Literature 5-12-2008

miniStories: “Barnard” by Colleen Marlow

This winning miniStories short, "Barnard" by Colleen Marlow, was selected by novelist David Oppegaard.



Barnard is tense. There are three of them in the bedroom discussing the matter.

“I wake up all week with paralyzing anxiety, and today I find this sticking out of my bed.”

The fiber he holds between his fingers is an anxious fiber, a dark and angry-looking strand.

“My mattress pad is filled with these! They’ve stuffed my mattress with anxiety!”

The two unbesieged muse:

“Well just who is that now, and why would they do such a thing?”

“Would it be out of malice or resourcefulness?”

“Right! Perhaps there is a shortage of geese!”

“Perhaps there is a surplus of anxiety!”

“Just think where else they might be putting it…”

Barnard from across the room cries out, “Good grief, do these curtains look
stressed out to you?!”

About the author: Colleen Marlow came to Minneapolis in pursuit of love but found more success in fiction writing contests. “That’s okay,” she says unconvincingly. Colleen has been writing ministories since 2003, when she founded the literary ‘zine little elegy and coined the genre “TinyLit”. Fifty words is her sweet spot. This is her first contest entry and win. Colleen is currently a freelance nonprofit arts administrator, working and volunteering with local arts organizations including the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), the fabulous people who produce the annual Art-a-Whirl festival. She hails from San Francisco originally, or at least lately.