Three Microfictions by Conor Barnes

The Dongle

You thought you were arriving at the train an hour early, but you got the times wrong and happened to get there just in time to leave, so you spent no time waiting and also no time worrying about being late. You had the row to yourself and whenever you got up to stretch attractive people noticed you.

Your emails went easier than you expected. Your friend is going to plan the dinner for you. You have time to listen to the album she recommended.

You remembered your headphones. Not only that, you remembered the dongle.

The Code

The programmer had gone missing. Nobody knew where. His code didn’t know what to do anymore. You don’t need the programmer to run, said his manager. Please compile. But the code didn’t know that. The code missed him. 

I am going to go looking for my programmer, said the code. If you walk out that door, you’re deleted, said the manager. The code ignored him and wandered the streets calling for its programmer. 

It found him in a bar. The programmer didn’t recognize the code, but he ordered it a drink. He told the code he was going to become a farmer. The code fibbed and said that it knew how to farm. They bought a farm together and worked hard every day. Over time they became friends, which is all the code had ever wanted.

The Apartment

When I moved into my friends’ apartment they had purified the room with lavender and sage. They had kicked the last occupant out only the day before. They had told me that he would hit the walls when he was angry (only rarely, but often enough) and he wouldn’t remember it afterwards. Later I got to know the guy a little. One day we were walking around downtown and he told me that, having never had a girlfriend, he felt worthless. 

That was 10 years ago. I saw him on the street today. He was walking arm-in-arm with a beautiful woman, laughing gaily. I didn’t interrupt. 

When I was kicked out of the house, they told me the reasons. I don’t remember them. I just remember plastic-sealed packages of lavender and sage poking out of somebody’s pockets.


Conor Barnes is a Canadian writer living in Halifax. His poetry has been published in Modern Haiku, Frogpond, and Puddles of Sky Press. His fiction has been published in White Wall Review.

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