Mary McLaughlin Slechta
I have a small wooden drawer long detached from its bureau. It’s a great catch all for things I’ve kept past their usefulness and others discovered on walks around the neighborhood, especially in a park built over a former dump. Call it controlled hoarding, haute hoarding, and create one for yourself or use the one you already have in your kitchen. When unable to satisfy an itch to write, try sifting through these strange, orphaned objects. A two-inch plastic gas pump sat in my drawer until it told me something universal about a child’s misery over its loss. From there, a story.
There was a storm overnight. Heavy winds toppled a giant tree along your path, revealing its root ball. What will you make of the tarnished soup spoon you disentangle and the plastic barrette with a girl’s name on it?
Mary McLaughlin Slechta is the author of The Spoonmaker’s Diamond (Night Owl Press), a poetry collection, Wreckage on a Watery Moon (FootHills), and three chapbooks. Her flash fiction appears in The Best Small Fictions 2021. Winner of the Kimbilio Award for Fiction in 2021, her collection, Mulberry Street Stories, will be published by Four Way Books in the spring of 2023. She is a Kimbilio Fellow and editor with great weather for MEDIA. [email protected]