Volume 34, Number 1

More Drabbles

Ken Poyner

Editor’s Note: A drabble is a piece of flash fiction exactly 100 words long.


He is suspected of having intelligence. No matter how many approvingly stupid things he does, his neighbors worry. He does not read on his porch. He applauds patently idiotic solutions to common problems. He blithely consigns most of history to oblivion. But there are times when his guard is down. He does not get continually caught in the same corners. He analyzes a problem now and again with the obvious end of finding a workable solution. With all his efforts, even he knows one day there will be a reckoning. His neighbors are watching, though they are not sure why.

* * *

Family Affair

Natalie has a miscarriage at fourteen weeks. Given she is twelve and spindly, Quibble thought it would never go full term. Now the state is investigating the emergency room her parents took a bleeding Natalie to, have questioned the family, subpoenaed medical records. A lawyer for the state says he will get to the bottom of this and that there could be charges against Natalie and half the emergency room staff. Natalie’s partner, her fourteen-year-old stepbrother, got a stern talking-to and two weeks’ grounding. The state isn’t interested in him. Quibble hopes Natalie gets limited time and early parole.

* * *


The newscaster says the earth is flat. Quibble has long had his suspicions. To be round, the earth would have to generate gravity from its center: someone’s up would have to be someone’s down. So many people have fallen off the edge of the earth that common sense dictates: there is an edge. Now that it is officially recognized, can we get back to the sun circling the earth? Everyone knows seasons are the illusion of an elliptical solar path. Next announcement? Hush, thinks Quibble: it is not safe to get ahead; we will be told when it is truthful.