Mikki Aronoff’s work appears or is forthcoming in The Ekphrastic Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Intima, Thimble Literary Magazine, London Reader, SurVision, Rogue Agent, Popshot Quarterly, The South Shore Review, The Fortnightly Review, Feral, The Phare, Milk Candy Review, Flash Boulevard, New World Writing, Emerge, The Disappointed Housewife, Tiny Molecules, Microfiction Monday Magazine, Potato Soup Journal, RubyLit, Bending Genres, Gone Lawn, Mslexia, and elsewhere.

Her stories and poems have received Pushcart and Best Microfiction nominations.

Pleased to Meet You

By Mikki Aronoff

Father stroked Mother’s knees, tenderly as an obstetrician with a newborn that’s already been spanked. He squealed like a stepped-on puppy. Later, he shrink-wrapped Mother, swaddled her in lace and ribbons and pearls. Every weekend, the finest lavender truffles. He dabbed Alfred Dunhill cologne on his Adam’s apple and swore never to meander. Champagne corks popped every Saturday night.

Mother doused him in gasoline and handed him her collection of matchbooks from the finest hotels. She warbled I’ll Never Stop Loving You in the deepest voice she could muster. She sounded like a dusty Victrola grinding to a halt

while I pranced with my plastic ponies and combed their manes and tails just like mother combed my hair, singing You’re So Vain.

Brother admired secretions. He’d sit and stare at what leaked out of him until it was time to eat. Every night, we raked through mounds of freshly dug dirt in the back yard for what he hid during the day.

Mother left the pin bones in oven-baked salmon, left dishes in the sink, left the living room. She belted out You Don’t Know Me in the highest voice she could muster, while she left the Pontiac idling in the garage. Screaks like a hedgehog tracked by hawks trickled out into the driveway and onto the street

while I drew Shetlands and Connemara ponies and hung their pictures over my bed. Everyone loved my drawings. They said I’d be famous someday.

Brother smashed my Welsh Pony against the wall. Naughty, naughty, he tattled as the pieces scattered across the floor. One leg bounced so high off the carpet it toppled a vase from the mantelpiece. He made me vacuum grandfather’s ashes from the rug.

My favorite song is Dream a Little Dream of Me. Thank you for your interest in my life. I’m the prettiest girl on this floor. I’m allowed to receive letters the first of each month.