he struggled to his feet, life shooting up through his ankles, his shinbones, his chest.

And Death, in his typical fashion, thought this is too easy, too expected. How much better to wait, when it’s not so obvious, when no one will hear him sneaking up, the music heavy in their ears, their feet too busy with swirl and dance to run the other way.




Francine Witte’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Wigleaf, Mid-American Review, Passages North, and many others. Her latest books are Dressed All Wrong for This (Blue Light Press,) The Way of the Wind (AdHoc fiction,) and (The Theory of Flesh.) She lives in NYC.

@francinewitte on all social media. 

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