Monthly Archives: September 2008

“Out at Sally’s”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Out at Sally’s



          “I’m telling you, there’s something strange going on out on Beach Road.”

          “How do you mean, Jack?”

          “I was over at Smitty’s…looking over his old den, the one with the small window and almost a view of the Beach Road houses. I was working up an estimate to open that flat bunker glass into a big full window.”

          “You know this would make an excellent bar,” Smitty said as I measured the wall. “But what’s happening out on Beach Road?”

          I just shook my head. It was like a dream.

          “Come on, don’t tease me with beach gossip,” Smitty said and folded his arms, making him look like a bald headed genie in a tight tee shirt.

          “Well, I was over at Sally’s house, you know,” I told him, hoping he might have a clue, “just doing some odd jobs and you know how she’s not the greatest housekeeper in the world. I mean that day the surf was way up and I kept thinking, is it safe here? Something seemed real wrong. She was off in town get groceries…just me in the house; her and her boy gone and of course Clyde on the road as usual.”

          And here Smitty gave me the sly smile but I ain’t reacting ‘cause, yeah, Sally’s a very available gal, friendly, sexy with a body make you hard, flitting around that beach house property in her tank tops and short shorts, miniskirts and pinafores loose, no bra…and yeah, she’s been giving me some, casual like, just like passing the time of day and I ain’t ready to make that public to nobody…no sir…but Smitty was waiting for more…

          “Well, there I am fiddlin’ around in her kitchen and I notice there’s this smell…kinda not rotten exactly but like a greasy meat odor and I start sniffing around and start finding chunks of meat…steak-like raw hunks of meat, not big, just weird pieces under the table and there’s like a sticky coating on everything and suddenly the front door opens and the house starts filling up with people…first Sally with Clyde…who’s just come off the road and he’s looking at me funny and I’m wiping off the stove and making excuses and then these other tradesmen in town start dropping in and I’m seeing raw meat under the furniture…And get this, nobody seems to notice a thing.”

          “Jesus, Jack, that can’t be good. You sure you weren’t, you know, smokin’ whacky grass…huh?”

          “Hell no, man, I’m telling’ you, Smitty, swear to god, something’s weirder than hell over at Sally’s on Beach Road.”

          Smitty unfolded his brawny arms and held up his hands, light from the narrow basement window glowing off his hairy hands. “Let’s put this project on hold, Jack. You just killed my fantasies and I ain’t so sure I wanna be starin’ down Beach Road anymore.”



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“Granger on the Loose”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Granger on the Loose



          Nobody knows the trouble Carol Wilson has had with her husband Granger. He just got out of the Dedham prison, stole a woman’s credit cards at Chestnut Hill Mall, bought some cocaine off a cash advance, got busted in Mattapan as a repeat offender, escaped into Canada, holed up with an exotic dancer in Montreal, ran off into the Far North hunted by the Mounties, apparently made off with a sacred whaling helmet of the Tlinglit Tribe on the Northwest Coast, snaked back into the U.A. under the assumed name of Tolbert Scott III, sporting cashmere and tasseled loafers and polo shirts with the monogrammed emblem of Twin Oaks, an exclusive Vancouver country club, resurfaced in L.A. at an auction and raked in $125,000 for the ugly whaling helmet, escaped just in time into Mexico, made his way with the infamous Garcia Brothers to Colombia where on a whim he leveraged the helmet money into ten million dollars American in residual cocaine and marijuana sell-offs, got about sixty percent flown into the American southwest in small planes, and after pay offs and bribes still pocketed close to six million dollars American, flew to the Caymans and safely deposited the bulk of the loot, got new identity papers as Albert Nanon, an odd name, a play on anonymous, settled briefly in Switzerland; opening a variety of legitimate investment accounts, flew Carol to Paris, met her for a whirlwind tour of Europe and the Near East, settled in Monaco, played poker and baccarat, and just last Tuesday choked to death on an olive in his chilled not shaken martini…please, no vermouth.



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“Right On Cue”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Right on Cue



          Thunder and rain coming. She could smell its earthy perfume billowing through the lace curtains.

          Come here, she demanded and grabbed his penis and squeezed it until it was hard. He was standing up in the hallway of her apartment and she was hot for him. Her nightgown was see-through and her nipples were erect probing the filmy silk. She did a full squat and unzipped him and put her mouth around him—wet, hot saliva and those corn sharp teeth and the tongue working his head and shaft—mmm—he groaned and her hand cupped his balls, tugging, squeezing. Then she pulled off her nightgown and naked now crouched under him, letting his slick penis ride in the valley between her breasts–her long tongue snaking out to lick the swollen head, and taste its clear bead of juicy lubricant.

          Yummy, she said, standing belly to belly with him, now…do me on the kitchen table.

