Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

flash fiction



You want me to hit you with a stick, but all I’ve got is a guitar pick. Is it wood, or a fracturing synthetic? Each chord I strum brings fresh pain, pain of finger and soul. I cannot focus on your pain. Every strum reminds me that my fingers are full of splinters, my body full of heroin, my soul full of sado-masochism. You want me to hit you with a stick.



The gorilla, conscience of the world, sits and broods and ignores the humans pressed against the glass. He stuffs hay in his mouth. A little while later he lights himself on fire, using hay as accelerant. Where did he get a match? What cruelly sympathetic zookeeper conspired with him, or at least aided and abetted him?


St. Francis preached to birds and small animals. He never preached to gorillas. There were no gorillas in Assisi. Pope Francis reads the article about the gorilla who immolated himself. He ponders this unprecedented event. He reminds himself that he is the representative of God on Earth.




Face Break Out


Sylvia fed from a hive whose honey had the molecular structure of Anxiety. She lived in a row house built by Donald Trump’s father. The huddled masses yearned for thermostats.

When she was grown and had a family, her stepfather, my Step-Grandpa Jack, had one of the first television remotes in the nation, and he warned me that he would kill me with schnapps and opera if I broke it through overuse. He was a fat furrier.

Sylvia was anxious. Way before it was fashionable, she worried about the number of animals that Jack had to kill to make all those coats. Foxes and minks and beavers. Of course, Jack didn’t kill them with his bare hands, as he did in her imagination.

Her anxiety became Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but those disorders hadn’t been invented yet, so there were no good pharmaceuticals. There were only drugs that made her sick, made her feel three feet thick.


She was a pioneer of psychopathology. She had to search to find a depressed male to mate with, to prove that the Theory of Evolution was wrong. It wasn’t hard to find one. Depression had overflowed its banks, downstream from the Holocaust.


Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and. was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To read more of his work, Google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.