Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Melting Ice

When we go to bed at home it’s silent. Not so in a hotel. That little refrigerator always makes distressing noises. I turn it off and prop open the door. Feeling I’ve overcome the demon, my husband and I lounge and read. CRASH! A few expletives fly and we are both standing, looking around. What was that? Nothing appears broken or moved. Peeking out from the fridge door is a half inch slab of ice. I have unwittingly defrosted the freezer. Ice falling on plastic is noisy. We laugh away our adrenaline. Husband remarks, “There’s no ice build-up now.”


In response to Charli Mills May 23, 2019, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story without ice. It can be a world without ice or a summer camp that runs out of cubes for lemonade. What does the lack mean to the story? Go where the prompt leads!



Clean the Fridge

The National Day of calendar says this day is set aside to actually empty your refrigerator in order to wash the walls and shelves. Who does that? Well, I do once in a while, usually before out of town company comes for a visit, kids and family don’t count!

Eleven years ago my step-son was working for the Cal-Berkeley Girls basketball team as their videographer. He became friends with a student named Jon Doss who did the play-by-play on the campus radio station. We met Jon the first time when we visited California. A few years later Jon came to New York to attend the Newhouse School of Broadcasting at Syracuse University. We got to know him a bit better. Then Jon got a job at WHAM, in Rochester, NY, as a sports broadcaster. I got in touch with him and informed him he would not stay in a hotel when he arrived, but would stay with us until he found a suitable apartment. We gladly became his “Rochester parents”; loaning him a car at times, rescuing him when he locked himself out, feeding him dinner on his day off and holidays, making middle-of-the-night trips to the airport and welcoming his wife whenever she was able to be in town.

I’ll get to the refrigerator….one evening while he was visiting, he asked if I had any lime juice. I told him to look in the fridge door. He found a bottle of Rose’s Lime Juice but  refused to use it because it was about six years passed the expiration date. With good humor and dismay he asked if I was trying to kill him. Then he proceeded to check most of the bottles in the fridge, throwing out half of them. With a twinkle in his eye, he said something to the effect of, “God, I eat here all the time!” Now generally I serve fresh vegetables, salad and meat. I make my own dressings, and rarely use a box mix or prepared food. He felt better when I pointed that out, then went to the pantry and continued the purge. By this time we were howling with laughter; well I was anyway. I had a lot more shelf space when he got done. The next Saturday at the public market I got him some fresh limes. He did continue to come for meals.

Jon moved back to California this past March to keep Bakersfield up to date on sports news and to live full time with his lovely wife. We miss his company, his humor, his wife, and that occasion when he thinks my fridge needs a clean out.

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