Kirby Johnson

Lydia Buys Some Groupons

Lydia wakes one morning to an email from Groupon. Seven of Lydia’s closest friends and family have joined this new membership service and they all want Lydia to join to qualify for amazing discounts on fabulous products like Italian dinners, tanning, oil changes, and spa vacation packages. Lydia signs up at once and reads through all of the deals as she sips her morning tea. A brood of hummingbirds flutter above Lydia’s laptop selecting the deals she must purchase: unlimited Zumba classes for a week, a free carwash with the purchase of one carwash subscription, a week of hot yoga classes for the price of one, twelve salsa dance classes with free dinner snacks. She buys all of these things. The hummingbirds rejoice as she types her credit card number into the computer. Lydia feels excited and emails all seven of the referring friends and family members to ask if they’d join her in her new purchases, then waits for their responses.

Lydia Prepares For A Big Day

Lydia turns on the shower by turning only the hot water on. A small spider runs around the base of the tub until it decides to stop and be washed down the drain. Lydia steps inside the shower and stands still thinking: This is what I have to do tomorrow [a list of tasks, some items repeated two or three times]. This is what I am going to say tomorrow [a list of words, some words repeated with alternate force and pronunciation]. These are the sentences I am going to use [a monologue started and repeated four times]. The words hit the shower walls around her and bounce back toward her body to be absorbed. They hit her body in a round-shaped flatness smacking her back, arms, and chest spraying the moisture of language heard by no one else back into her face. She looks down at her round legs and her now red, swollen feet, then turns around to wet her hair and other body parts before getting out of the shower.

Lydia Feeds the Cat

Lydia works her way into the kitchen one morning. Her legs shuffle against each other as her feet sweep along the floor. It’s cold in her home and she can feel leg hairs poke through her sleep leggings. Her legs itch from the divorce of her body’s hair past the second skin of the leggings’ synthetic blend. Dry skin against dry fiber. A cat weaves in and out of Lydia’s movement, frantically toward the food bowl. He meows loudly, then looks up to her: hungry. There is a panic in his eyes. It is 10 am but it feels much earlier. The winter morning is dark outside. Lydia looks up to the ceiling where the sky should be and hopes to find an eagle flying overhead screaming, but there is nothing. There is only ceiling and the stillness of cobwebs overhead.

Kirby Johnson lives in Austin, TX and is the founding editor of NANO Fiction.