Road Trip

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by Paul Beckman

Barb and Richie left Massachusetts for Pennsylvania to tell his mother about their engagement. An hour into the trip Barb began crying and Richie pulled into a gas station to ask what was wrong.

“The strain of you not talking is getting to me and I’m worrying we’ll have a marriage where we don’t speak except for you telling me I make a good pot roast and let’s make love.”

“Are you telling me you’re only going to make pot roast?”

“Not funny.”

“Agreed. Let’s talk about some other menu items. Make a list.”

“I’m not going to do that.” She lit up a smoke. “I want to have dreams about sex and love but my nights are dreamless.”

“You’re not dreaming of sex because you haven’t had any. You wanted the virgin bride thing, remember?”

“It’s important. Not like having our first fight,” Barb cried, tears and snot running down her face. “Pull into that motel. I’m tired of the car and I need to freshen up. Please bring in our bags.”

Barb walked from the bathroom all made up wearing a sexy nightgown.

Richie stood in his altogether.

Barb began crying again.


Paul Beckman’s latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press), was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories have appeared in Spelk, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, Jellyfish Review, and The Lost Balloon. He had a story selected for the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology Lineup and was shortlisted in the Strands International Flash Fiction Competition. Paul curates the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly in KGB’s Red Room (currently virtual).