#SIP Contest - Flash Fiction by Garrett Van Tiem

Updated: May 2

Four Small Walls


By Garrett Van Tiem


It has been some time since the door closed. Its last time ajar was only a brief separation, spanning seconds as I took a bag of groceries from a kind smile I knew I could not trust. In the wake of my quarantine, my world has become much smaller - and for the sake of sanity against ever-present boredom, I have begun redefining my existence.


The bicycle taking up nearly an entire wall is no man's land. It's an uncomfortable region of space that serves no great purpose. I have nowhere to go, and thus need not a bike, and yet it is my property, and so I must keep it close. Adjacent to no man's Land is the cliff, a tall circular table once found in a dumpster, now holding various knickknacks and relics. Across the great expanse of breathing wood and the occasional wild dust bunny, one will find the Gateway, my only source of society, culture, and what's left of the outside world. To make it run I must use the hotspot on my phone, which takes such power and concentration that the device is useless for anything else - but whatever, the gateway is open, and its 19 inches wide.


Now that I see beyond my remote desolation, I am informed that nothing has changed, the world still beckons for chaos, and I have at the very least another 3 weeks to 8 months of quarantine. I can only wonder how much more defined my existence will be then.


My name is Garrett Van Tiem, I'm a filmmaker from indiana living in Burbank Ca. I work with companies like Full Moon Features(Puppet Master, Troll 2) and love making monster movies. While I'm currently a student at the New York Film Academy, where I've written and directed many shorts, I'm working toward my first feature film. Just recently I've decided to start a YouTube channel about my adventures in the B-Rate movie industry, but with the current state of world I find myself trapped inside. My mother is the author Anna Johns (The Woman In The White Kimono), and writing has always been an outlet for me.




© 2023 by Kelp Journal