company 3-1Mabel positions wood over the glowing newsprint ashes, and blows until they catch. Stephen flings a folded-up greeting card with hearts and glitter into the flames, a plastic bottle of scotch, half-gone, passing between them. With her own boyfriend poised to leave her for a woman with four cats and a weaving loom, Mabel thought Stephen might make good company tonight. It starts to pour; the sky pulses with lightning. Mabel lunges for the porch’s shelter, but Stephen bolts out deeper into the yard.

“Be safe.”

“Safe? That’s something you keep money in,” he says, scattering into the intermittent dark.


Lisa Mangini holds an MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She is the author of three chapbooks and a poetry collection, and is the founding editor of Paper Nautilus.

2 Responses to “Company”

  1. Janet says:

    Oh wow, I really like this story! It’s amazing what can be said in 100 words.

  2. Louella Lester says:

    I liked this story, especially the ending.

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