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by Paul Beckman


The noise in the closet keeps me awake. It’s not a noise I recognize, so I call the desk clerk. He comes up to my room in quick time.

He knocks; I open the door as wide as his eyes looking at me in my shorty nightgown. “Do you hear the noise? Do you?” I ask.

“I’m sure it’s nothing — maybe the old boards creaking.” He won’t be afraid of a little noise. He’s built like the captain of a football team.

“Sit with me until I fall asleep,” I say.

He moves the desk chair next to the bed and sits, arms folded, eyes closed as I try without result to fall asleep.

After a while I say, “Lay down in the bed with me so I’ll be able to fall asleep.”


Her shorty nightgown rises up from my movements in her bed. She takes my hand and rests her head on my shoulder and throws her leg and arm over me. I lift the blanket and see her bare ass and put my hand on its smoothness. She moans and burrows into me.

My erection’s so big I expect a round of applause. (Oh, the mind of a man!) I open my eyes and see her sitting on the bed watching me as I wake, exposed and embarrassed.

“I feel safe now,” she tells me and watches me struggle to zip up.


After he leaves I hear the noise in the closet again and think, Oh no, I’m not falling for that again.

Paul Beckman is a retired air traffic controller. He was one of the winners in The Best Small Fictions 2016. His latest collection of flash stories, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press), is available from independent book stores and Amazon. Some places his stories have been published include Literary Orphans, Matter Press, Spelk, Playboy, Yellow Mama, and Pank. He has also had a micro story selected for the New Norton Anthology.