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Habits

Story by Peter Schumacher (Read author interview) December 17, 2013

art by Leslie June

“Faster Blue!”

That is what my mother said to me.

She said, “Blue you’re so slow.”

And I hung clothes from the clothesline every Sunday.

Every Monday our list of objects grew. The objects invaded our rooms I mean, and we could not vacuum them because they were too much.

Some of the objects were bicycles. The dog barked at all of them. I told the dog, “NO!” The dog listened because I’m Blue. I’m Blue because that is what my mother named me and yes, sometimes I feel so blue. It’s a ridiculous fate I know.

And no the dog did not listen. The dog was a stubborn piece of shit. We bought that dog when I was nine years old.

Tuesdays of course we brought home the burgers. My mom brought home the burgers and put them in the fridge. They stacked up like pyramids, the wrapped burgers. I grabbed one whenever and ate it like a hand fruit.

Then nothing til Saturday when everything was a sale and a nickel and I was never quick enough with the hauling. Our objects collected in the rooms, the list of them grew. We had a tremendous VHS collection with several boxed sets. The dog went frantic when the objects fell. I mean nothing could stop the yard sale.

So that eventually we walled ourselves in.

So that eventually she had neither reason nor ability to complain.

About the Author

Peter Schumacher’s work has appeared online at The Summerset Review and Six Little Things. He lives in Missoula, MT, and is currently at work on a book of novellas.

About the Artist

Leslie June is a digital media professional and underwater photographer. She currently builds websites and takes photos in Asheville, NC.

This story appeared in Issue Forty-Two of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Forty-Two
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SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

Next Date to Join: December 1!

On September 1, SmokeLong launched a workshop environment/community christened SmokeLong Fitness. This asynchronous community workshop is happening right now on our dedicated workshop site. If you choose to join us, you will work in a small group of around 10-12 participants to give and receive feedback. Each Monday, you will receive a new writing task (one writing task each week) designed by the senior editor team of SmokeLong. The core workshop is asynchronous, so you can take part from anywhere at anytime. We are excited about creating a supportive, consistent and structured environment for flash writers to work on their craft in a community.