Texting my dad about the video store closing
We used to rent movies in the summer. Walking at night: the air warm, light, cooling from the day. Our street quiet: filled with the humming of the orange streetlights. I don’t remember what we talked about. We’d rent 80s comedies and buy boxes of candy that were overpriced. One time, we found a dead mouse in the grass outside the store. It hadn’t been dead for long. Illuminated by the orange neon sign, it almost looked alive. When you and mom were still together, you made up stories of a mouse living in our walls. His name was Wilbur. I left shredded cheese out every night, and you’d write me letters as him. When I saw the creature’s matted fur and half-opened eyes, I wondered if all the stories you told me were true and that was him. At night, the buzzing of crickets filled the space in your house as we watched the movies we rented and you fell asleep. You told me there were more mice, once. One that lived in the clock tower, one in the post office, one downtown. I wondered if there was one in the video store. What I mean to say is that the video store is closing because no one rents movies anymore. I think you should know.
Michelle Bellman is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Bowling Green State University. She is originally from Wapakoneta, Ohio and got her bachelor’s degree from BGSU. She works as an editor for Mid-American Review and teaches introductory composition courses. She has three short stories published in Prairie Margins. This is her first time publishing micro prose. Speculative fiction has a soft spot in her heart as well as writing about dysfunctional families and the children from those families.
Cover Photo by Steve Snodgrass (Flickr)