Meg Pokrass ~ Along Comes Mary

When I say Mary came along, I opened the door because she was knock­ing soft­ly. I had nev­er seen her before. She said “I’m Mary”. “Hey Mary, nice to meet you and… are you okay?” I said so unused to see­ing humans in the flesh.

The voice felt unprac­ticed. When nec­es­sary I talked to humans on my phone or on my com­put­er, but I had­n’t felt lone­ly until I saw Mary. Nobody had seen me in the flesh in years and one day Mary appears knock­ing light­ly on my door—wearing a hedge­hog mask. Stranger in hedge­hog mask beckoning!

So, I fol­lowed Mary out­side my house. The air felt fan­tas­tic. And there she was, a woman who seemed as peace­ful as a hedge­hog. I fol­lowed Mary out­side like a feeling.

The night before, she explained, she had plant­ed her hus­band in the back­yard. When we got to Mary’s house she took me right back there and he was snif­fling alone in the gloam­ing. This was his and Mary’s yard, filled with neglect­ed look­ing fruit trees.

Here’s a friend for you, Bill,” Mary said. He was sit­ting there in an unfash­ion­able mask all tied up, and she left us there togeth­er. “Be back in a bit,” Mary said.

I asked him about Mary. “What is it about your wife?” I said. “Along she came,” he smiled, his lips fan­ning out in con­fir­ma­tion. I had nev­er rec­og­nized how much I need­ed to be set free until Mary came along, I told him.

Mary came out, still in her mask, and asked us if we want­ed some herbal tea. We both said, yes Mary! It was if we’d always want­ed a hedge­hog to make us a cup of herbal tea in the mid­dle of a stinky yard.


Meg Pokrass is the author of eight flash fic­tion col­lec­tions, an award-win­ning col­lec­tion of prose poet­ry,  two novel­las-in-flash, an award win­ning col­lec­tion of prose poet­ry, and a 2020 col­lec­tion of microfic­tion, “Spinning to Mars” which won the Blue Light Book Award. Her work has appeared in  Electric Literature, Washington Square Review, Smokelong Quarterly, Split Lip and McSweeney’s has been anthol­o­gized in New Micro (W.W. Norton & Co., 2018), Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton & Co., 2015) and The Best Small Fictions 2018 and 2019. She serves as Founding Co-Editor of Best Microfiction 2020 and Festival Curator of Flash Fiction Festival U.K. and teach­es flash fic­tion online and in per­son. Find out more at