Skip to main content

Tell Me

Old short stories can offer a glimpse of past perspective, but they aren’t exactly diary entries. They’re more akin to tattoos, the best ones bookmarking the past with hints and suggestions.
(No dog-eared pages here.)
“Tell Me” was published in Robert Howell’s Nails some years ago.
The second half of it is below. The first part you don’t get. Not on this site, anyway. The first part is like those certain below the belt tattoos; in order to set your eyes on it, you’ll need to get me drunk.

"Tell Me" Part 2
In the alley now. Going down St. Peter. Keeping her company, the sound of her boots, 
clack-clap, clack-clap, clack-clap, a passing police siren echoing through the street, clack-clap, clack-clap, clack-clap, a rooftop gutter releasing its bowels, clack-clap, clack-clap, clack-clap, duel pissings from a man too drunk to see, one of urine, another streaming from a phobic subconscious set loose from its tethers by so much narcotic, clack-clap, clack-clap, clack-clap. Claire suddenly stopped, having noticed she wasn’t breathing. She could not remember her last breath. She was simply walking, all along drowning in her own forgetfulness.

Breathing again. The sound of Claire’s boots returning to keep her company. Remembering to breathe. Around a corner and beside a dumpster something caught her eye: a massive slug making its way into the night. Claire had never seen a slug in the city. She imagined the conception of this full-blown gastropod in the steamy intestine of some distant forest from which it had been removed and brought to the city by some child. A child could never resist the experience that such a creature could provide. A child would stow it away, sneak it home. Then, one night, while the child quietly played with the slug, perhaps laying down and letting it crawl on her chest, a parent would enter the room and with a mixture of rage and disgust and perhaps fear, yes, certainly that, demand the immediate removal of the worm. Too big to squish, it would be released into the gutter with a shoo, shoo, go on now, beat it, go home.

photogram by amy howell ©


Popular posts from this blog

Outside of Cars

Read my short story "Outside of Cars" in Corium Magazine's Issue 19.
I mean, if you want.
Just so you know what you're getting yourself into, here's a bit of my correspondence with the editor.
"Your story made me very uncomfortable, which means it made me feel something, which is what we look for at Corium. As long as it's well-written, of course! And your story is, so I am happy to publish it."
Results will more than likely vary.

Artwork by Robert Howell

Between Green and Union On a Day That Is Sunny All Day

My flash fiction with the un-flash name has been published by Everyday Genius.
cover by Robert Howell
Notes/acknowledgements: Fictional apartment building located near non-fictional city dwelling of Charlie Walter and Christine Farren. Interior decor of Bethany's flat inspired by The Selby is in your place. Dorian's perspective on cats lifted wholesale from Matthew Barbato.
(Thanks, Matthew. I know I should have asked first.)
No one writes in a vacuum....Between Green and Union On a Day That is Sunny All Day

Gone Lumberjacking

art by Robert Howell
gone lumberjacking
as in donning the heavy boots and abrasive flannel and stomping into the woods with a thick blade on a stick.
as in spitting in soon to be blistered hands and felling a tree, drying the wood and cutting it into planks, and designing and assembling a dining table around which to sit, on which to break bread, off of which to gently toss a butter licking cat.
as in the simple act of doing things, not because the outcome will be so much better, not because the project will be so much cheaper, definitely not because it will be a quicker way of getting whatever that thing is done.
as in unearthing.