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  Table of contents Issue Twenty-one MAYBELLINE



enry walked in and put the shovel by the back door. The phone was ringing. He took a red bandanna from the back of his overalls, wiped the sweat from his brow, and picked up the phone.


It was Shirley.

Buck his hound dog, scratched from outside the door. Henry obliged him, swinging the door open and letting him in. Excited, the hound barked.

“Buck quiet.” Henry snapped his fingers. “Sorry Shirley. You still there?”

She was.

“Maybelline? No. She’s not here. Oh Shirley,” Henry cried. “You don’t know, do you?” He sat on the kitchen chair, leaned back, and propped his muddied boots on a nearby footlocker. Buck sniffed the footlocker and whined. Henry pointed to Bucks bed, and with droopy eyes and dragging ears, Buck obeyed. Henry explained to Shirley how his beloved Maybelline had just up and left him two days ago.

“Surprised she hasn’t called you. Thought you old hens liked to cluck together at times like this— Shirley protested— “Now Shirley, don’t take offense you know of all the hens in the pen, you’ve always been my favorite chick.”

The reason, Shirley insisted she didn’t know Maybelline had run off with another man was: “because Maybelline knows I would’ve told her to leave a man like you would be the biggest mistake of her life.”

“Thanks,” Henry grinned. “I’m feeling pretty lousy, and that helps, especially from a pretty woman like you.” He could almost hear her blush.

Shirley suggested that Maybelline might end up finding her senses and come on back home.

Henry tried not to laugh. “Don’t think so Shirley. Can’t explain it, just feel it in my gut, she’s gone, and nothing is gonna bring her back.”

Shirley gabbed on about an upcoming storm. Henry yawned. Buck leaped out of his bed, stood in front of the locker, and barked.

“Wait,” Henry told him. Buck sighed, walked to the door, and waited. Shirley suggested she bring by an apple pie, maybe a pitcher of sweet tea.

“Sounds great Shirley. I could use someone to talk to.”

She promised to be there for him. Henry smiled. He’d always had a way with the ladies.

Buck howled.

“Shirley, I’m sorry to cut this short, but I promised to take this old hound of mine out for a good game of fetch, but give me an hour, and I’ll look forward to a piece of your pie.”

She giggled, promising her arrival as soon as her pie popped from the oven.

Henry stood up and Buck wagged his tail. “We better get her done old boy. We got a new lady friend on her way over.”

He gave the dog a wink and opened the back door. Buck dashed out to what Maybelline had called a garden, but Henry called a yard. He stood by the hole Henry had just dug and wagged his tail. Buck never did like Maybelline. Maybe he’d like Shirley better. Henry squatted down and pushed the footlocker out the door. The hole was dug, now he had to fill it.




H.M. Pridemore enjoys reading almost anything but tends to write mostly dark fiction. You can find other shorts by H.M Pridemore in Massacre Magazine #9, Blood Moon Rising Magazine #65, and The Flash Fiction Press.

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