Ariel Castro's house in Ohio.

A Garden Party in Ohio [Flash Fiction]

by Joshua Perrett

A school bus pulled up at the depot and out stepped the driver in his hi-vis jacket, the wind sweeping back the last of his greying hair. He walked down the street to a house, its locked doors guarded by an eagle. He took the side-path to the back garden and joined the party.

The other guests had already formed groups, all eating and drinking, sharing smiles and suburban stresses. The driver approached a group of men and listened in.

“There’s a whole room full of the things,” a guest whined. “I mean, how many dolls does a grown woman need?”

“I know,” said another. “Wanda’s filled the attic with old toys, shoes, clothes… I’m worried the house is going to cave in.”

One of the men turned to the driver and smiled. “Hey,” he said. “Don’t tell me you’re married, too.”

“No,” the driver replied.

“You must have loads of room at home,” the man said.

“Yeah,” began another. “You could have your own man cave instead of stacks of old baby stuff.”

“What do you do with all the space?” the man asked.

“Well, I keep my three little dollies upstairs,” the driver said with a smile. “But I’m not really the sort who holds onto things.”


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