The Flash Fiction Offensive Out of the Gutter 2020

We shared a bedroom. There was no choice. Mom and Dad took the biggest one. Mickey slept on the couch. The bedroom I shared with Tim was the walk in pantry. Share Share Share.

Tim was a year older, so he got the bottom bunk. When the Good Humor Truck came by we had to share a Popsicle. Tim always picked orange, always split it and handed me the smaller half after looking them over carefully.

He yelled at me for squeaking the bed. It squeaked when I turned over. It squeaked when I had my hand under the sheet. He kicked my bed when it squeaked. Sometimes he woke me. Sometimes he interrupted me.

Then Mickey left for the army. I asked for his couch for my bed. So did Tim. Neither got it. Share your room boys, dad said. It’s fine the way it is, mom chimed in.

Me and Tim fought all the time. The pantry didn’t leave much room to swing so we kicked. Always room for a kick. I tried to be his friend. He told me to shut up. I threw things in his bed when he was sleeping. Once I lit the newspaper and threw it flaming atop him. He waited until I fell asleep and stood on his mattress and punched me awake.

Mom set our plates and told us to share the food. Tim cut. Tim picked. Share Share Share. We weren’t allowed to complain to mom or dad. We had to be grateful.

Our room got smaller with every birthday. Tim locked me out when he dressed. He took the key when I showered. He’d open the door when I dressed. Mom would yell at me for not having any shame. Tsk Tsk Tsk, Tim said. You should run away from home he told me.

He went off to college. I didn’t have to share any longer. I stayed in the upper bunk. I was lonely without Tim and Mickey. Often I cried myself to sleep.

When Tim came home mom still made us share food. Tim cut and chose, and I got screwed.

Tim brought his girlfriend home. She talked to me. She laughed with me. Tim got angry and walked out. He left his girlfriend and walked out. Left.

Eve, Tim’s girlfriend liked me. She showed me she liked me. Tim and Eve got back together. We shared Eve. Shared. Eve said this was our secret. She said if I told Tim I couldn’t share her any more.

Mom found out we shared Eve and told Tim. Eve left. Tim left. I left. Dad left mom. Mom sold the house. No one shared any more. Not mom and Dad. Not me and Tim. Not Tim and Eve. Not me and Eve. No one.

I write to Mom, Dad, Tim, Mickey, and Eve. No one writes me back. No one takes my calls. Not Mom, or Dad, or Tim, or Mickey, or Eve.

I’ll never make my kids share. I’ll forbid it. I certainly won’t share my wife when I get one. No way.

I miss Tim saying Tsk Tsk. I miss sharing an orange Popsicle. I miss the pantry.

Back to Online Stories

© 2023 Paul Beckman’s Short Stories • Rights Reserved.
Palm Tree Creative