3 Short Stories
Binders Full of Women
I found my sisters staring at me from a binder. I was shopping at Staples. They gazed at me with starched smiles. It wasn’t my fault, they said. They’d been hypnotized and taken there, and they’d awakened to find themselves clipped into a three-ring binder.
“It was Willard,” my youngest sister said. “He’s been doing this all over the neighborhood, you know.”
My eldest sister tried to hug me. She had no arms. “Do something valuable,” she said.
I called a detective for info. He took me to another Staples.
“Look.” He motioned behind him, pulled his fedora low.
There was a gray backroom labeled BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN. Rows of women were imprisoned in binders, all replicas of my sisters.
“Your sisters are exquisite,” he said. “They were Willard’s mold.”
Santa and the Case of the Redistributed Mothers
Santa began the redistribution of mothers to the poor on Christmas. He prowled the block on his Panzer, taking them left and right.
Mother told me to pack. We’d outrun him. When I got outside, Santa had his bulbous arms around my sweet mama. His bushy eyebrows danced wildly.
“You rich fucks,” he said. “Don’t you want the poor to know a mother’s love?”
“Not my problem.”
He kissed my mother, laughed. She looked at me, tears in her sea-blue eyes.
“I’ll miss you.” Mother blew me a kiss. The tank ambled into the dusk, strings of red and green lights flickering cheerfully.
The Fiddler on the Roof Has a Preexisting Condition
The fiddler on the roof has a preexisting condition. He’s been keeping his balance for a thousand years. Apparently, that’s a serious condition. He just wants to see the doctor.
“I’m sorry,” the receptionist says, matter-of-factly. “What if you were to fall? You’d be a liability. Not easy times.”
The fiddler arches a bushy eyebrow, tucks his fiddle tightly underneath his arm. He observes parents and children, all lost in their worlds. They’re drifted so far from tradition, they’ve already fallen. Mothers with headphones. Brothers and sisters texting wildly. No one sees him.
“That’s a risk we take,” he says, rising.
Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri is an MFA student in fiction at Colorado State University. His work has appeared in various literary journals, such as Crack The Spine and Monkeybicycle.