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  • Endless Joke
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    Here's that writers' manual you were reaching and scrambling for. You know the one: filled with juicy writing tidbits and dripping with pop cultural snark and smartassery. Ew. Not an attractive look. But effective. And by the end, you'll either want to kiss me or kill me. With extreme prejudice. Go on. You know you want to.

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  • Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
    Indies Unlimited: 2012 Flash Fiction Anthology
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    I have two stories in this delightful compendium of every 2012 winner of their Flash Fiction Challenge—one a nasty little horror short, the other an amusing misadventure of Og the caveman, his first appearance.

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Friday
Jun232017

Wheels Within Girls

Marvin called me a femme fatale and I asked him how I could remind him of a dairy product. He murmured something about film noir, but I knew I was in the ascendancy, so I didn't let go. 

"So a crème fraiche?"

"No, that's not it."

"Frappuccino?"

"Na-ah…" He drew it out, but his voice quavered.

"You fuck. You think you can draw an edge around me, put me in a box?"

"No, forget it. You didn't hear me right."

"I hear you right. I'll fucking hear you right."

"Calm down. It doesn't even make sense. You're a bottle blonde, after all."

"Wait a goddamned jailhouse minute. So you're saying my hair colour is a key factor here?"

"Well, sorta. I mean, you don't get evil perky blondes, right?"

"Until me. Right?"

Up until the moment I got bored, toying with Marvin was fun. But yeah, that moment. Amazing how fast the color can drain from everything. Leaves you sitting immobile, gaping, like the power got compromised or something, like the sun snapped out a plasma lariat and browned out the world. 

That proved to be the last time I saw Marvin and the last time Marvin saw anyone at all. Not gonna give you too long to think about that.

Until recently I still bleached my hair, but I'm thinking of going back to black, so my roots aren't just showing, they're exposing themselves shamelessly. Thinking maybe I can grow into my stereotype. I'll have to be on my guard; I hear they treat brunettes different. Poor Marvin was probably on to something, Lana Turner notwithstanding. And Stanwyck, of course.

But here's another thing: they think they got me. The law, I mean. Got me to flip on a couple higher-ups when all the time I'm the higher-up. Look. As our president so amply demonstrates, bragging is for the childishly insecure, so trust me when I tell you this ain't no brag: I am smart as they come. Sharp as a shinken katana forged in Kyoto. A straight razor pushed against your trembling taint. At such moments of my choosing, you will not not notice me. Completely self-educated, a thirsty daughter of Phoenicia and the Amazon, I'm prouder of my smarts than the accident of birth that fashioned my looks. The latter tends to obscure the former, though, so I'm able to hide in plain sight—around men, especially. Playing the dumb broad or the ingenue is fun as hell. Ha, maybe I should use the handle Columba. 

The wheel. Invented in 3500 BCE, early Bronze Age. To my right is a Chinese bowl, porcelain, fish motifs, inky blue on bluish white. It's late in June, and the heat is a hot rag squeezing my skin. I am a wet sponge trying to become a dry sponge. A ceiling fan is reflected in the bowl, and its glazed surface holds the ghost of a tiny spoked wheel, turning fast. Aghast at its own heat. The circle of life is also a wheel. The wheel was a diabolical instrument of medieval agony. And my current troubles turned on a roulette wheel. 

I happen to be the kind of woman who uses a phrase like "Wait a jailhouse minute." Paints stellar imagery with words. Allusive. Elusive. A virtuoso amoroso, I control the lexicon. How can you not admire me, love me? I am delightful. Confronted with your bewildered mien, I will reflect you. Disguised as Echo, I am yet Narcissus. Both reflections, it has to be said. (See what I did there?)

But yeah. The casino added two to two and came up with something other than four. They were right I was cheating them, right for all the wrong reasons. Their heavies left no impact, so they turned to the weightier, blunter instruments of the state. I was so far ahead of them they thought they were lapping me. No doubt some of them would like that image, of them lapping me, I mean. Fantasists. Utter fucksticks. They have no idea the depth of my antipathy.

Strange. All these thoughts, these deadly playful words, and you don't yet know my name, and I'm so okay with that.

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