X's and O's

X's and O's

A Story by Cassie Meno

The strangest things can bring back a flood of memories.


Tic-Tac-Toe had never been my favorite game, or anywhere close to it, but it had been Janie’s, which was why I found myself hesitating, even deliberating instead of tossing it out along with the rest of things in the junk shed. It had been a while since I saw a model like this. Solid sand-colored wood with darker waves swirling through it. The game board was drawn in black paint with a few flecks missing. The lines didn’t quite make it to the edge of the small six-inch wooden square.

There was no reason to keep it. The shed was almost emptied and I had yet to come across the little wooden game pieces. I started to toss it out into the garbage file, but couldn’t bring myself to let go of it at the end of my swing.

I sighed and looked down at the board again, leaned back against the dusty wall of the shed and closed my eyes. I didn’t open them until something in the back of the shed rustled and then clattered softly.

“Damn cat,” I said, shaking my head and scowling at the soft white kitten, sniffing around in what remained of the unsorted junk. It had knocked something over; I had heard it.

Personally, I hated cats. But Janie loved them, and when she died, she left her mangy feline to me in her will. Had it been anyone else’s, the thing would have been off to the pound before the reading of the will was concluded. But it wasn’t just anyone’s; it was Janie’s.

Soon the stupid thing got pregnant, and all but one of the kittens died along with their mother.

That cat. All I had left of Janie was a game board and a stupid cat.

“Get out of here.” I swatted at the kitten. “Go on, shoo!”

But it didn’t move. It just looked up and let out a soft meow.

Now I saw what it had knocked over. A Styrofoam cup. When I went to pick it up and throw it out into the pile, I saw what had made the clattering noise.
The kitten nudged the cup out of the way with its nose, and then looked back up at me and meowed again.

I righted the cup and picked the little wooden x’s and o’x up, placing them gently back inside it. I picked the cat gently up in one hand, the cup and board up in the other, and headed back inside.

The junk shed could wait another day


© 2011 Cassie Meno

Author's Note

Cassie Meno
This is the only flash fiction piece I've ever been satisfied with.

My Review

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Hi Cassie!

This is my first time reading your work. And I must say I really like it. This flash fiction piece was really good, and I could really feel the emotions in the story. Great job, and I look forward to read more of your writing.

All the best!


Posted 12 Years Ago

this was a very good structure and it was a perfect narrative from internal to external about the hardships of grief. i have to say very well-written and detailed for flash fiction, love it and it was a very touching read!

Posted 12 Years Ago

Isn't it funny how our loved ones stay in our lives long after they've died?

Posted 12 Years Ago

That was really well written. I love the descriptions of the board and hhow little time is spent on character development. The character is just there, without huge amounts of discriptors to make the personality apparent. Reall impressive, Cassie.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I really like this one, Cassie. Flash fiction is super duper hard for me, but you've done a great job with evoking the emotion, especially with that ending line.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

tht stoy is kind of sad. it would be even sader if that was true.
i really liked this sory. its the only thing that ive read today and its the best story tht ive read in like a month.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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6 Reviews
Added on January 11, 2011
Last Updated on January 11, 2011
Tags: Sisters, cats, death, memory


Cassie Meno
Cassie Meno


Hey, everyone, my name is Cassie Meno. I'm eighteen and I've been writing pretty much since before I could spell. I prefer longer pieces--novels and novellas mainly. I have a hard time getting a poin.. more..

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A Story by Cassie Meno