Tableau of a Single Woman

Elizabeth stares at the recycling bin showcasing the evidence of her life: Diet Coke cans, Lean Cuisine boxes, wine bottles, and a lone tin of cat food, a special treat for her beloved Henry.

No beer cans or diaper boxes.

With a frisson of loss, she imagines a phantom husband and baby. But that would mean hairy beer bellies and arguments about whose turn it is to take out the trash; dirty diapers and crying in the night.

She walks inside with a smile on her face, back to what she has cultivated for herself: a solitary, clean, quiet existence.


Cassandra O’Sullivan Sachar is an associate professor of English at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. A former secondary English teacher in Delaware public schools, she received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a Literacy Specialization from the University of Delaware. While not teaching or writing practitioner and research articles for numerous educational publications, she remains hopeful that she’ll one day publish a novel. Her personal essays, short stories, flash fiction, microfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Dillydoun Review, Little Old Lady Comedy, The Dribble Drabble Review, Friday Flash Fiction, Dark Drabbles, Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine, and Merlyn’s Pen.