A Treatise on Fiction
There once was a boy
made of a pencil’s scribblings.
He lived in a town
that was flat and blue-lined.
His whole life was words,
flashy or bland,
with lines through them when they led him down the wrong path.
But after awhile,
in his little flat town,
the words marked out grew frequent and threatening,
patches of them sprouting in the strangest of places
until it became unclear if there was still
any path at all.
But the boy
he was smart.
He looked at his town,
at its blue lines and square land,
and he got an idea.
they were just
If I were telling a story I would have the plot be about obtaining a stolen pair of fingernail clippers.
The second finest pair ever made.
The finest pair are no longer in existence, as they were so fine, so well crafted, that the one time they were used they didn’t just split the nail, they split the atom, and miles around were instantly vaporized.
Thomas is a Liar
Thomas is a liar. When Thomas was twelve, Thomas ate all the candy in the candy jar. When his mother asked who ate all the candy, Thomas said that a monster ate it, because Thomas is a liar.
When Thomas was in high school, Thomas cut class. When the principal asked Thomas where he’d been, Thomas said he’d been in class the whole time, because Thomas is a liar.
When Thomas got the new car, Thomas ran over a man in the road. When the man died in his arms, Thomas said he was sorry, because Thomas is a liar.
When Thomas was being led to the gas chamber, Thomas seemed confused. When the guard asked Thomas if he knew why he was here, Thomas said no, because Thomas is a liar.
But Thomas didn’t really go to the gas chamber. Thomas didn’t really run over the man in the road. Thomas didn’t really cut class or eat all the candy. Thomas didn’t do any of these things, because Thomas is a liar.
Craig Rodgers’ credits include stories ‘Man in Leaf,’ published by literary journal Juked, and ‘Wishes,’ appearing in Fark’s 2016 anthology benefiting St. Judes and which was the inspiration for that year’s cover art. He also has stories picked up in recent weeks at Not One of Us, Faded Out, Andromeda Spaceways, and Chicago Literati. Follow him on Twitter