"Please help me! I'm losing my soul."
"I'm sorry. We don't carry soles here. This is not a shoe repair shop. It's a private residence." I know what he wants but I can't make it too easy for him.
"I didn't make a mistake, did I? I think I know who you are."
"How did you get my number? It's unlisted."
I hear rapid breathing on the other end. He's a proud man. Will he admit he prayed on his knees in this age of reason? Will he risk ridicule if he really dialed a wrong number? I wait a little more. I hang up. Rain washes my windows and the distant thunder growls like the Behemoth chained in my garden.
I pity the man but I can do nothing. I hope he'll try again. After all, I gave him my number.
I exit my residence and, lest the soles of my sandals get wet, walk a few inches above the puddles.
Mark Budman's fiction and poetry has appeared or will appear in the Mississippi Review, Virginia Quarterly, Exquisite Corpse, Happy, Web Del Sol's In Posse and La Petite Zine, Parting Gifts, Talebones and elsewhere.
Exquisite Corpse nominated Mark for the XXVI Pushcart Prize. Mr. Budman is the publisher of a flash (short-shorts) fiction magazine Vestal Review, a Web Del Sol's "Hot Link."
Published 2001 by Snow Monkey. Reprinted by permission of the author.