KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Micro-Fiction: 317 words

Rabbit Girl

by Tara L. Masih

They call her la coneja at the frozen pizza plant where she works. Rabbit girl. She is thirty. Not a girl.

The machines clamor and clank and spit out the round dough disks she decorates with more round meat disks of pepperoni.

The smell of the peppery meat makes her sick these days.

Eight hours of smelling the fibrous mass of many kinds of meat and spices mashed into a greasy roll.

One break only, to eat their bag and box lunches, hers including egg salad sandwiches because it is cheap, theirs including tamales and soft tacos because they are cheap. A small box of cigs to finish it off and relax for a minute.

“Hey, la coneja,” one will say, “how you feeling, chica?”

And she will respond with the dullness of the routine question echoing in her response.

In the blue, slightly menacing darkness, she takes the bus back to the south end, shuffles with tired feet and varicose veins up the stairs that hold dirt and lint in the tread corners, to her apartment and her mother who is ready to hand off the four who are sleeping and the one who is not when she turns the key in the loose, jangling doorknob.

She takes the crying infant, sits on the worn plaid couch and strokes the smooth back till it quiets. It falls asleep on her growing belly.

She recalls how the sugar used to disappear in the house when she was a girl. Her mother puzzled. Her brother the culprit, grabbing fistfuls at night while they slept. Filling some internal hole with the sweet granules from the red apple-shaped sugar bowl.

The sleeping infant over her shoulder like a shawl, she goes to the cupboard and takes out the Domino paper sack with the corner cut off, tips her head back, and begins to feed herself, till she chokes.

Tara L. Masih
Issue 1, Fall 2014

Winner of multiple book awards as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays.

Ms. Masih is also the author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories (a National Best Books Award finalist), and has published fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous anthologies and literary magazines (including Confrontation, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, The Los Angeles Review, Night Train, and The Caribbean Writer).

Several limited edition illustrated chapbooks featuring her flash fiction have been published by The Feral Press, and awards for her work include The Ledge Magazine’s fiction award, finalist placing in the Reynolds Price Fiction Awards, and nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Pietà, flash fiction in Wigleaf (11-15-2011)

Haunt of Memory, YouTube flash fiction video, a collaboration with Michael Dickes and Awkword Paper Cut (February 2013)

You Don’t Look that Short: Reflections and Observations on Teaching Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction Chronicles (22 August 2011)

List of Works by Tara L. Masih Available Online

Not a Flash in the Pan: flash fiction storytelling in which Suzanne Kamata (fiction co-editor of Literary Mama) talks with four flash experts: Stefanie Freele, Andrea Hurst, Tara L. Masih, and Meg Pokrass; in WOW! Women on Writing (Issue 49)

Six Questions for Tara L. Masih, author, instructor, and editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction by Jim Harrington in Six Questions For... (21 January 2010)

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