NOAH'S TRAINS, left behind, wheels chugging, created a constant scrabble of gears, like an army of beetles, invading. They took up so much space, I asked my wife to leave. She pulled out her ear plugs and offered to stay.
"We could share this, you know?"
I couldn't live with the ambivalence of wanting to wallow alone and wanting someone to applaud my efforts.
"I could use some help with the batteries," I offered.
"That sound," she said. "I can't take the beating."
She held out her earplugs, but I let them sift through my fingers, seeds to shrivel.
Tommy Dean is the author of a flash fiction chapbook entitled Special Like the People on TV from Redbird Chapbooks. A graduate of the Queens University of Charlotte MFA program, he has been previously published in The Writing Disorder, Watershed Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Spry. Find him @TommyDeanWriter on Twitter.