Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage. His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Fixator Press, GloMag, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.
A walking stick should have a companion. Something of worth, beyond words. And picking up the walking stick, I realize it has been carved along the bottom to make a sharp edge. Able to catch and turn the soil. A natural handle to steady the gait. My own inferior walking stick now jealous because a man can only have one walking stick and choices have to be made. A few thousand meters on, an old bottle cap gone belly up before I grow winded as chimes and turn to head for home.
A private detective came by, but he didn't know what he was doing. He asked for all the wrong people at all the wrong times and I noticed a spelling error on the card he handed me. He couldn't find his own car keys. Feeling himself up as though he were both lovers in a love scene no one would ever want to see. Pulling away from the curb, he forgot to check his mirrors and almost ran over some kid on a bike. I didn't like his chances of finding anyone. Sometimes the missing just stay that way. And someone was paying this blockhead. It had taken almost five minutes just to find his keys.
Scarecrows in the Fields like Ladies in Waiting
They could be stuffed with straw or feelings or damn near anything, it is impossible to know from the road. It's crucifier's row, these many scarecrows in the fields like ladies in waiting. Behind coils of mesh fencing and dirty still water ravine. Plaid shirts and droopy bully boy hats to scare off the avian armies. Do such parlour tricks work? The many circling crows above undecided. Running out of road and losing sun. Cow manure nostrils with the window down. I scratch my freckled arm with a vigorous, unsettled threshing. A pair of broken flashlights in the glove compartment of no use to anyone at all.