Espresso Fiction was named Award-Winning Finalist in the ‘E-book: General Fiction’ category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News.
Because the book is out of print, here’s a reprint of my flash fiction story from Espresso Fiction.
by Jacqueline Delibes
US HIGHWAY 46, NEW JERSEY-Seth Grantberg has staged a defiant occupation of the garage attached to his mother’s home in Parsippany, New Jersey. A self-described “former Partner at commodities and derivatives brokerage house MF Global,” Mr. Grantberg, 42, readily agreed to an interview. MF Global, until recently headed by ex-New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, is currently under federal investigation for hundreds of millions of dollars in missing money.
Mr. Grantberg, wearing a European-cut suit and vibrant power tie, appeared exhausted as he lay on a cot in the unheated garage. He noted that his current diet includes root vegetables, a jar of Nescafé and rain water. The former broker clutched a Cipriani Wall Street lunch menu to his chest.
An inquiry about why he remains in his mother’s garage and the whereabouts of his wife, friends, and home yielded a glacial silence. After several minutes, Mr. Grantberg acknowledged, “They’re gone.”
In an attempt to use the bathroom, Mr. Grantberg repeatedly banged on the door separating the garage and main house, a door apparently bolted from the inside by his mother Carolina Grantberg, 63. From the kitchen, a muffled female voice answered, “You want to use the amenities? Pay us back for your education. Thank us for decades of sacrifice. Or clean the bathroom for once since 2008, how’s that?”
“Excuse me for a moment,” Mr. Grantberg said as he raised the garage door and squatted behind the hedge. Moments later he returned, zipping his trousers. “A little customer money gets diverted and now I’ve been cut off,” he said, and then yelled towards the kitchen, “I’m pissed.”
Asked to define what he’s demonstrating against and what his specific demands are, Mr. Grantberg pointed to a protest sign painted with the words “A Return to Flowing, Beautiful Excess!” In the driveway, he marched alone in a circle for hours to wave the sign at passing vehicles.
“Let me back in-I’m proud to be part of the 1%,” he shouted at a stray dog.
Incredibly, Mr. Grantberg claimed to be completely unaware of the Occupy Wall Street movement that has captured worldwide media attention. “Really?” He looked away and fanned himself with a pile of stock certificates. “I hope they get what they ‘deserve.'”
“Are you interested in futures by any chance?” said Mr. Grantberg, looking refreshed by the question.
“The future?” asked the reporter for clarification.
“Not the future. Futures.”
Carolina Grantberg answered a reporter’s knock at the main entrance. The living room was decorated with stylish mid-century furniture accented by cheerful family photos.
“Did Seth convince you he was a Partner at MF Global?” asked Mrs. Grantberg. “He was fired from a secretarial job at a dojo in 2008.”
She added, “He’ll join us for dinner, like he does every night. Tonight it’s roast chicken, glazed carrots. Pudding.”
“Seth is in a time-out at the moment. Of course he uses the bathroom.” Mrs. Grantberg shouted towards the garage door, “But not when he’s been so disrespectful.”
Mr. Grantberg vigorously denied each of his mother’s allegations of misconduct. “We acted perfectly within SEC regulations. That’s all I’m permitted to say because of the investigation.” He lit a cigar. “Caveat emptor.”
UPDATE: As of December 31, 2012, Espresso Fiction will be but a wisp of the imagination. It is going out of e-print for several complicated reasons to do with the publishers. Should you choose to peer at my Kindle, where my copy lives, I will be happy to prove the book’s existence at any given moment.
Just got published in a fantastic collection called Espresso Fiction: A Collection of Flash Fiction for the Average Joe – the Kindle edition is on Amazon here! Ta-DA!
And… support small publishers por favor. If your device uses: epub, PDF, MOBI (MOBI is compatible w/ Kindle, just use a USB cable if you have the Kindle Fire!) & other electronic formats, pick up your copy directly from Fiction Brigade, here!