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flash fiction story by Hugh Cook

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The Empty Can

        The middle-aged-woman got on the train, ignoring the can in the doorway, and took the seat nearest the door. Later, disturbed by the rocking of the train, the can rolled across the floor, clipping the toe of her sandal. She started, but thereafter ignored the can, which took up residence in the center of the floor.
        Empty. Dented and valueless.
        I lost interest after that and returned to the delights of my algebra textbook. Then, about half an hour later, a blurred whimper of alarm made me glance up. I was just in time to see an old man with a walking stick being engulfed with the sudden hugeness of the can.
        It was all over in a moment. The elderly passenger was gone, and everyone on the train was pretending they had seen nothing. And perhaps they had seen nothing. It's surprising what people don't see, when they put their minds to it.
        Anyway, I reached down and picked up the can, which had resumed its standard size, and had plumped out to dentless splendor. It was warm. Very warm. At blood heat, I suppose. Sealed with a brand new tear tab.
        I pulled the tear tab, and I drank.

the end

THE EMPTY CAN - very short indifference story - brief story - micro story - short short about indifference to strangers - short flash fiction micro fiction story by Hugh Cook


The subject line said "From Daine about the socks," and although he didn't

" .... so they shoved the gag in my mouth. Then they pulled the hood down over my face."

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This flash fiction story THE EMPTY CAN
first posted online
2004 May 13 Thursday
Copyright © 2004 Hugh Cook
all rights reserved.