For the last fifteen or so years I've been living with a bunch of dead guys at a motel in West Texas. Like the characters in my stories, I'd really like to move on, see the world, go places. But I'm just like them. Anchored by love, worn down by circumstances and fascinated by how much there really is underneath it all. So I keep writing their stories and tell myself that someday, when I've got this all out of my system, I'll write deep, meaningful literature about... something else. In the meantime, this is a place for the short attention spanned. I'm making a commitment to keep it small here. Flash fiction and scenes from the life inspired by, The Bella Vista Motel.
Madge stepped into room number 12 reluctantly, ready to run right back out should she find that something awful had happened again. She gazed around the room, taking in the perfectly made bed, the dust-free night table with a sparkling clean glass ashtray, the mirror above the dresser spotlessly reflecting a tray that held a water pitcher, glasses and a big, black telephone, everything just as it should be, cleaned and arranged exactly as Madge had instructed, but she saw nothing that could have been the source of the glass shards all over the floor. Just as she was thinking that the girl must surely have broken something by accident, panicked and run away out of shame or fear that she'd be beaten for it, Slappy walked in, looked around also, shrugged, and picked up the broom that lay on the floor near the dustpan, his shoes crunching on the scattered glass. Then it hit them both... a wave of odor that permeated the room – burnt, metallic, bloody, with a strangely female edge – a smell like sex gone wrong that caused Madge to gag a little, cover her nose and mouth with her hand, step back and nearly slip where the glass fragments had dissolved into fat globules of water spreading out on the floor and diluting the blood into meaningless pink puddles. The smell disappeared as she caught her balance, cursed the wet floor and hands on hips, complained, "If that girl thinks she can walk off and not finish her work, she's going to learn different when I get a hold of her." She stared into Slappy's eyes briefly, challenging him to make a smart remark, but he just shook his head and brushed past her muttering, "I'll go get the mop."