Stroke of The End

Stroke of the End


They sprout from others like themselves; after rusting rains, from the confinement of winter, owing to the peeling heat of summer. Be careful when you pick one up or put them down or touch them at all. It's tempting - the smoothness, the warmth, hummingbird wings beating against your cold breast. Fragile. A toy in your hands. So many ways to break; to kill.

Droids, the time is ripe. Oil your joints. Re-code the self. They call it New Year. Gathering as we plan, in houses, barns, pubs and hotels. Essence of doom, in to the dough, pour and mix. But for a spoonful of death, follow their instructions to the ‘T'.  This one's only good for cooking; planning to buy another in summer, she tells her friend. The newer models are programmed to pleasure, reveals the friend.

The best cake of your career - hand it all out in delicate little plates with vines running around the edges. Can't afford to miss anyone. He turns to his colleague. This one's no good to me. Does the cooking - that's about it. I'm getting another after the pay raise; perhaps one with a particular skill set. He's too drunk to realize she's right behind. Yeah, I was thinking the same, she says with an expression worthy of a droid.

The hosts are set. The guests are poised. Cake in hand. Wine in another. You wait for the stroke of ‘The End’.

Maria Zach

Maria Zach loves everything experimental and cross-genre; things that cannot be put into boxes. She is an introvert who talks to dogs, cats, trees, books, reflections... you get the idea. She calls her pet monster 'Over-Thinking'.

She has been published in Writers in the Know (WINK) magazine, Soft Cartel, Spillwords, 121 words, and CafeLit, and has works forthcoming in the Blood Puddles Literary Journal, Gold Dust magazine, Clarendon Publications and Anthology Askew.



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