Diane Callahan – Paradise Slipping Off Her Tongue

A new year means new stories at Paper Butterfly Flash Fiction! So many talented authors submitted their work for the recent call; I was really hard-pressed to choose the stories that made the final cut. Follow the PBFF site to read them all!

Paper Butterfly Flash Fiction

Paradise Slipping Off Her Tongue

by

Diane Callahan

A few years before the divorce, they’re in a busy restaurant outside Acadia National Park, and he’s reading the menu while she’s thinking about pushing a rock up a hill. Her head climbs with Sisyphus, whom she pictures as a French philosopher with a cigarette pinched between his lips, even though Camus is not a Greek hero and is perhaps not heroic at all. She loves him all the same.

Because their diet has not evolved beyond the stubbornness of childhood, they order mac and cheese and a plain burger. The blackberry bourbon lemonade sings to her, drink me, drink me, drink me, as if it could make her ten feet tall. She’s twenty-five but has never had a full glass of anything alcoholic. She asks the waitress for a blueberry soda, because when in Maine, and when married to a…

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