KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Micro-Fiction: 269 words

The Gizmo

by Dan Gilmore

I got the news in one of those square little rooms with an exam table, a sink, two steel chairs, and a computer. As he talked I held tight to a rolled-up People magazine, noticed a place for disposing of syringes, watched the sink’s faucet drip slower than the number of months he thought I had left. And when silence came, I couldn’t think of what to say, so I said, “Thank you,” and he said, “You’re welcome.”

Driving home, I needed to make a list: will, finances, estate sale; write my autobiography—scratch that; make a video—scratch that; make a few calls. I stopped by Walgreens to buy a pencil and a pocket notebook, bought Snickers and Red Vines instead. Stopped at Gus Balone’s Cafe. Had three eggs, double bacon, double hash browns, and two biscuits with sausage gravy.

In my kitchen, I opened my junk drawer looking for a note pad and saw that electric gizmo I’d held onto for years, a black square thing that plugged into a wall socket. Attached to the top was a smaller black thing with two loose electrical wires that dangled down, one red, one black, and there was a receptacle in the back where something plugged into it, but that part was missing, and as far as I knew, had never existed. But holding that gizmo in my hand, I truly believed that if I had that missing part and plugged it into my gizmo, and if I plugged the whole thing into the right socket, everything would be okay. I wouldn’t die. I’d never die.


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