          Obediently he followed her sculptured zaftig curves to the kitchen. There she arranged herself across the table, back down, legs spread, feet on separate chairs. He walked forcefully between her full thighs and drove his penis directly into her, pushing to the hilt. She cried out and crossed her legs around his bare ass, flexing him deeper, harder with every stroke. She was smiling as he bent forward and kissed her hot lips, and then working down to her breasts, two swaying mountains of nurturing flesh. He sucked and fucked her on the table and finished off with a raving, gasping climax.

          Right on Mother Nature’s melodramatic cue, the summer thunderstorm swept by and rainwater gushed from the gutters.



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“Pastoral Scenes”–flash fiction from Difficult People

Pastoral Scenes



          Rough. Rough. Rough.

          And that’s no dog barking at you, Buster Brown. Mr. Simplicity himself. Back in the cradle. Farm animals. Vegetation green gold on the Horizon, like a Pilgrim’s Progress. No Slough of Despond hereabouts. Miss Talent was seen walking down by the cow pasture today; there was a wonderful loose wayward manner to her odyssey about the farm. It was noted by Miss Peabody that Ambrose was also seen in the vicinity earlier. Whether they walked together through the waving stands of sea oats is a matter of conjecture amongst the ladies of the kitchen, late in the glow of a winter afternoon…the smell of baking bread, wood smoke, and cinnamon sticks broken on the center table. Miss Spence is of the intuitive hunch Miss Talent and Ambrose, the cowherd, (no one sure of his exact last name), that Ambrose has been questioning certain religious sentiments of Miss Talent; and she, patient student of human capacities, has “taken him on.” The question method, Miss Talent hinted to draw out the young man’s inherent, natural genius, and marry intellect with nature, Miss Humphrey added, cutting off a block of yellow salt cheese…the paler block of butter imprinted with green herbs, such oddities hardly seem mixable in this common sense realm. But the bell to be rung, my many tasks, numbering dozens, and at dusk, dozens more before a head reaches its pillow, the dark notice chiming across the wetlands and river, up along the hillside in violet shadow, the brisk sharp breeze from over the headland, a wedge of Canada geese, a trailing column of crows to roost against the blue purple sky, the sun a tangerine glow beyond the hills, and Miss Talent and Ambrose silhouetted in conversation on the road from the pasture.



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“The Elvis Trance”–flash fiction, Difficult People

The Elvis Trance



          I guess it was when Tanya moved to Memphis I knew she was serious about The King. Eating Memphis ribs and riding around in a ‘55 restored Oldsmobile, windows down, Philco radio blaring on the hot summer streets, crickets crushed under the big fat whitewall tires, wind muggy from off The River. Yeah, she had an embroidered prayer cushion designed in the likeness of Elvis’ boyhood home down in Tupelo (“outta be a Federal shrine…” she’d say over the phone), me still clinging to life up in Portland, Maine. She gasped and held her breath and I’d just wait, those precious quiet-as-a-pin seconds, our life just slipping away and she’d tell me how she’d go over every day and kneel down before the gate and say her morning prayers to the King. There was another prayer session at noon and at dusk, “vespers” she said, hissing like a pit of snakes.

          I’ve lost Tanya for sure…

          I’d be thinking about Tanya’s pole-climbing showgirl body and praying for myself she’d snap out of the Elvis trance and come back to New England. But no, she’d rented a tiny apartment across from Graceland, she’d coated its inner walls with his images, (I haven’t seen this directly…second hand reporting from her boyfriend…more to come…) and she had the back bedroom padlocked with a sign that read—the Chapel of Joy. There she claims the King came to her in a vision and “mated with me to bring a new generation of peace and love messengers to this old sorrowful world…”

          I tried hard to swallow my sad, sick laughter on that one ‘cause her chubby Memphis boyfriend’s an “old” Elvis impersonator and he confessed (over his crackling cell phone, every bit like the King from far away) that it was he himself that possessed her in a sure-fire vision of flaming carnal joy in that Chapel of Joy.

          Let me tell you, friends, I’m getting too old for this shit. I’ve lost Tanya for sure…and good luck to the King…the old fat one…he’ll need it…whoever he is.


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“Home Now”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Home Now



          Moses had loved Zoë for so long he didn’t think of time.

          He kissed the apple blossoms in her cheeks, he pleasured in the cranberries of her full lips, the chocolate nipples, the seafood of her private parts. He reveled in her Venusian rhythms, the dark lunar surges, ebbs and returns, this gorgeous image of nature’s fecundity, the juices, odors, textures of skin, belly, neck, thighs. He held her tight and kissed away her tears, stroked her hair, sucked her lovely fingers, nibbled her ear lobes, gently sucked her tongue and joyously entered her and filled her with the essence of himself, while all the while dreaming through her dark eyes the soul’s turn in her earnest Karma.


          Moses cried out in his sleep, flailing he awoke and found from her wet, warm lips soft reassuring words, a song of creature comfort. Joined in every conceivable posture, their bodies rocked into a higher plane of unity and pleasure.

          I need you, Zoë moans, redoubling Moses’ efforts.

