Tuesday, August 11, 2015

3 stories

illustrations by eddie el greco


by meredith cartwright

marcia told her mother she was going out to meet her new boy friend at arby’s roast beef.

marcia’s mother wanted her to go out and meet fellows.

she wanted marcia to get married so that she could get rid of her.

marcia did not really have a boy friend at arby’s roast beef or anywhere else.

she went to the library.

she finished a book she had been reading about mary queen of scots.

then she started another book, about edward viii and wallis simpson.

she enjoyed it so much she was tempted to check it out and take it home with her when the library closed.

but she was afraid her mother would see it and start asking questions.

she decided to come back in the morning and check the book out.

she left the book on the table in the reading room - as the signs in the library instructed - and left the library.

marcia never got to finish the book about edward viii and mrs simpson.

nor was she ever seen alive again.

her mutilated body was discovered the next day in the patch of woods behind the parking lot of costco’s.

the police questioned marcia’s mother and she immediately told them about the boy friend.

she couldn’t remember his name - johnny miller or jimmy maxwell or some name like that.

the police were not able to find any trace of johnny miller or jimmy maxwell.

marcia’s murder was never solved.



by nick nelson

noreen was one of the five people left on earth after the great disaster.

she was walking along admiring the green sunset and eating a 36-ounce hershey bar she had found in a supermarket, when she saw the other four survivors - ollie, priscilla, rick, and sten - coming up the road.

she did not like their looks.

when they reached her, ollie began making a long rambling speech about how they all had to pull together.

he placed particular emphasis on the fact that noreen would be expected to have sex with rick, sten, and himself in order to “repopulate the planet”.

“i can’t carry the whole load,” priscilla added.

“no,” noreen told them, “i don’t think i really think i want to do that. i would prefer to go my own way.”

ollie, priscilla, and rick began to berate her, but sten, who appeared to be the real leader of the group, interrupted them.

“if she’s not on board, we might as well let her go,” he told them.

as noreen continued on her way, she heard priscilla say, “maybe we could have eaten her.”

the others laughed. one of the men said, “what would we cut her up and cook her with?” and they all laughed again.

night fell. noreen kept walking.

in the distance she heard the howl of a dog, or a wolf.



by corinne delmonico

opal was a curious child, always asking questions.

her mom suspected that opal made up questions just to be annoying.

questions like, “why do people talk and eat with their mouths - wouldn’t it make more sense to have a separate thing for each, so you could do both at once?”

“they just do,” was the best mom could come up with.

or, “why is los angeles bigger than san diego?”

“it just is.”

or, “what’s the difference between a monkey and an orangutan?”

“i don’t know.”

“you don’t know? that was an easy one. if you can’t even answer an easy one like that…” opal sulked.

mom looked out the window. it was a gray day.

“i tell you what,” mom told opal, “let’s go to the zoo. maybe they have a monkey and an orangutan and you can see the difference for yourself.”

“can we afford it?”

“it was free the last i heard.”

“can i get something to eat?”

“sure. there might be somebody selling hot dogs or ice cream in the vicinity.”

they put their coats on and got on the bus and went to the zoo.

a young woman was selling tofu sausages from a cart a block before they got to the zoo, and mom bought opal one, and a bottle of water for herself.

when they got to the zoo they saw another young woman in a uniform who looked like a guide, and they asked where the orangutan was.

the guide gave opal a big smile, and asked her why she wanted to see the orangutan.

“she is an orangutan,” mom told her. “i’m just bringing her back.”

the young woman was not amused, and showed it. “what an awful thing to say to a child!” she blurted out.

“oh, fuck you!” mom grabbed opal’s hand and they entered the zoo grounds without getting directions to the orangutan.

they saw a sign that said “reptiles”.

“we should be looking for the primates,” opal told mom.

“that little bitch ruined my day,” mom fumed. “this whole world is fucked up. nobody has any sense of humor anymore.”

“we can just look around,” opal said. “there must be something interesting here.”


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