Honorable Mention
Flash Fiction
by Amy Culberg



Flash Fiction Honorable Mention

by amy culberg
Honorable Mention
2003 Storycove Flash Fiction Award


Once, I had a flirtation with the Chicago Reader delivery driver, while I worked at Powell's bookstore in Hyde Park, with a seven-foot tall Canadian, who didn't recognize me on the street, but read me pages of poetry stained
in wine, at the cash register.

I noticed him too, but at that time, I liked the attention from the almost stranger, Reader delivery driver, who brought me coffee and stuff he found on the street, like dropped lipstick and single earrings, who was trying to marry me to get his papers, from England, that piece of land where
Tony Blair would lose to a prom queen, at this point, even thought Brits normally like smart people with bad teeth, which I had,
but hidden behind tight lips.

Did you know that a long time ago, that in England, that they were trying to transplant teeth, from dead young rich people into the mouths of
live old rich people? They died of bad teeth instead of old age, which is strange, I think, cause I don't think of the British as particularly vain.

Meanwhile, here, in the States, hundreds of years later, I cooed at the British Reader man, who would, years from the night of the storm, hang up on me, but not before he said "Too late! Too late!"

Which made me think we were either talking about Love or Visas, which are both hard to come by, for both visitors and citizens. He called me during our first shared storm, when I was living in the
bario with two heroin addicts, who I used to talk to from underneath a quilt, because they could smoke for hours with nodding heads, like those
dogs you put in the rear window of your car.

The sky was ripping open, like last night, lightning that bounced off of my chest, like black-light that makes your socks blue, but flashes, like an old-fashioned photograph behind a small black curtain. I even thought I'd been hit, at one point, and I pulled up my t-shirt up to check where the
light flashed, but I was inside, where I always was, not like the first Chicagoans, who stood on naked ground and watched, like sunsets, the prairie fires, born from dry winds and barbequing bison, burn the competing forests. The reader man called from a Lakefront payphone, his voice accompanied by the pitter-patter of rain on dry-tar and crackle of spark-spitting
electricity that magnified his question.

"Did you see that?" He asked, soaking wet and nearer to electricity, and those words hung onto me, like some voodoo glue, so that every storm
since, the memory of him occupies the pavement below my window, forever asking me to watch the sky crack open, with him, like he bought that part of me on the black market.


::Word Smitten's Annual TenTen Call for Fiction::
::the deadline to enter next year's competition is July 1, 2004::
::submission for reading and registration begins May 31 each year::
::this short story contest awards $1,010.00::


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