SmokeLong Quarterly

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Looking Forward To Sharing Laughter And Fun Times

Story by Eliot Li (Read author interview) September 19, 2022

©️ SmokeLong

SAM, 55, seeking SF, for romantic walks at sunset, fine dining at restaurants with multi-course tasting menus, though I’m open if you have better suggestions. After all, life is short, and full disclosure, I just spent a month in the Cardiac ICU after a massive heart attack. But maybe that’s too much information. Just know that I’ll truly appreciate the evanescent purpling and pinking of the sky during a twilight stroll on the beach, holding hands with you, whispering about how beautiful you are. And day after day when I had a breathing tube down my throat, with my mind clouded by sedatives, I just kept thinking oh god, I don’t want to die alone. I’m also a great conversationalist. I like going to the opera as much as a punk rock concert, but I’m willing to attend whatever musical venue you enjoy. And as they cleared the fluid off my lungs, and removed the breathing tube, and during recovery I took slow walks around Cardiac Intensive Care holding my IV pole, it did not go unnoticed that all the heavyset gray men post cardiac event in the ward had wives holding vigil at their side. And the elderly female patients were alone in their rooms, their husbands having preceded them in death. I understood what it was like for them, facing the pain and terror alone. But I’m really looking forward to sharing laughter and love and fun times with you.

About the Author

Eliot Li lives in California. His work appears or is forthcoming in CRAFT Literary, Citron Review, Maudlin House, trampset, Atticus Review, The Pinch, Pithead Chapel, and elsewhere.

This story appeared in A SmokeLong Summer 2022 — Special Issue of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly A SmokeLong Summer 2022 — Special Issue

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The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction

Deadline November 15!

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (The Smokey) is a biennial competition that celebrates and compensates excellence in flash. The grand prize winner of The Smokey is automatically nominated for The Best Small Fictions, The Pushcart, Best of the Net, and any other prize we deem appropriate. In addition to all this love, we will also pay the grand prize winner $2500. Second place: $1000. Third place $500. Finalists: $100. All finalists and placers will be published in the special competition issue in December 2022.