Commercial Interruption ||| Diagram

An accident has occurred. The accident is no cause for alarm. Unanticipated events have led to unintended consequences. All evidence has been removed to an undisclosed area so that authorities may conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. Until the investigation is complete, authorities will not comment on the circumstances leading up to or the possible causes of the accident. Since the effects of the accident are most likely negligible, the investigation will itself be negligible, a matter of routine. The negligible investigation of this negligible accident may result in minor disturbances. These disturbances will be less distressing if curtains are drawn and the volume on entertainment consoles is adjusted accordingly. Speak loudly and clearly when addressing spouses, children, and pets. Make use of any stockpiled food as egress from homes has been temporarily prohibited. Units have been dispatched to monitor compliance with this temporary measure. Your compliance is appreciated for the duration of this temporary, negligible, accidental interruption.


Pedro Ponce is the author of Stories After Goya, Alien Autopsy, and Superstitions of Apartment Life, which was selected by Aimee Bender as winner of Burnside Review’s Fiction Chapbook Competition. His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Witness, Ecotone, Copper Nickel, and A cappella Zoo. Excerpts from Dreamland, his novel-in-progress, have appeared recently in the Satellite Collective’s online journal Transmission.

COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTION” originally appeared in DIAGRAM 3.