"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Spring/Summer 2023 | Lost | Peter Anderson
artwork for Peter Anderson's flash fiction Melting

Peter Anderson

When I turn the corner he’s standing there. It’s like I’m looking in a mirror with the silver backing flaking off. We ask each other directions at the same time, then apologize. He pulls a cardboard cutout of the State of Nevada out of his frayed coat pocket and insists it’s New Mexico. He’s not the only one—the streets are crowded with people who could pass for my double, each of them gripping a large pastel-colored state labeled with the wrong name. That’s Florida, not Idaho. Someone holding Connecticut stops in the intersection, studying their piece of the puzzle. If we can fit these shapes together they’ll form a map as big as the parking lot I find myself in. I’m looking for my Echo in a blinding sea of cars. Waves of heat rise from the spaceship-gray hoods and roofs. I hold my keys like a gun under my chin. Somewhere I read that the skull acts as a resonator. When I press the button all the cars beep like angry seagulls. One of the gulls thinks she’s flying towards the ocean but she’s mistaken. She’s heading inland to Colorado. The earth below her bears no resemblance to the map flapping in her beak.

Peter Anderson’s Comments

Who wouldn’t be fascinated with the shape of states if they grew up, like I did, in Michigan? The fact that the state looks exactly like a mitten helps me when I meet someone who is hazy on their geography. I simply point to a spot on my open palm and say, “This is Michigan, and right here is where I was born.”

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 61 | Spring/Summer 2023