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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

You find aces in the oddest hands.


Flash Fiction

Nicholas Cochran


First bite told Jackson his food was ill-prepared. When he glanced up at the kid who prepared the mess, Jackson could see at once the kid wasn’t done right either. It wasn’t his ears; though they appeared to be leaping from the side of his crew-cut head and setting sail. And it wasn’t his nose, even though it did take a few curves toward the tip, which would put it off plumb. No, Jackson decided: it was the eyes. They were fighting each other for a full space in the neighborhood but the whites were winning, ‘as usual,’ thought Jackson, a tall black man of forty who worked with his hands but lived with his head.

The kid was a highschooler; maybe a Junior. Jackson gave him the benefit of a lot of doubt; doubt that any kid who was a Senior could be such a lousy food preparer. It wasn’t as though it was coq au vin the kid was shuffling up. Jeez, it was only cheese; grilled cheese. Then; maybe the cheese was off and the kid was okay.  

Melvin, the kid, turned back toward Jackson and popped his eyes in a startled manner, as if he were greatly surprised  they were still working or Jackson was still there.

“How bout some more coffee, sir?” piped, as if through a young grampus.

‘Well thanks kid, I will,” Jackson scooted his cup into Melvin’s vicinity, “and I appreciate you asking.”

Melvin beamed a couple of rows of snaggletooth dentition at Jackson, snatched, wheeled, and poured in one profoundly fluid movement; so profound, Jackson’s head slipped back on his shoulders, his chin met his chest. The fluidity of the Melvin Movement was artistic. Jackson’s head nodded as he probed his vocabulary, as well as his experience, to define what this singular movement revealed; gifted? artistic? Now the coffee was right there under his chin, under his nose; and it landed there as sweetly as an ace gliding an F-18 onto the shifting-postage-stamp of a deck on a swaying carrier.

‘Sweet . . .yeah, sweet.’ Jackson was still nodding, now creasing a semi-smile; now a broad grin. “Where’d you learn to do that kid?”

“In the ROTC, sir; I fly jets in my summers; you know, on and off aircraft carriers.”

Jackson’s head now moved side to side. “Kid, leave the cooking to the swabbies; and thank you. I’ve learned a lot.”

Melvin goggled up a look of appreciation, mingled with a Junior’s confusion about life, and blinked.


Submitted: November 19, 2015

© Copyright 2021 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Lionel Walfish

Hi Nicholas..

There seems to be something wrong with the 'commenting, and 'likes'

I have been posting in these areas,re your work and 'they' don't seem to be going through.

Fri, December 4th, 2015 4:18pm


Hi Lionel,

I'll see what I can find out.



Fri, December 4th, 2015 12:34pm


At first when he was talking about the grilled cheese, I thought that the kid had drugged him. Haha oops. And then the tone kind of changed and my mind had to throw all my already developed ideas out, and make new ones. Good job!

Thu, January 14th, 2016 4:33am

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