One Trick Pony

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.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Madge Makes Up Her Mind

Madge put her hands on her hips, blew away a stray strand of auburn hair and contemplated the tub full of bloodied sheets soaking in cold water next to the washing machine. Considering the hours of cold water soaking, the borax rubbing, the lemon and sunlight bleaching that would have to go into this current batch, just to end up with ghostly outlines of mayhem marring the white cotton anyway, she thought to herself for about the hundredth time, god damn it all, we need to hire help. She had learned to tolerate the smell of fresh blood mingled with stale carpet, the texture of brain and bone when reduced by gunfire (or some heavy object, a frying pan, say... but no, oh no girl, don't think about that) to sticky pudding jelling up on surfaces or stiffening in the weave of textiles. It might not be easy to find help who could be trusted to say nothing of what went on, who had been dulled to her level of pragmatic tolerance by repeated exposure to the messes men make, but even Romeo had begun to consider the idea that the motel was too much for her and Slappy alone to maintain. Sometimes she got angry at the motel and took it out on Romeo, saying things she later regretted about throwing her life away, wasting her youth, her talent, her looks, all so she could stay with him, all because he wouldn't run away with her. She wiped her hands on her apron, and fingering the embroidered poppies along its edge, remembered some insult her daddy had snarled at her years ago about the Mexican half-breed women that lived out on the flats, how they were better at housekeeping and knew enough to keep their mouths shut around men and she thought, hold on now, one of them just might do...