Monday, October 20, 2008

Two More Flash Fiction Stories

by Stephen Rogers

Call no woman respectable till she's dead. Maybe you don't think it's condescending and judgmental, but I don't like the implication. Waitress, actress, laundress: the very words make my toes curl. All those ess words, as if women were less than their male counterparts. Respectable. Even worse was what you said, that at least I was respectable. As if you'll allow me the honor of entering your world just so long as I meet some criteria determined by the old boy's club. Lady senator. Female reporter. Chick lit. Maybe I should just stop writing all together. Channel my creative urges into playing peek-a-boo or making my floors shine with a lemony scent. Would you like me to pat the sweat off your face? Mop the pooling blood? Fetch my sewing kit and stitch up your stomach before you bleed to death? Would that be womanly of me? Respectable? Looking at my breasts while you were pretending to read my manuscript. That I could tolerate. I've put up with it most of my life. But you crossed a line when you called me an authoress. Say what you will about women who dare write crime fiction. At least we know where to drive the knife home.

A Million Miles Away
by John McAuley

"Christ, I wish I was a million miles away, having a drink and listening to some old Rory Gallagher tunes."

"Who's Rory Gallagher?"

"Before your time. Before Justin Timberlake, before American Idol... look him up on Youtube."

"I bet he's as dead as that crazy bastard in the basement."

"Yeah...You can drive for the rest of the shift. "

"Cool! Man, that was some weird weird shit huh?"


"I mean why would a guy dress up in one of them old style nurse's uniforms, cut his balls off , and then hang himself?"

"I don't know."

"And that goofy note, 'Don't call a woman respectable 'til she's dead. Now I'm respectable.' I mean what the fuck?"

"Just drive kid. And don't hit the siren unless I tell you to. "

I'm a million miles away....

[If anyone's interested in an old tune by a great player. YouTube - Rory Gallagher - A Million Miles Away (Madrid 1975) ]


r2 said...

Nice work. I love that song. What an interesting twist on the line.

sandra seamans said...

Okay, admit it, Stephen is your pen name and you're really a woman! Great job of getting into a woman's mind and voice. Loved this one, Stephen!

sandra seamans said...

I really liked this, John. You very neatly showed the generation and experience on the job gap between these two men without even giving their ages. Very nicely done.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks for all these terrific stories.

Cormac Brown said...


Safire meets Wurnos, cool.


Nice story and thank you for making me feel like a punk kid at even age forty-three, because I only know Rory through magazines and I have never heard him play a note.