The Last Stall

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The tattooed lady is the last stop on the sideshow. Jay finds her in a lone stall, behind a curtain shimmering like nacre. She stands naked, body long and lean and unadorned but for the black-ink snaked winding sinuously from the bird-boned curve of her left ankle to her right shoulder blade.

Jay watches it detach its diamond shaped head from her scapula, ribbon thin tongue tasting the air, the wriggling mouse she holds over her shoulder.

A smooth jaw-snapping lunge and the snake flattens back into ink, the lump of mouse now a strange, wiggling growth beneath her skin.

 

For this week’s 100 Word Challenge: Snake.

[Saturday Shorts] 6-24-17

Travel is something that’s generally encouraged: gap years, collegiate exchange programs, business trips, vacations. Travel expands our boundaries, provides us with new experiences. And that’s good. At least, within reason.

Once you move from tourist-vacationer to nomad, people start getting a little suspicious. There’s a long running trope, in life and in art, that travelers are running from something. Maybe a bad childhood, a love affair gone sour, a shady job.

I grew up a military brat, so travel was part of my life. During one stretch, I lived in three different states and one different country in a five year period. It didn’t seem like anything at the time. It still doesn’t. But to a lot of people, that’s a strange existence. If I’d been an adult, on my own, I’ve no doubt some people would have been wondering what my deal was.

I’m not as nomadic these days (it’s easier when your parents are shuffling you around or when you’re being sponsored by an employer) but I like to travel.

I like visiting places I’ve never been before, revisiting places that speak to me. I rent, I don’t buy. I’m not really interested in putting down roots; if the opportunity presents itself, I want few obstructions to keep me from packing up everything I own and leaving. (If I owned less, that’d be easier…but that’s another post entirely. See also: George Carlin’s bit on “Stuff.”)

 

THE PROMPT
 

Write a 1,000 word or less story about travel. Nomadism. Is your character running away from something? Or are they running toward something? Maybe both?

Need some extra oomph? Try this song.

I look back then I look away
Way that that blue sky fades
Feels like I’m runnin’ away
And I’m headin’ out to Santa Fe

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/6cssvT1W4c8&source=uds

Phantasm

photo by Joel Filipe – Unsplash

They rise and fall inside the tank, pale bodies cutting through the viscous fluid with the ease of razors through skin, and there’s something familiar in the shape of their heads, the condensed pearly rope where a spine might once have been, the long, translucent limbs that slap against the glass, testing for weakness, seeking escape.

“What are they?” she asks, pushing one sticky tendril that had wrapped itself around her thumb back into the tank.

“Once they were human…after a fashion; now, they are ghosts.”

 

For Three Line Tales.

[Saturday Shorts] 5-27-17

Doors are such a common, everyday sight that we pass them and pass through them without giving thought to the role they play in our lives, our mythology, our fiction.

They act as barriers and gateways.

The doors to our home keep us safe from the things that go bump in the night. They keep us safe from the world. Sometimes, they keep the world safe from us.

They are entrances. And exits.

They are in-between places. Stand in the middle of a doorway and you’re neither in the place you’ve just left nor in the place you’re going.

Write a 500 word story about doorways.