by Erik Svehaug
He dumped you; hard. You decorated his smell out of the apartment.
Later, as you chased a rag up and down the new heron-leg stools and along the front of the Uba Tooba counter; as you polished the rubber plant; gave the prayer rug a shake; combed the sand on the end table with a tiny rake; artfully managed not to disturb the bonsai or knock the crystals from advantageous points in the high corners while you dusted;
the edge of the golden gong silently sliced your index finger. A smile of blood slowly formed. Impulsively, you wiped it on the flat brass face. Your missing peace settled on the apartment like warm rain. You struck the gong and your ears echoed the thin roar, shedding voices, dislodging hurtful jibes. You struck again.
You clean weekly, since then, but gong daily. A drop of blood keeps it real. The gong is the color of rich oxblood shoe leather. You see the good place you are in reflected in its face.
Erik Svehaug’s fiction has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, The Linnet’s Wings, and the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, among others. The Outlaws chapbook from Bannock Street Press and the Villainy anthology from Hall Brothers showcase his interest in pre-Gold Rush history. Three of Erik’s micros have been honored by UMM Binnacle UltraShorts. More of his published work is available on his blog.