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Monday, February 14, 2011

Story Excerpt #4

Happy Valentines Day! I'm stuck at work when all I wanna do is be with my man.

Dying of writerly exhaustion! Crippled by self-doubt! She crawls from the mud to emerge victorious...THE ATTACK OF THE FIVE-FOOT-EIGHT WOMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wanted to post the climax of my new story, but...it was just so long. But I'll tell you a little secret. I totally based this plot on the great flash fiction, Nightswimming, written by none other than the legendary Self! This excerpt won't make any sense, though. Don't worry! You can read the whole thing in the Best American Unpublished Work On Tori's Desktop 2011.

Did somebody say 5:00 PM? No? Oh.

from Night Swimming (yeah, I put a space in thurr)


Little girl:

Her mother always insisted on swimming naked in the creek behind Grandma's house. She slipped out of her garish skirt, unbuttoning the lightweight blue shirt she wore most of the days in the summer. It was awful.

“But Mom! Can't we use swimsuits this time?”

The worst part of the show was the removal of the beige bra, the smallish breasts falling free against her chest, the wriggle out of the underwear with the tight black waist that left a red line on her skin. Men, fishing for illegal trout along the opposite bank, didn't even stare that much.


Young woman:

The pines have a forbidden warmth to them. You can't quite feel it but you can tell from the secret globules of sap hidden behind the needles. The sap, oozing out of the warm sentient heart. Lucy lifts up the needles, looking at the patterns in the bark. Her mittens leave little puffs of red on everything sticky that she touches.

A squirrel screams from her lookout at the top of a pine.

If there are messages in the bark, they're impossible to decipher. The pines are coy, dark, faux-amnesiac. “We don't keep track,” they say. “We don't remember that.” But their ancient bark belies them. Now Lucy is looking for secret forts built of old pine branches, stockpiled with pine cones, insulated by the viscous needles. There's nothing, not even a tiny fort between the old pine roots. Nobody lives here.

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You are truly great.