In a haze of sweaty, aggressive boredom, I went out in the yard to chop wood. I wanted a continent-sized bonfire, and I needed a lot of wood. I was shaking from insomnia. Violent little shudders. I couldn’t put words together. I wasn’t wearing a shirt and I’d never chopped wood before. My hands were too slippery for the axe handle. I noticed two old mops I’d thrown out months ago that the dogs had chewed the ends off of. I hacked them down into the slimy grass, into shards of blue plastic litter. It’s too hot for February.


Robert Stroud lives in North Carolina. He started writing flash fiction a few months ago.

Photo credit: Kai Makinen

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