Sunday, June 5, 2016

Flash Fiction by Kirby Wright

The Mumps

Barry, my big brother, is darting around the house checking himself in mirrors.  He swears he's getting different reflections.  I tell him he'll always look like my dumb brother.  He says he has the mumps and that I probably have them too.  They're highly contagious.  He claims that if one person in the family gets them, then almost everyone gets them too.  I'm not sure where all this mump talk came from.

"Look," Barry says, pointing to a bump on his neck.

"Jesus,"  I go, "you need a doc pronto."

"Got swelling?"


He points at my forearm.  "What's that?"

"My left arm."

"Mind if I test?"

"Go ahead," I tell him.

Barry zeros in on my forearm.  He pinches with thumb and index finger, raising a hunk of flesh the size of a large marble.  When he quits pinching, the marble remains.  My brother has given me the mumps.  I run from mirror to mirror to see more and more marbles popping up.  We convince our mother to get off the toilet and drive us to Doctor Drueker's.  When we arrive, the doctor tells us we should cut way back on horror and sci-fi shows before our brains begin to swell.  Barry chuckles.  We watch Drueker walk over to a mirror on the wall and study a lump on his neck.

Kirby Wright's first play was performed at the 2016 One Act Festival at the Secret Theatre in New York.  He's checking his blood sugar right now to see if he's normal.

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