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"The Footman Takes You Aside Prior to Your Audience with The Dairy Queen" by Mikki Aronoff

The Dairy Queen pumps her cows’ teats like she milks the truth and mines for lies, plies her subjects with the who-what-why-where-when-&-how of a journalist hot on the trail of a breaking story. Be prepared for a raised eyebrow when you respond to her interrogations. She does not trust easily. Should you gush ohwhataBEAUTIFULsunnyday, she will crack open her black umbrella, its ribs splayed in all directions, and hold it over your briefcase. That leather came from a COW, she’ll remind you, shedding a tear for Flossie’s last practical use here on Earth.

On the other hand, she’s normal as pie. Like any queen, she has her demands. But gloves off and scepter in the closet, she enjoys (1) a dip in the pool, (2) the pool boy, and (3) time away from The King. When you turn your head, she’ll splash a dash of mash whiskey into your Earl Grey; she knows who loves the kick of a mule. Give her the nod, and the Queen will Schottische with you in her ermine-trimmed cape. She will bray at your startle as the fur’s beady eyes jiggle and sway to her skips and twirls. It is then you will notice how very long her teeth are. It is then you might consult your watch.

Mikki Aronoff’s work appears in New World Writing, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Tiny Molecules, The Disappointed Housewife, Bending Genres, Milk Candy Review, Gone Lawn, Mslexia, The Dribble Drabble Review, 100 word story, The Citron Review, Atlas and Alice, Roi Fainéant Literary Press, trampset, jmww, and elsewhere. She’s received Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, Best American Short Stories, and Best Microfiction nominations.

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