This is another post in a series for Short Story Month 2013. The bearded woman continues. This is new work for me (other than the first paragraph of the first one, Tomorrow, which was a response to a prompt from Meg Pokras on FaceBook. (Her micro-fiction is amazing, and it’s worth visiting Meg’s website here.) As this work has just come flying off my keyboard, your comments, thoughts, questions, ideas all are welcome. Please leave your responses before you go. Thank you.
She enjoyed his propensity for Joycean density. Lingual logistics, caliper calisthenics precisely measuring misfired exercises of desire. Inventive ventures vanished, evaporated under the heat of disillusionment dissolving distances. Modern nomads surfing channels, bounced from screen to network to social interchange, a spider caught in the web. A fly uncomfortable company. Nomads exchange rates duly noted and time differences computed.
Unruly arithmetic. Time and a half. Double time, he marched double time, the smooth-faced lover, into and then out of two-timing three-timing four-timing. A dollar store. She saw them in the dollar store. Where he worked. They worked.
Flagrant fellatio delecto in fragrant modes, blossoms scented sensuously around the room. Candles glassed in, clever collisions of molecules escaping into light. Enter the light. She thinks morning the best time to die. Death doesn’t knock on the door. It rings a silent bell. Beneath the waves, under the cliff, she thinks. That is where death drifts.
Beleaguered at her job, her boss demanding she shave reality to corner the market on advertising. Social media search engine optimization fine tuned to deliver. Buyers like sea gulls follow the fishing boat hoping for scraps of nourishment. The nets closed around her hair when she worked fast food. Let her write right rites of persuasion and pie filling that sounds like cherry bombs dusted like crazy.
Who uncovers the bearded woman’s favorite jacket fetish, uncovers her secret shoes, uncovers her naked skin telling made up stories about its colorful past while drinking whiskey, single malt, belly to the bar. He who uncovers these uncovers her hair. Her smooth-faced lover knew. He could smell his own lies on her breath. She resonated like a tocsin. Bell. While wringing her hands around her empty chest cracked open imprecisely, the momentum carries him in. He drank in her. Habits grow, flower, fruit. Her wine matured.
In 1972 she should have run off with the boy who had the long, golden hair. His leather jacket hung better than any man’s fantasy. The grass under him stayed dry. The evening summer sun sunk, cinders sparked from a campfire someone lit. Ripple spread out, around, bottle unscrewed. Nomads searching for the right guitar chord—F, a bar chord, hard on the fingers.
Her fingers on his hardness. Yet she did not stick out her thumb as he hitched a ride come morning. She saw him roll his sleeping bag. Gather his pack. Walk away from the cold charred scar at the center. She could picture the rest, the highway, the thumb out, the car pulling over.
She surfs now all the channels and webs, but he eludes her. Perhaps he never bought a tv, doesn’t have cable or a computer.