SATIRE: Three Flash Pieces


We should take them very seriously because to my mind

much of the United States is already inhabited by aliens.

They may resemble us in many respects, but make no mistake

about it. . . they’re doing everything in their power to turn the rest

of us against each other. They are mostly Republicans and before

they came here they studied us, so they’ve learned every trick

in the book to make themselves rich and powerful, and if they ever

take over completely it will be like something we haven’t seen

since the dark ages, and our only hope will be to hide somewhere,

but that won’t be easy because they’ll own all the best hideaways,

and when they find us they will surely be unforgiving. . .



Private property then is truly estranged labor

rooted in the antithesis of human development

in which the worker bends over and takes it in their

Socialist behind. And in this bestial form of wage

earning, the worker loses their identity and falls prey

to an unrestrained bourgeois who quantifies private

property and creates a state of labor that scientifically

erupts as a pain in the groin, as political history becomes

an unbridled appropriation of capital whose dominion

has Biblical roots in suffering, self-denial, and fetishism

fueled by a lust for endless production and the exploitation

of a human’s natural impulses.



I was standing on the corner waiting to grow old when a guy who looked very old teetered up to me and said, “I was like you once . . standing on this corner waiting to grow old. And truth be told, it didn’t take long before it actually happened!”

“What’s it’s like being old? I asked in a serious tone. “I mean, is there anything positive to it?”

“Not that I know of!” he replied, “It’s actually quite boring, and beyond that, a bit scary when you can no longer take care of yourself.”

“Take care of yourself!? Is that a big part of the deal?’

“It’s probably the biggest part of the deal!” he said matter of factly.

“I live in one of those care facilities, and they’ve taken most of my money.

If I live much longer, I’ll probably wind up on the street. I don’t want to burden my family, so this is really my only choice because I can no longer do most of the things I used to. I rely on strangers to feed me, clean me, and dress me. As you can see, my hands shake, and I can hardly walk. I seldom make it this far, and when I do, I have to rely on some nice person to help me get back.”

Letting the old guy lean against me, I led him back to the facility, and before we parted, I told him that he could always count on me so long as I was able.

Returning to the same corner where I was waiting to grow old, I wondered whether I’d have enough money to live in a care facility when I could no longer take care of myself. And I decided that if I didn’t, I would walk into the street when a car or a truck was speeding in my direction; this as an alternative to winding up in one of those homes for the indigent like an old friend of mine did: a place that had a hundred beds on a floor, the smell of piss and shit so strong that it made you gag. They’d wash you down in the morning with a hose before giving you some lousy food that you wouldn’t give to a dog—at least not a dog of your own.

Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies. Recent writing in The Local Train, Defuncted, Corvus, Rosette Maleficarum, Tigershark, Former People, Remington Review, Alba, Hypnopomp, Up The River and many others. In 2017 he was nominated for both The Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.

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