November Flash Fiction: Mistakes by Genevieve Betts


Genevieve Betts

You went to college in California and I didn’t come with you, causing you to lose your muse—not me, but another woman, frog-eyed, lips pinched like Cupid’s bow, and breasts.  Breasty breasts.  A nonsensical muse on Valium.  She couldn’t cure your headaches, but she could tolerate the darkness, the hours of black-eyed yelling.

She visited only once in the fall, waiting until after the tantric week ended to tell you that it was over.  She already had a new boyfriend.  And though neither of you believe that cheating is cheating exactly, she never came back.

No biofeedback, no shots.  You were alone with your headaches, the loud boom of your brain growing between your ears.  Your roommates eventually reported you and when campus security arrived, you were on the balcony screaming about Satan, a vacuum raised above your head.  You threw it at them, plastic shattering below.

Later, the school records misquoted you—the report claims that you were angered by satin.

Genevieve Betts’ work has appeared in The Bakery, Cricket Online Review, Poetry Quarterly, NANO Fiction, and in other journals and anthologies. 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.