Four from Paris Blinks
Traversing the catacombs, Yannick realizes she was a blacksmith in 1643. Gilles suffered since childhood knowing he'd been a countess locked in a donjon. They meet at a seminar at the experimental university of Paris. Together sipping vending machine coffee that stains their teeth, she offers to pick his locks.
As Thao waits in a park, a man trips over Thao's foot. The French never apologize—Thao pictures shamefaced buddies in Saigon. After the perfunctory Pardon, he shakes Thao's hand, dusts off his pants. Thao later respects this man's artistry—courtesy—for stealing cash from his wallet, leaving everything else.
As with many war babies, Marie-Claude's history recedes as she approaches it. She found her half-brother though the Paris phonebook. But the search for her father dead-ends with an American vet with his full name but who fought in the Pacific and wasn't of color, or so his daughter says.
After her mother dies in Belfast traffic, Adelaide turns Goth, rubs ash around her eyes daily. She takes up anthropology (her therapist's suggestion), studies various cemeteries, vows to spend the night in Paris's Père Lachaise amongst the famous dead. Once she's there, ghosts rise and beg to attend her wedding.
From Paris Blinks, by Sharon Coleman (Paper Press).
Sharon Coleman's first full-length book of micro-fiction, Paris Blinks, a series of fifty-word stories set in and around Paris, is forthcoming from Paper Press in February 2016. Her previous poetry collection is Half Circle. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Ambush Review, Clade Song, Rivet, Tule Review, riverbabble, and Berkeley Poetry Review. She has been nominated for a Micro Award in Blink Fiction and twice for a Pushcart. A contributing editor for Poetry Flash, she teaches at Berkeley City College, co-curates the Lyrics & Dirges reading series, and co-directs the Berkeley Poetry Festival.
— posted February 2016