Minimum Wagers |
Micro Fiction by Dennis Wilken

I. The Queen

In the land of the obese only Gargantua can be queen. She was a big white woman, not quite thirty. Her features were swallowed up by flesh, even her nose. She believed devoutly in Jesus Christ, Sunday-school edition, and George W. Bush. She had six babies by six men and had lost custody of all but the youngest, the unluckiest. She said many men told her she had a beautiful face.

II. No Justice, No Mercy

She limped and her mouth was twisted into a perpetual grimace, since birth, some twenty-five years earlier. She loved her job and carried a little satchel onto the bus like many of her coworkers. Her satchel contained a peanut putter sandwich and a romance novel.

One afternoon she climbed onto the bus. Pasty white, she’d’ braided her usually stringy red hair into cornrows. She blushed and her misshapen mouth bent into a twisted but genuine smile when a co-worker complimented her head.

Within a moment of arriving at work crying could be heard. The cornrowed girl was sobbing and Gargantua was comforting her as she wept. They had told her she was too hard to understand on the phones and for this she was fired. Her sobbing became unbearably loud. It was very easy to understand how she was feeling.

III. American Buddhist

She believed she was a true Buddhist, but she never stopped chanting for things like a new car. In her religion there was no renunciation. It was all about turning Buddha into an Asian Jesus you could beg for stuff.

She once asked a co-worker she was interested in if he had teleported into her apartment the night before. After nineteen years she got a flesh and blood boyfriend who was as big and fat as she was. Not long after, she was heard on the telephone saying, “You act like that because you are mentally ill, Marvin.”

Soon after becoming homeless she was fired. She took to standing outside the office with a sign telling passing motorists that Gilgamesh Research had violated her. That was her word, “violated,” spelled correctly. She was arrested at the company’s request. The president later denied that fact.

IV. The Director

He was a roly-poly little man who could never manage to zip up his zipper. The crotch of his cords was always wet and you kept hoping against hope that his business would stay inside his pants. He had a girlfriend who’d graduated from a local college, proving, I guess, the old adage that there is someone for every damn one. She was by no means beautiful, but didn’t look like she belonged with him.

He made very low budget documentary films about UFOs and child molestation. When asked about the oddness of those two interests, coupled in film, he seemed to think the question itself was odd. “Those are my two subjects,” he said in a tone even Godard would have appreciated.

V. Big K

He talked to his food while licking it off his plate. Once he was eating so fast some of his beans and rice came back up. He glanced around the lunchroom and then ate it again. He loved Robert Altman’s films and claimed to have a girlfriend. At least twice he was employee of the month.

Dennis P. Wilken is a veteran journalist and former writer for Cincinnati Magazine. Most recently his poetry has appeared in Word Riot and Madswirl. His editorials can be found in Pacific Publishing publications. He lives in Seattle, Washington.