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Diorama -- flash fiction by John Sexton

Pluto stared at two felt swatches: one the color of seaweed, the other a gallbladder green. His shift ended an hour ago, but he told himself he wouldn’t leave until the model was complete.

Pluto— amateur photographer, inept architect and unfortunate widower (she’d died almost eight months ago)— had found employment at a handicraft store, making dioramas. He figured he did not know how to navigate the real world, so he preferred making miniature ones.

He was making a lakeside cabin he had recently seen in a dream: it was too-dark, and he didn’t know where he was until a girl clad in a sheepskin coat guided him inside a log cabin. He closed the door behind him and right as he was turning around, his kettle began to whistle.

He decided that the seaweed-colored cloth best matched the ethereal elements of his dream. He trimmed the felt and hugged it to the diorama’s base. Slowly, he erected the tiny and twee woodland spectacle: the trees, cabin, blanket of snow, the frozen over lake. Then, he placed the figurine of the girl into the model— gently. When he finished the last of his subtleties, he placed the diorama in the storefront’s display. If he was lucky, it’d sell within a few weeks. He grabbed his things and went out the back. With a tear struggling to cleave itself from his gland, he looked up at the buildings: too-big, too-sad.


John Sexton is a writer from South Florida— a paramour of the English language. He is excited to study English in college and further probe how humans unravel their emotions through the written word.

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