          Even in dreams he made love to her, as if drinking at an oasis after a long journey. You are my Fountain of Youth, Moses whispered, my Immortality, my Heaven, my reward in Paradise.

          Let it be so, she prayed. Let me capture this joy in my heart and fly free of fear and death and all things sad and remorseful.

          I am not afraid, Moses said and lay down beside her bed of eternal pleasures, her ripe belly of prairie grass, I am home now.



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“The Answer”–from Difficult People

The Answer



          Perhaps you’ve found The Answer. Maybe you carry it around like ancient ancestors carried fire, an ember kept alive in a clay vessel, fed tenderly like a hungry child, here with just the right tender. The fire was warmth, protection, cooking…the fire was life hard-earned. So, you carried it like a sacred duty. And I know you too well. You have the Answer tucked in your rucksack. You have confidence, faith, courage against enemies…life itself…opens to you, that jaunty bandy-legged bounce. I see it all. You have the Answer. The Riddle of Life solved. You know and you do not need to advertise. It’s all happening at the zoo and you are the zookeeper Emeritus. You are the world’s flower. You know what it all means. Be safe, have fun, I hear you shout to the crowds gathering each morning at your shrine. Be my counsel, a pilgrim begs. We have the Answer, you announce and the heads lower in beseeching your love and approval…Go with it, find the flow, surf the waves you’re given…A pause…the wind suspends its beating heart and life hovers in a a substitution of alternate realties. Is there one The Answer? Can we be happy in the broadest sense? Let well enough …you start to say…a hand goes up to block the glare of the sun. Is this the Answer: sudden fire, then blessed blindness?



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“Hamlet in Hollywood”–from Difficult People

Hamlet in Hollywood



          Lamar “Heineken” Hamlet, cursed by his surname into his destiny as actor, strode Sunset Boulevard looking for food, drugs, sex…jeez, and even a job! Sometimes catching a glimpse of his watery elfin figure in a shop on Rodeo Drive, he knew it was a future just simply delayed, a virtual parallel universe where one day, having “paid his dues” he would join the aristocracy of the stars. In his pocket he clutched a scrap of paper he tried to read several times a day for comfort in these “hard times…” He could hear himself saying these reflective lies about his days of struggle—

          “Oh, Hans, you know…it was bru-talll…”

          He could recite the passage, like so many others if only the drugs, the wear & tear, the price you paid being a street theater persona, ah yes, he stood in front of a fur shop, jewels, diamonds, and in a Stone Age cage, his shagginess mirrored in the glass, ignoring the passersby (what did they know of the Thespian Agony…) he recited: “Love the play, every page, every line. Don’t be afraid, even though you will be, Lamar Hamlet…this is your life’s task, your karma, now, live it to the full. Be the great human actor. Keep love and beauty and freedom alive…”

          He bowed to the ground, while inside the shop a woman trying a fur turned away so she wouldn’t be seen watching him. “That poor street urchin,” Lamar imagines her to be thinking. But there was applause issuing from the pale hands of another spectral character Lamar knew from the streets, leaning forward in torn jeans and tie-dye shirt, hippie blowzy red hair, emaciated like him.

          “Terrific,” he said, tucking a script under his scarred, scrawny arm. “That’s Saroyan, eh? Maybe Chekhov?”

          “No, Hamlet, Lamar Hamlet, actor,” he said returning the bony handshake. “An original.”

          “I’m sure you are… Kurt Columbus,” he said, his eyes aflame. “I saw Nathaniel West and William Faulkner at the Red Burrito half an hour ago. I went by to show them my script…”

          “It will be hard to get their attention.”

          “No shit. They had body guards, big guys, keeping us wannabes on the sidewalk…”

          “You’re even bigger after you’re dead,” Lamar said. “Bill Faulkner has been around all summer. He told a friend of mine that waits tables Mississippi is too damned hot…”

          “Nathaniel West looks like he’s accessible,” Kurt said.

          “Yeah, but he goes out to the accident scene near the Salton Sea. It was a head-on. He apparently can’t get over it. Really knocked him for a loop. Right out of his mortal career.”

          “Man, this show biz is tough karma,” Kurt said. “You wanna read my script?”

          Sure,” Lamar said, taking the ragged soiled thing. “But let’s mosey down to the Burrito and watch the stars…not eat!”

          They laughed and started off. Lamar glanced at the cover of Kurt’s script: “Dancing in Heaven.” He nodded approvingly and tapping the cover, said:

          “You know the old dead Hollywood stars might love this concept…”

          “Yeah, well the living don’t give it a moment’s notice.”

          “They’re hungry mortals.”

          “You think we could scoop Faulkner & West’s burritos?” Kurt wondered. “They never eat their food.”

          “Yeah, let’s slip’em the script for the food.”

          Kurt warned. “You’ll have to get past the body guards.”

          Lamar paused “Sir, do you imagine a player of my distinction and perseverance cannot improve an old switcheroo?”

          Kurt stared. “My doubts are now vanquished, sir!”



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