Flash Fiction: Compassion


by Alexandra Grunberg

compassion-300wAlexandra Grunberg is an android learning the ways of humanity by teaching kindergarteners to not put markers in their mouths by day and ruining her roommates Netflix recommendations by night. Her short stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, and other publications. For more info see her site at alexandragrunberg.weebly.com.


“You’re my favorite.”

“Of course you think that now.” Martin stood next to the window that spanned the entire length of the little apartment. The city shone beneath him, a metallic maze of buildings crisscrossing in a perilous balance, suspended in the clouds. A monorail passed below him silently, then was gone. Another monorail would pass in ten minutes, leaving just as much of an impression as the first.

Martin checked his watch. Ten to seven. He loved to time the monorails. He found comfort in the repetition, the expectation and kept promise.

“I mean it. You’re my favorite.” Elle sat up in the bed, her hair a frizzy mess. She nodded continuously as she spoke, as if each little dip would help Martin understand the truth of her statement. But he found the little dips, casting lovely shadows across her lovely face, only endearing and nothing serious.

“And why should I believe you?” he teased, sitting on the edge of a glass coffee table.

“You always ask for compassion,” she said, gathering the sheets around her, a loose cocoon. “No one thinks to ask for compassion.”

“I’m sure you’re always kind.”

“And I’m sure you’d be surprised.” She wrapped the sheets around her and joined him at the window.



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