Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I was named after a dead rock star.

Wow, a flash fiction piece? Really?

Okay, so absolutely terrible of me, I realized I had set this up to post way back in... July? and somehow never actually clicked 'post' so it's been sitting as a draft.

Something fun I played around with for an online writing challenge-thing. If I re-wrote it, I'd re-order part of it significantly... make it more obvious this is an internal musing while waiting at a job interview because it isn't clear enough. Would have been fun to carry on with this story, but I had hit the word limit for the challenge, and so I stopped :)

I'm including it here because I had the 'dead rock star' line squirrelled away to use in one of these little flash fiction games, and ended up using it for the challenge instead.

And, because I'm allowed to laugh at my own jokes, this character was written entirely around the 'Y' chromosome joke which I actually said in public... to someone... in a different context (obviously) because sometimes my mouth has no filter. Thankfully they (well, it was a 'he') laughed too was not offended.

Enjoy! And if you feel like using the first line, please post in the comments :D

You know I love it when you do ;)

I was named after a dead rock star.  Not because my parents were tattoo-branded, stalker-level fans, and not for dark humour or in a memento mori mindset. Really, it was about the permanent marijuana haze of the mid-90’s Seattle party scene.

Supposedly “Heart Shaped Box” was playing on the radio during my mother’s epic taxi ride to the hospital, where after soaking the back seat in amniotic  fluids, she pretended she couldn’t speak English. She bolted up the hospital steps clutching a fire-brick sized cell phone like a weapon while the taxi driver screamed about calling the police. She’d forgotten to bring her wallet.

The way she tells the story, she cleverly hid in the men’s bathroom until my father brought the insurance information. My father says she ugly-cried hysterically until the hospital staff sequestered her in a room with a sedative.

That is how two nineteen-year olds end up with a daughter called “Cobain”.

I dreaded this every time I applied for a job. Explaining my name. It was always the first question, prefaced by a startled-stiff expression on the interviewer’s face when they realized both my chromosomes had two legs to stand on. No crippled ‘Y’ in the vicinity. I had to politely answer even though the decision to not hire me had already been made. 

Despite being over six feet tall. Despite three black-belts. Despite a healed knee injury thwarting dreams of an Olympic gold medal.

But this next interview might be different. I needed this interview to be different.

Tucked into a booth near the bar, I smoothed a hand over the baggy black pants I’d found on the men’s clearance rack yesterday. No feminine coloured shirts, no flattering dress pants, no makeup or jewelry. I tried those. For an office job, sure. For a night job that paid enough for University of Washington classes, no. I wasn’t a waitress or a bartender, but club bouncer I could do.

If anyone would hire me.

The guy at the bar, Mason, his eyebrows had shot north when I said I was there for the interview. Not surprising, but I kept hoping to be surprised. His arms were wrapped in tattoo sleeves and he was reading a cooking magazine as he waited. That was a little unexpected. He glanced at his phone and gave me a nod. “You can go in.”

My chest was tight from the sports-bra squashing me flat. The slim folder holding a copy of my resume was oil-slick in my hand. A fluttering impulse pressed me to touch the lucky lotus necklace I’d left at home. Too pretty, too delicate. My throat was naked.

This time it had to be different.

I pushed my shoulders back and down. Relax. Smile. No, don’t smile. Waitresses smile and I’m no waitress. I knuckle-rapped twice and opened the office door.

My face froze in a started-stiff expression. This was certainly not what I expected.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fog 2.0

I wasn't intending it to be this short, but here you go: 50 words in about 5 minutes. Haven't even finished my first cup of coffee...

The fog is claustrophobic.

An unsettling clash, a brawl of warm and cool.

Moisture in the air fills my lungs, displacing oxygen. A long, slow drowning death. Peaceful and heavy, like white sheets and plump down pillows. 


Like his elbow on my chest, like his hand on my mouth.


Last Friday in January!

It's been crazy foggy lately, and since I do love fog, I thought it was time for another Flash Fiction Friday challenge.

Here's the line, you know the rules :)

The fog is claustrophobic.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Magnolia 2.0

Felt like a morning for a slightly darker flash fiction (150 words), and I went for an ambiguous ending rather than my usual twist. In some ways, it almost feels like a counterpart to the first FF I posted on this site... similar flavour perhaps? Must be these grey winter days :)

I waited until the magnolia blossoms fell. Brown and bruised, they layered the ground like wet feathers, refusing to separate even when I dug deep with the blade of my shovel.

The rain was a sprinkle rather than a downpour, comfortable enough to shrug off my jacket as I grew warm with effort.

Wet dirt has its own distinct sound, thick and sluggish rather than the eager staccato rain of dry earth. The ring of metal against small stones was muffled, clay offered a reluctant invitation, and each additional shovelful hit the pile with a tired slump.

I buried her in the wet spring ground, feet together, wings folded. Beads of light rain turned grains of dirt into brown tears on the white flight feathers I had patiently cut to keep her home-bound.

Her face was cold, but still soft as I stroked her pale cheek one last time.


I took Eva out for a very short walk yesterday and got caught in the November rain. It wasn't heavy, but with the wind, it was still... unpleasant. Time to (maybe) put on some socks and a jacket... definitely not the weather for tank-tops and barefoot runners anymore.

...and certainly the maple leaves on the ground are no longer crisp enough to crunch and kick when I wade through them :(

I waited until the magnolia blossoms fell.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

By the sea

I know it's not Friday, but I woke up this morning with a new line in the forefront of my brain.

Once there was a castle by the sea which beat the shore with furious waves.

By the sea 2.0

Daylight Savings Time is kindof awesome because I woke at the regular time, but still had an hour to enjoy that sluggish, half-asleep dream state where (sometimes) my brain likes to tell me stories.

No editing happened on this at all... I wrote it all in less than 5 minutes while I drank coffee. I really do think writing flash fiction improves the overall quality of my first drafts...

I could write this story into a novel... well, rather, I think it could be one of the 'drawer inhabitants' stories from this.

Once there was a castle by the sea which beat the shore with furious waves. They built a platform out into the water, hauling stone from a far off quarry, and there they called girls to sing the sea calm. Day and night they stood until their voices gave out, then the waves dashed their bones to sand.

Once there was a rocky shore, rich with tidal pools, rich with life, until stones were throw in and walled up. Sorcerers were called to sing spells, a war cry to frighten the corals, the barnacles, every small creature that could not swim away, those who had been crushed by the first assault. And though the invaders were fierce, the wind and waves did not tire, and they beat back each sorcerer to protect their smallest, most defenceless wards.

Once there was a great core of stone that was dug up, piece by piece and shaped into magnificent statues and architecture. But instead of becoming grand and admirable, some was shaped in rough blocks and cast into the vile, salty water. Instead of  gleaming white in the sun and admired, it grew green and pitted, and the waves raged and tore, wearing each mighty block into sad, shrunken shadows.

And once there was a girl who was called to sing by the sea.