“No One Left” by Annam Manthiram

Any time Carla willed it, the people disappeared.

First her mother who slapped her across the face when she was despondent. Then her father who visited her at night when he was careless.

Later on it was her boyfriend. He didn’t love her in the right way. Then it was her best friend because she spread a rumor about Carla that was only partly true.

When the slow man didn’t smile as he bagged her groceries, he disappeared. So did the seductive bank teller with the overbearing perfume, the little boy on the bus who threw a tantrum and his mother who didn’t stop it, her co-worker who borrowed a pen, the one-night stand who left the toilet seat up the next morning, and the neighbor whose car alarm always went off. The teen with a heart tattoo on her neck went, as did the dog with the studded collar and loose stools.  The homeless man and his Dodgers hat were gone. So were the anorexic twins in her yoga class who always said too-kind things to her.

On and on it went until there was no one left to disappoint her, no one left to love.

More fiction at Used Furniture.


  1. I love the concept behind this. For being flash fiction, the story’s plot is still really deep and interesting, too.

    The end seemed a little cliche, but I think it fits the story so I don’t think any other ending would have worked. It just kind of stuck out to me.

  2. I love how it starts with some semblance of rationalizing then unravels into a series of trivial things just because she could.

  3. Thank you all for the insightful comments! I appreciate it.

  4. carmen2u says:

    Rod Serling, move over. I love the dismissive and authoritarian manner of the character, which is in all of us. Who hasn’t wanted to banish the offensive or the annoying? This is the logical conclusion: a lonely world of one.

  5. Like the episode of the Twilight Zone where the little boy makes people disappear when he isn’t happy with them. Otherwise it’s a touching concept with a lot of meaning in few words.


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