Fiction break. I’ve thought about submitting this following thang to various literary mags but I doubt it will be accepted because it doesn’t take place in a field hospital during a civil war in a foreign country. (If you read literary magazines at all, that is fucking hilarious.)
So here, bitches, is some flash fiction (meaning “supershort”) from me. Catch you all later in the week. (I apologize that there’s some goofy underlining going on. I have no idea why it’s there but I can’t get rid of it. Think of it as a special visual treat for your eyes.)
Bug’s Day Out
“What time you want we should go tomorrow?”
Nothin’. She won’t answer me.
“Bug. BUG! I said, what time you want we should go tomorrow?”
She looks up at me and then just looks right back down at her TV book. Dang if she doesn’t already know the whole tootin’ thing by heart so I don’t know why she’s botherin’ pretendin’ to read the damn thing. Prolly just to tick me off.
“Bug. I’m gone ask you one more time and then I’m walkin’ my coonass self out this door. You hear me?”
She turns a page and then looks me straight in the eye, with those yellowed-out peepers of hers. I been waitin’ for her to look at me but now that she does, I got the heebie jeebies. I think about my purse sittin’ on the floor behind me, right next to the screen door. I am ready to grab it and throw it at her head if I need to. Does she know I put a brick in there last night? I don’t even wanna think about what that woman knows.
Her eyes go down my body. I know my cutoffs and my legs are filthy but what you expect, doin’ a job like this? Takin’ care a old people for nothin’ but pennies ain’t the most glamorous job in the world. But this old bag a bones got no idea that when I come back to this part a town later, just a few blocks from here, there ain’t a man alive who won’t stop in his tracks to look at me.
“Fine,” I tell her. “I will be outside your door at the crack a eight. And I want you to be ready this time, hear? If I have to go find somewhere to park in this dang quarter at that time a the mornin’ I’m gonna be burnin’ up angry. Last time I got here you was still in bed, snorin’ away like a damn cow.”
“I’ll be ready,” she tells me. “But you and I both know you ain’t gone be here at no crack a 8. It’s gone be more like 10 or 12. Then I’ll try and call you and you’ll answah sayin’, ‘Oh, Bug. Was that today? I didn’t think you really wanted ta go.’” The whole damn time she’s talkin’ she’s lookin’ at the TV book again.
But I know what she’s thinkin’. She’s rememberin’ that time last year I forgot to get her when I said I would. But I tell you what, I think that old witch lady musta worked some hocus pocus on me ‘cause I never done forget things like that. Not for my job, no sir. I don’t trust that old voodoo queen farther than I could throw her bony butt. That’s why when I leave — you watch me — I ain’t even gonna turn my back on her. Not for a second.