Winner of our Hallowe’en microfiction contest
By Mark Rosenblum
First night as Furniture World night watchman was my last. Kid at the temp agency said place was haunted. Made rounds between tables decorated with bowls of plastic fruit, bedrooms with replica phones and living rooms with cardboard televisions, place felt less haunted house, more movie set. Warehouse dates to the 1930’s. Like most buildings surrounding the riverfront it’s been renovated. Once dilapidated slaughterhouse now high end furniture store. Story goes female employee killed in freak accident involving meat hook. Hot head, alcoholic husband’s not happy with token insurance money. One night after closing; he breaks in, strangles owner and then ends it all with an inebriated swim in the river. Call comes at midnight. I trailed the ringing into the bedroom section. Didn’t realize the phone was a reproduction until I picked it up. Voice in the receiver was faint, woman said, “Run”. I almost made it.
Mark Rosenblum — a New York native who now lives in Southern California — misses the taste of real pizza and good deli food. His work appears in Tiferet Journal, Boston Literary Magazine, Sleet Magazine, Monkeybicycle, Vine Leaves, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Penduline, Pure Slush, Emerge Literary Journal and upcoming in Raleigh Review.