Pia Z. Ehrhardt's fiction and non fiction.

Posts from the “Flash Fiction” Category

What I Meant.

Posted on March 31, 2016

High-res version

While I waited at the traffic light on Canal Street, a toddler straddled his mother’s hip and kicked off his tiny red sandal. He looked down, wiggled his foot, but didn’t have words. I was driving home from the office with my music on loud. My family had just returned to New Orleans after living for four months in Houston. A continuous rusty waterline cut through buildings and houses. We lived a mile away and on a ridge. The woman stood at the bus stop dressed in turquoise scrubs, and her toddler waved his sippy cup at whoever might notice

 

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If You Want To Stay Late.

Posted on January 29, 2016

Tell your boss you enjoy what he has you doing, about how you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. You’d like more to do; you have time. He’ll laugh when you joke that you’re developing a loyalty habit that’s like a twitch. Stop before you admit you don’t want to go home. Remember the details he’ll soon forget he mentioned. So when you say something he’s forgotten he told you, he’ll tap his forehead with a pen, and say, “Here you are again, Carly, inside my head.” Be subtle, just a bit inappropriate. This requires balance. The world’s full of blatant need and honesty. All those handshakes that run a beat too long, footsie under the table. Avoid skin. Think…

I Thought IHOP Had More Syrup Flavors.

Posted on January 29, 2016

At our lunch this week, I talk to my father about teaching to keep him at arm’s length. He’s a music professor. I’m in graduate school. The college is across the street from IHOP. I say I’m worried my knowledge is a mile wide and an inch thick. How will I answer their questions. He’s staying on track, paternal, encouraging, says I won’t begin learning until I get in front of a class. Daniel left ten days ago. When I told my father at last week’s lunch, his hug goodbye in the parking lot was too long. “Welcome back,” he’d said. He’s so easy to encourage. When I was young, I would break up with boyfriends, sometimes, just for him. It was my gift.…

Range.

Posted on October 22, 2015

Alerts flash through my phone. High winds. Flash flooding. Seek shelter. Our pup’s at the kitchen door, and I let her in. She shoots into her kennel, a cage within the safety of the house. I track the yellow and red bands on TV, like I know my mother is doing in her small apartment inside the nursing home. The weather is headed up to Hopedale, where I know she is frightened. I want the worst of it over me, the dump of water on my garden, the heavy drops against my windows, the grand performance of thunder and lightning. Outside my window, chips of hail bounce in the street. My mother used to enjoy the sound and cleanse of rain, but since her divorce she’s…

The Cool of Blue.

Posted on October 17, 2015

Menopause doesn’t happen to animals because their lives are short. Except for pilot whales, and also killer whales who can live past 90. In her thirties, a killer female stops reproducing to yield to her daughters, and to realize the grandchildren. Her pod must stay together, a simple design, this gathering village. Sex ends for the next fifty years. She has no further need for his penis as long as a hose, the weightless contact, distant, like jumbo jets refueling in mid-air. Anyway, she will miss more how they used to side-swim and spy-bob, how they broke the surface, vertical, for a look above. Fathers leave for new mounts. Sons stay because their families survive longer in the invisible net of the mother, her…