a taste of ‘Too Much of the Wrong Thing’

from the short story collection Too Much of the Wrong Thing by Claire Hopple, published November 2017 …

ISBN (paperback)  978-1-925536-33-1

ISBN (eBook)  978-1-925536-34-8

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The horde of porcupines began to form not long after Labor Day, when we were so freed up from our labors we forgot to feed them. from Quilled

She had become a truly funny person, as often happens to those who have experienced a certain degree of suffering. from Signs of Futility

Dating is like seeing an object shining in the sun and leaning over to see it’s only a penny but you’re already leaned too far over to stop. As I went to see if it was worth it, I found out it was definitely not worth it. from Compulsive Truths

She thought about calling her parents but remembered that it was too late there. Time zones seemed so unnatural to her and yet they made sense. She had always been an hour behind them anyway. from 15 Signs of the Cocktail Generation

I met you the day that my eyes changed color. I have to think that means something. from Craigslist Missed Connection

You had been somewhat piratical with her life stories at a few parties and felt guilty about it. You felt you had to make up for your suburban history; it seemed like more of a papery past. from Cross-Pollination

I felt about as necessary as the first “r” in February. from Talisman

Your mother died and you didn’t cry. You were always afraid of this. from Bars of Soap

One remarked that it was a large improvement over the last assembly, which featured a nutritional opera starring a stalk of broccoli and a banana with a noteable falsetto. from Projector

He had those teardrops tattooed on his face so he definitely murdered several people. Other than that, he seemed like a rather polite individual. from Re: West Property

What could she say was the matter? Could she say she was paralyzed? Could she say she was unable to catch up to the moment she was already in? You could miss a whole life this way, just trying to catch up to it. Couldn’t you? from Recovery

She only spoke in double negatives when she was sleep deprived. from The Fire

You wondered why people didn’t say they were ‘just feeling things’ the way that they said they were ‘just seeing things.’ from Too Much of the Wrong Thing

Sometimes at night she would wake up and everything would look very strange in the dark. She wouldn’t know where she was or who was next to her or what she was doing. Eventually, she would fall back asleep. from Of Course

One asked her what her phone number was. She forgot, or chose to forget, and then forgot that she chose, and stuttered out the digits while looking out the window. from Not My Place

She noticed he was texting another friend, “I’m with Rhea,” but auto-correct changed her name to “That” instead. from That

He got distracted and had erased a wrong answer too vigorously, forcing the metal on the pencil to scratch the cheap worksheet paper until it tore, bunching it up like an accordion. from Erase

When watching Jill with her endless string of energy became too tiring, Macie would meet Yale and Raine and Sven at the only pizza place in town. She dwelled on the fact that she surrounded herself with people who had names like ancient monosyllabic warriors. from Where Things Should Go

But yesterday, using the bathroom at the end of the hall on the 2nd floor of the Arts & Sciences building, none of the automatic faucets or paper towel dispensers would recognize my frantic waving and I thought maybe I could be a ghost. from Back Row

She never remembered these things on her own but was still able to feel connected to her grandmother with dementia. She often couldn’t remember who she was or where she was or what she was doing or to whom she belonged, either. from 15 Signs of the Cocktail Generation

Things continue whether you like them or not and what exactly are you supposed to do with that? from Craigslist Missed Connection

He nodded multiple times until it lost its meaning. from Signs of Futility

School, where teachers told students they could be anything they wanted to be and didn’t tell them how. from Pirates

You apologized to your stunned sister-in-law, though you weren’t sure why. She was the one who disrupted your reality. You apologized and it was like offering her a wayward piece of gum you found at the bottom of your purse. from Criminal

You had a job and it was the kind of job that you did when you wanted to do something on purpose. from Craigslist Missed Connection

He kept it so hot and dank in there, and his front hallway was so narrow, that stepping into it felt like stepping into an esophagus. from The Fire

Becoming Santa lifted me up out of the confusion of being both newly alone and mauled by a stranger within a few short months. from Compulsive Truths

She doesn’t remember many societal rules, but she knows that you always say goodbye before you hang up, unless you are angry or filming a movie. from Walking Backwards

A labeled chart of the eyeball was framed on the wall. It was shaded and color coded and it looked like a newly discovered planet. from Too Much of the Wrong Thing