by Tom Mahony

He hadn’t seen himself in days, ever since his lone mirror had shattered. When he finally scrounged a new one, his appearance shocked him. Not that he’d ever looked in the mirror much or fussed over his looks, but this was disturbing. It deepened his recent spate of mid-life crisis.

The red shirt he’d worn in heavy rotation was a disaster. It bulged out like an oversized clown suit that was bright. Very bright. What appeared red up close looked an emasculated pink from a distance. And he’d started slicking back his hair to keep it from his eyes. But, rather than lying flat, it puffed into a vaguely menacing bouffant. He resembled some deranged street performer.

He turned to his wife. “How could you let me walk around looking like this?”

She shrugged, “I’m not the fashion police.”

“That speech I gave last night? In front of all those people?” He gestured at his shirt, his hair. “Like this?”

She just brushed her teeth and stared at him. She shrugged again. 

“Why didn’t you tell me I looked like a fucking idiot?”

“I thought you knew.”

“No,” he said. “No I didn’t.”

She finished brushing and rinsed in the sink. “Well,” she said, turning to leave. “Now you do.”

Tom Mahony is a biological consultant in central California with an M.S. degree from Humboldt State University. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Flashquake, The Rose & Thorn, Pindeldyboz, Verbsap, Void Magazine, SFWP, The Flask Review, Foliate Oak, Decomp, Long Story Short, Flash Forward, Six Sentences, Laughter Loaf, and Surfer Magazine. He is currently circulating a novel for publication. Visit him at