Flash in the Pan


A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

Shock And Shame


by Judith Matson

I walk across the lawn towards the front of the church. The wedding starts in just a few moments. I feel nostalgic and find myself reminiscing about past times - my two failed marriages, being in love, the meaning of "forever."

My son-in-law Karl grins as I approach the church entrance and says cheerily, "Guess who I found?" I smile. Karl works in the small community where I grew up and often meets my former neighbors or schoolmates. The man with Karl looks about my age. Who might he be?

I approach and greet the man, extending my hand and saying, "Hi, I'm Judith."

"You don't know who I am?" the man asks in a hesitant tone. I don't recognize his voice.

I look closely. I don't recognize his face. "Well. . . your teeth look familiar," I say. (They do!)

"I'm Robert," he replies.

My eyes flare, my stomach lurches; I pray for lightning to strike, the earth to swallow me up. Nothing happens. Reeling with shame, I try to faint, but instead stay upright. I dash off to the bride's room, drowning in confusion and humiliation. I am desperate; a swig of alcohol sounds just right, and I don't drink.

I was married to Robert for eight years and thought him my soul mate. What happened?

He shaved off his beard.

Judith Matson of Calsbad, CA is a psychologist in private practice and wants you to know that, to her shame, this is a true story.

Twenty-second Flash


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Dropping Like Flies by Maggie Manning
Reddy Kilowatt by Bruce Lucas
Clearing Brush by Charles Markee
The Rise And Fall Of Plan A by Anne Fox
Of Beavers, Rivers And The Moon by Cindy Salo
The Day I Left Home by Elaine Webster
Moments by Kelly Clink
The Telephone by Janet Caplan
Nobody's Bicycle by Joan Zerrien
Retail Therapy by Suzanne Farrell Smith
And After Swine, Too by Tímara Goodsell


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