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Five-minute do-overs

By Noreene Storrie

PROMPT — If only ...

If only I had an eraser to do away with a collection of five-minute disasters. Like a pencil eraser, it would offer a chance to redo. Rub away the bumping into the $5,000 vase, backing into a parked car, and the carrying of a shopping bag in each hand, tripping, falling on my chin rather than my hands. Swapping a broken wrist for months of dental work remains painful but relocates it. My eraser request is modest, five-minute do-overs, not ten, fifteen, or even twenty. Since it is an eraser, I'll know what happened and can redo differently. No Ground Hog Day endless repeats. Like on a pencil, the eraser would work only so long, which I can accept, for in the meantime, life would flow better.

In contrast to my father who used to say it could have been worse, I know it could have been better, and this would make it so. Swish away booboos and catastrophes caused by wayward thinking, lack of focus, being in the wrong place. Remaining would be the prime causes like stress, emotions out of whack, or stupidity but without the previous disastrous outcome.

For certain, bad luck, being in the wrong place at the wrong time merits a second chance. Have the drunk driver smash into the car three behind. That puts bad luck on someone else. Better would be to avoid car crashes for everyone for five minutes. Or share my eraser.


Noreene Storrie wrote "If Only" while on pause from her in-process novel, The Folly Fund, the story of what a widow learns from her deceased husband's gift. Her primary residence is in Florida after years in New York City, Grand Cayman, and the Massachusetts Berkshires. She previously published a short story in Pigeon Review.


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