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The Juice in the Golden Keg

Randall Brown | Mike S. Young

At the resort’s morning breakfast, all sorts of juices—orange, cherry, carrot, mango—awaited the vacationers, each transparent keg labeled except for the golden one, which was neither labeled nor transparent. This keg also had no nozzle, no lid; whatever juice sat inside appeared entirely self-contained and unattainable.

The keg itself glittered in the early morning sun at the beachside buffet. As good as the other juices tasted, as much as they satiated the vacationers’ desire for the sweetness and coolness promised by the sparkling beaches and crystal-blue water, they couldn’t shake the hold that other keg had upon them.

It made the other juices seem sour; it made all the other glitter seem plain. Its golden sheen against the pure white of the sand looked like a golden daisy or egg that said pick me, crack me open.

Someone might have tried to steal it, but how would it be opened? How would they hide it? No, stealing it wasn’t an option; instead, they made their way elsewhere, and there the golden keg filled their dreams.

About Randall Brown

Randall Brown teaches at Rosemont College's MFA Program. He's the author of the award-winning collection Mad to Live, and his work appears in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Flash Fiction and Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction. He blogs regularly at FlashFiction.Net and is the founder of Matter Press.

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