One Busy Intersection

One Busy Intersection

The man in the orange hat wanders 6th Street. He heads south on this summer solstice morning, searching inward, deeper with each step, coursing the inner planes, asking himself, “Where is the beginning of this familiar pattern which arrives untimely in its core?”

Passing the Ten Thousand Villages store he stumbles, stops. His image in the storefront window beams a reflection he does not recognize. “Who am I?” he whispers to the image. But the window whispers in a language he doesn’t comprehend, answers to any question he seeks. He stands there transfixed; the penetrating sun dissolves the image, seared into memory.

The woman exits the bank, heading toward Avenue A.

She looks left. Doesn’t see the Chevy Impala careening around the curve.

Stuffs the envelope filled with fifty’s into her cleavage.

Car swerves to avoid a cyclist, jumps the curb.

She reels back onto archless feet.

They buckle underneath her stupendous wrath.


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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7 Responses to One Busy Intersection

  1. theprayerlady says:

    ooh shit! Slapp’n you, It’s all your fault, not mine, no accountability here, my mind goes crazy at the end of all your writings. Well Shit! did she die, maimed, crushed? On and On and On till I have my own script and burial. You little snoot.
    Love Mom

  2. Andrea says:


  3. david says:

    I enjoy the ambiguity… where is this? what wrath? so many questions.. I am enthralled with the possible outcomes…

  4. Don says:

    Wow, what a powerful ending, like the impact one imagines might have come with the woman and the Impala. Though I like the self-inquiry that the piece suggests with the man, I was a little mystified with it overall. More affect than story, possibly your intention? The random occurrences that take place at just any intersection. But who is seeing it all? Am I the viewer? You? And we spend more time, descriptively with the man, yet he is more vague, more passive (if you will). The action (interest?) picks up with the woman’s story. Are they linked? Are we?

  5. Shari says:

    What exactly did happen to this poor lady? Did she get squashed by that car? Did it hit both of them; the man and the woman? And what is their relationship to one another? Strangers yet victim to the same act? Or is he simply passing by with these questions while she is fleeing from a bank she held up? Who knows, but there is lots to ponder as with all of your stories.

  6. G says:

    this man is preoccupied w/ questions that may or may not be troubling him when his perspective is suddenly jolted into a reality, at least for the moment.

    did she live and did he nurse her back to health or did he decide not to be so focused on his questions, and this accidents’ lessons helped him to live each day like it was his last and to enjoy his opportunities

  7. Dez says:

    I love some of the imagery you used in this short short story: archless feet, and stupendous wrath. Great word choices. Almost wanted there to be some of those same things said about the man in the orange hat. There is a heavy impact here: seems to be about two people who randomly are in the same “accident.” And as I don’t believe in accidents, then what is the purpose? Hmm…deeper thoughts happening here.

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