October Flash Fiction: Plurality by Genevieve Betts


Genevieve Betts

Warren Jeffs is back.  I peek out the kitchen window just in time to see him drive his black sedan into the compound.  He gets out, pinches the ass of one of the wives that greets him, and heads over to our building.  They have me wearing an apron that says “Real Men Don’t Use Recipes,” but I’m only making spaghetti.  All I need is an extra extra large pot for the family.

Finally he leaves and we resume playing house.  Women come and go, collecting dishes and napkins and every so often, I snatch one up for a kiss.  Hard lace at the neck scratches my chin and French braids hang heavy down the backs of their blouses.  So many women.  Can I not talk Jeffs into sparing one?

Out back, I catch a glimpse of him entering the woods.  I’m about to catch up, but crossing the forest’s border is having a strange effect on me.  My body begins vibrating, overcome with ecstasy.  The tips of the trees swirl above, inviting me to witness my first holy vision:

For a moment, a Moses-robed man with the voice of Samuel L. Jackson stands between two evergreens, shouting, “Time is present!”  A homeless man collecting Sprite cans approaches.  His chapped lips part as if he’s about to ask me for money.  I step away, but hesitate, feel one last vision forming behind me.

He’s up the tree climbing into a huge crow’s nest.  The birds won’t allow it.  They flap feathers under his arms until he laughs and lets go, landing on a dead branch that impales him.  The murder swarms, dive-bombs, beaks flaying the still dying meat amidst their cacophony of caws.  I’m careful to keep my apron clean.


Genevieve Betts’ work has appeared in The Bakery, Cricket Online Review, Poetry Quarterly, NANO Fiction, and in other journals and anthologies, and a full-length collection of poetry is forthcoming from Prolific Press. She received her MFA from Arizona State University and currently teaches creative writing for Arcadia University’s low-residency MFA program. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and sons.