I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

Shadows skim across the floor. Stephen pulls Sally from her box. Presses a switch. The buckled bedsit lights up as his wife comes alive. She points to the dented clothes rack. Kimono, Stephen says. Sally shakes her head. Slips on a minidress and go-go boots. Her mouth opens and a dissonant cadence lands in Stephen’s brain. Lyrics about perfect harmony and peace throughout the land. His ringtone before the mushroom cloud invisibled. Sally’s warble stays on an endless loop. Stephen’s head throbs. His eyes burn. He snaps his fingers and Sally’s features go slack. He’ll fix her settings tomorrow.


This story was shortlisted in the April Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Roberta Beary has words in The New York Times, Best Microfiction 2019/2021, and Best Small Fictions 2020. Beary collaborated on One Breath: The Reluctant Engagement Project, which pairs their writing with artwork by people with disabilities. Beary lives in County Mayo, Ireland where she tweets her micros @shortpoemz.