Paul Beckman

Millhouse Again

 

Millhouse awoke when the page dropped on him. It was the third time and he got up and dove escaping the next crushing page. He followed an L road not knowing where he was going until he ran into a young girl who told him the reds are sweeter but the blacks are more authentic and he stopped at the top of the L and looked around and saw a licorice forest. Trees with all shapes some red and others with black and he picked a black one, smelled it and then ate it. He walked around the forest filling his pockets with licorice and another page came tumbling down on him.

*

The next page opened up and was getting ready to cover him over and Millhouse stepped to the side and watched as the page went from closed to open and trees and a lake popped up and there were people playing ball and riding bicycles so Millhouse took an S walk on path that Serpentined along the lake and took a bike off the rack that said, “Borrow a bike” and rode the path that read, I’m cool and then he stopped the bike stripped down, and jumped in the lake and swam in O’s until he was tired. He got out and walked to his clothes and shared licorice with boys and girls gathered around waiting for him. Some said goodbye, some goodnight, and some see you, and soon Millhouse was alone and tired.

*

Two pages later Millhouse walked around yawning and all the houses had their lights out except one and the lady who lived there was out watering her lawn with the sweet liquid that comes in the tiny root beer candy wax bottles. She said you look tired, why don’t you go in and take a nap? Millhouse walked into the kitchen and saw a plate with chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk with a note that read—for Millhouse before you go to bed. He wiped the crumbs off his chin and went upstairs to the bedroom with an open door. He got into the pj’s that were lying on the bed after washing up and brushing and another page came at him—a small one that covered his body. Goodnight shoes, goodnight Millhouse, goodnight clothes and then the page turned again and Millhouse scampered out and got in the bed on the next page. The blanket was already turned down. There was a small peppermint patty on his pillow, He looked out the window and the moon said, and the Sun said, and the stars said, and the candy store said, and the hedgehog said, Goodnight Millhouse. And when Millhouse awoke in the morning he was sleeping in his own bed hugging his copy of Goodnight Millhouse.

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Paul Beckman’s newest collection of flash and micro fiction is Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press). He was one of the winners in the 2016 Best of Small Fictions and had a story chosen for the Norton New Micro Anthology 2018.