Vasant 2023 Stories - Paul Beckman


My Local Inconvenience Store

By Paul Beckman

Now I rumble in my coat pocket looking for my lottery ticket.
Now the lady behind me asks me to hurry up she’s on her lunch hour.
Now I see there’s a half dozen people lined up behind her.
Now I check my pants pockets once more.
Now the lady says, “excuse me” and elbows her way by me to the counter where she hands the clerk her lottery ticket and he says you have a twenty-dollar winner.
Now she stands silently trying to decide what to do.
Now the people behind her are yelling c’mon c’mon and flustered she tells the clerk to give her ten two-dollar quick picks.
Now I find my ticket in my handkerchief pocket where I put it for safe keeping, and I cut back in front of the line again and with a smug look at the lady who’s scratching off her quick picks with a dime I present my ticket to the clerk.
Now he points to the end of the line and rather than argue with him I put the ticket back in my pocket and wait my turn.
Now I’m first in line and I start searching my pockets again; pants shirt, coat, pants, coat, coat, shirt, and finally I take out my handkerchief to mop my brow and there’s my ticket.
Now I hand it to the clerk, and I ask him how much the jackpot is, and I mentally spend millions of dollars while he runs my ticket through the machine.
Now he says, “Two-dollar winner”, and rings the register and takes out two singles,
“Now I wave the two dollars at the people still in line and say, “Winner” and go back to work whistling as I exit the store.


Paul Beckman’ from U.S., has published a new flash collection Kiss Kiss, Truth Serum Press. Paul had a micro story selected for the 2018 Norton Anthology New Micro Exceptionally Short Fiction. He was one of the winners in the 2016 The Best Small Fictions and his story “Mom’s Goodbye” was chosen as the winner of the 2016 Fiction Southeast Editor’s Prize. He’s widely published in the following magazines among others: Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Matter Press, Pure Slush, Thrice Fiction, and Literary Orphans. Paul had a story nominated for the 2019 Best Small Fictions and a micro accepted for the 2022 Best of Microfictions, He hosts the monthly FBomb flash fiction reading series and he’s judged writing contests for Cahoodaloodaling, Brilliant Flash Fiction, and the State of New Jersey. His new flash Collection, Becoming Mirsky”, is due out in 2023 with Cervana Barva Press.


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