Monthly Archives: February 2009

“Frontier Buzz”–flash fiction, Difficult People

Frontier Buzz



          –Let’s see what you got? Big Ed said.

          Tommy put the gold nugget on the table. The metal lump looked like a miniature naked woman.

          –Damn, Big Ed said and stared closer. She looks like a mermaid.

          –That’s what we been calling her, the golden mermaid.

          Big Ed’s thick fingers trembled over her.

          –Appreciate if you wouldn’t touch her, Big Ed. I do this—and Tommy turned her over gently with a pencil tip. I use a number 3 hard lead so it don’t leave no mark on her body.

          Big Ed made a rumbling sound deep in his chest almost like a cat’s purr.

          –Yeah, okay, he said. So what can I do you for?

          –Well, I’m wondering should I sell her for the pure gold…or you think I could do better putting her up at auction?

          Big Ed drew back and stared through Tommy like maybe he was figuring out the national debt or something. He was damn good at numbers and some said he didn’t strain counting cards neither at the Silver Moon on Friday nights. But he’d sure give you a fair idea when his massive brain stopped whirring.

          –You gotta get behind this…publicize, see. Get all the players on to it. That costs money up front…photos, drawings, flyers, telegraphs, stories in the papers. Lotta work…not to mention security issues.

          –Oh lord, I dunno. That’s awful hard, Tommy said with a nasal whine.

          –Well it is, Big Ed said and let out a slow deep breath smelling of something like kerosene. Course you can take fair market for it…probably a couple of thousand.

          –Or I could keep her for myself, Tommy said and narrowed his eyes.

          Big Ed smiled.

          –Smart, he said, fingers trembling near her voluptuous curves. The Golden Mermaid you’re thinking…word o’ mouth promotion. Smart, Tommy, real smart.



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“Oggie”, Flash Fiction, Difficult People




          August Roault, the egotist, yes, infant terrible, wunderkind, polymath. At age twenty-one, silver-haired philosophers and mathematicians were attending his seminars. At twenty-two with a freshly minted Ph.D., he filled amphitheatre lecture halls and spoke slowly in deep baritone on the relation of integers to human consciousness, with particular attention paid to a system of interrelated, harmonic paradigms. Something like an atomic supernova in intellectual consciousness occurred with its publication…an international bestseller, fifty languages, hardcover, soft cover, special signed editions, audio books, e-books…God…the aftershock twenty years later, still his biggest moment in his career, age twenty-three, and the rest…well, a high set of peaks—Himalayan for sure—the later work even better in his estimation. But everyone related to what he called his Big Bang book…The Integer argument, unifying force of the human mind. Very few have ever read his magnum opus…fewer still had a critical opinion. Most were fans of “smart people”, “geniuses,” “wizards”…August as cult figure turned familiar with the nickname…Oggie for his inner circle…yet no one really knew him without the blinding reputation. Loneliness hovered around his reputation for genius. Not all bad.

          So, it had been a life of academic rock star status…with groping high I.Q. groupies at every campus. And Oggie had had his fun in the bedrooms and hotel suites of some of the choicest good-looking bright women in the world.

          Oggie looked in the mirror of his mid-40s bachelorhood and saw the roué…the bags of pewter under the frazzled eyes…exhaustion…a hotel suite behind him, the chrome harsh light of noon checkout, the stabbing glare…and in the bed still…a young thing…doctoral candidate at Harvard’s program in nanotechnology…a philosophy of science specialist, her main focus on the exhaustion of form and meaning and its ethical implications for a limit on miniaturization. The cascade of lush copper hair over a freckled shoulder, luscious breasts, a firm full voluptuous woman in leather boots and cashmere, pearls and a diamond wrist watch, from money, she stared at her conquest, he at her…and knew her emptiness had successfully absorbed his Integer-ness.

          “Zero takes one,” she had said the night before, her full lips forming a warm wet sharp-toothed “Ooohhh…”



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“Local Needs”, flash fiction, Difficult People

Local Needs



          “I need you,” she would whisper in my ear and hug me close, while her husband slept in their apartment next door to mine.

          The breathy way she said it, the cleavage of her full breasts bulging from the top of her dressing gown, on tiptoe, barefooted in the hall, what was a man to say? Get lost? No way…

          Her husband was older, divorced with two kids in college. And here was his nubile love lust mid-life crisis bride, wife of what…one year plus, applying high-pressure entreaty to a next-door apartment peddler in a suit and tie.

          On other days, mornings after seeing hubby farewell, she would suddenly pop into my bedroom, disrobe, revealing her earth mother symmetries and slip under the covers with me. She was an aggressive wench (if I may be permitted that dated term, a character from an 18th century bawdy novel); she had hungers, and her sweet desires under secrecy drove her harder to my benefit. She liked to straddle me and ride her “grocery store pony.” She pretended to deposit a quarter in some orifice of choice, and got down to some serious traveling. We showered together; we fucked on the dining room table, on her back, legs spread, buttocks near the edge, feet locked behind my waist. And of course over in her apartment we mirrored everything we did in mine…maybe more so. She seemed to enjoy having me on her sofa, or a kitchen chair, the living room rug, or on the edge of the bed. Once we did chair fucking at night on the porch facing the street, pedestrians strolling by.

          Being a beginning bachelor salesman in those days, my job sent me away at last to another furnished apartment in another state; that was a good thing before we got too wild and careless, and caught. Then one rainy cold night she called me long distance and told me she’d confessed everything to him…

          “We had a big row and he threatened to kill us both,” she said and giggled, “but then he calmed down and we cried and he forgave me…and now he wants to talk to you and work things out…”

          “We’ve got nothing to work out, okay…” I said.

          “I need you, baby,” she whispered, “more than ever…”

          “Sorry, sweetie pie, but a little practical advice…keeps your needs local,” I said. “End of story, I’ve moved on…” and gently hung up the phone.



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