Today's Story by Jane Banning

Margie sings to a lonely velvet midnight and no one hears.


Mummy smashes Margie’s pink clock because Margie is naughty.  Mummy gets angry often.  The door bangs its teeth closed and Margie is alone.

Mummy lets her go on play dates and then asks, “Do you like her mother better than me?” when Margie comes home singing bright songs.  The door slams shut.

Mummy waits up for her until after midnight – curfew long past – and sultry Margie must stay home from football games and dances.  The door locks from the inside and Mummy pounds on it.

Margie’s wedding is ecru and air-conditioned and her new husband does not break clocks, nor does he sing.  Doors are not thrown wide nor flung shut.

Margie sings to a lonely velvet midnight and no one hears.  Her teeth cannot open wide enough and the broken clock does not tick.

Sidelong glances, clumsy, secret kisses.  Doors blast ajar.  The clock explodes and Margie sings her questions to a lover’s face that has no mean teeth.


Jane Banning lives in the woods.  Her work has appeared in several online literary journals and she is working on her first novel, “Silo.”

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