Winner of the First Horizon Award for superior work by a debut author.

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All Quacked Up


He was driving well over the speed limit on Main Street to get to the highway. The members of the stroller brigade yelled at him from outside the children’s dance studio as he sped by.

They were late to see Dr. Marin, whose hourly session started promptly at three o’clock whether they were there or not. Dr. Marin, what a joke, he thought to himself as he burst through a yellow light (more honking ensued from nearby drivers). This quack was the most expensive couples’ counselor in the county, but she insisted they go. He must be the best if he’s so expensive, she had said months ago. Now, their surplus income went straight to Dr. Marin, rather than the ballgames or movies or golf outings of the past, and he was committed to getting his money’s worth.

“I told you we should’ve left at two thirty,” she said, facing the passenger side window.

“I was waiting for you the whole time.”

“You never said anything. How the hell would I know?”

He shrugged, tired of it all. “I just hate being late for Dr. Crazy.”

“You know that’s not his name.”

He added, “No? I thought it was on his card” and burst onto the entrance ramp.

“Your sarcasm is toxic. Don’t you realize this is why I want you out of my house?”

He pressed on the brakes. The highway was supposed to be completely clear so they could make it to Dr. Marin on time and reach the breakthrough they had been promised. That was the way it was supposed to be, he thought. So what the hell went wrong?

This time, the daily flood of humanity had other ideas for them.

They waited, packed inside an immovable trail of traffic, thick and endless like the conversation they were about to get into. The world was barely moving. They were barely moving. And they were going to miss their appointment.

But he was no longer sure if he cared.



This piece has been submitted to Week Eighteen of Tifextra. For more information about the Trifecta Challenge, please visit their homepage.


  1. Your writing got my attention. Couples’s counciling? I’d say it’s time for a couple of lawyers.

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  2. It’s no small wonder she wants him out of her house.

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  3. lexy

    of course he’s the best, otherwise he wouldn’t charge so much. I love that kind of roundabout argument :)
    great piece.

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