I walked into Mr. Pfloe’s office and sat in the chair facing his desk. I could feel his eyes on me as I smoothed my skirt over my legs.

Photo by Jonathan Forage / Unsplash

by Michael Haller

I was commissioned to sit inside this cellophane bag for six months and observe the tropical flora that’s blooming across the bay, but I’ve been in here 13 years now and I’m beginning to suspect that someone is playing fun with me.

Not that I’m complaining, see. Not me. It’s just that my supply of food pellets ran out three years ago and since then I have withered lean. I fear that my wife, Lucy, will not recognize me when, with our Lord’s assistance, I am delivered from this sack.

But I have not lost hope. Every Friday afternoon at 3:00 I see the blurry outline of the superintendent walking past me as he is on his way to the Men’s Room. He sometimes winks at me, or does something with his eye that resembles a wink, which leads me to believe there is a high-ranking job waiting for me as soon as I finish my assignment in here.

Until then, there is nothing for me to do but watch shapes.

LUCY (on the phone): Oh Martha, Ed still isn’t home. He’s been gone for—oh, I’ve lost count of how many years. And I—what? Have I visited him lately? Why, yes. Every day. But he just sits there and says, “Sorry, honey. I know it’s you out there, but it doesn’t look like you. You look blobbish, like a hunk of protoplasm. Bring the kids to see me someday. And some tuna salad.” This has me so worried, Martha. Will you help me catch a tuna?”

“Sue, would you step into my office please? I’d like you to take a letter.”

“Certainly, Mr. Pfloe. I’ll be right in.”

I checked my handbag to see if the derringer was still there. It was. This time I would have the nerve to kill Mr. Pfloe. With him out of the picture I could have an affair with his wife without being cooped up in the moral doghouse of adultery.

I walked into Mr. Pfloe’s office and sat in the chair facing his desk. I could feel his eyes on me as I smoothed my skirt over my legs.

“I’m ready,” I said.

I stared at him. He got a charge when I slipped my tongue out of my mouth and danced it around my lips. He got an even bigger charge when I pulled out my gun and pumped some lead into his belly.

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           Lucy enters Ed’s office. She walks to the bag in which he is
           working, lifts the entrance/exit flap, and tosses him a tuna fish.
           A plop is heard as the fish strikes ground.

Last night I ate well, yea, and unto the Lord I give thanks. I say, Lucy miracled yesterday and converted a three-ounce can of tuna into a fish that would feed an army.

The things that woman can do with food. Amazing!


By the time you peruse this correspondence I will have ascended to the chair vacated by the late Mr. Pfloe. I look forward to seeing you again, but because I am having cellophane lenses fitted into my eyeglasses I may not at first recognize you.

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Michael Haller is a writer based in Cincinnati. His work has been published in X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Maudlin House, Five on the Fifth, Across the Margin, Buzgaga, and Blue as an Orange.