In Control – a flash fiction.

Hello there observer.

“Tom, there’s no way that they can take another round. See that ocular leakage, way over tolerance.”

“Yeah, yeah I know Bill. I can hear too can’t I? Ancestral recall or personal identification with Canis lupus do you think?”

“No family resemblance but that baying is putting my skin on edge regardless. How you want to do this? We’ll get some sympathy views if we drag it out—personal favorite of mine I’ll have you know since this is our first time working together—might even get a couple more weeks out of the budget. Holds a lot of risk with this pair though from what we’ve seen and neither of us wants to explain why we’re carting off a pair of body bags.”

“Fair point. How would you feel about a hybrid? Start off slow but keep an eye on a drop dead date where it all crescendos again and forces a clean cut. Watched Geoff do something similar once. Takes finesse, as always, but it can be done.”

“I’m game, closeouts are your arena anyways from what I hear, I’m better at the fluff and the early game. Just let me know the confidence and insecurity tables you want to use before we start so I can keep things on track.”

“Retro-consideration and empathetic quotients are going to be key factors as well. Can you send Jim to let psych know that we will need their numbers first. Future orientation has always been lacking in 5KY3 and like you said, we don’t want any b-bags.”

“No problem. Such a shame.”


“Really thought it was going to work this time.”

Nude Dancing and a Picnic

-in response to “Mandy Shupe” from Flash Fiction.

I feel rather than see the presence of another one, no two humans as they enter my shaded glen of woodworked perfection. One of them is liquored to the gills and the smell of morning whisky stains against my paneling not unlike the lacquer of years past when first I was blessed in methanol fumes. It is the bigger of the two, the other is waif-like and barely disturbs the air around her in the passing. The smaller flits across the greenery pooled around me as though she were afraid that lighting too long in any one spot would leave an indelible and unforgivable impression.

I have heard the clangs of bells all morning, their reverberations, their metallic dance of proud beasts struck with reverence. It must be a Sunday and soon all will be making their way to my embrace to share the welcome capturing of wood on ass and food in gut. Before the end of today I will grow mountains of items hot and cold to be plucked at by the scuttling people who traipse around my body in their semi-drunken wobble of tipsy delight, a special salsa to a beat that only they can hear.

Now, now it is too early for people to be joining me and I wonder at the carefree interlopers to my beachside glen….thunk.

Melted and reformed glass slams down on me, fizzy bubbles escape to run down the side and douse my groin in a champagne vignette of merriment.

The small one places a foot on my leg and presses itself up, and up again so that their feet stand stably on my strapped belly. Firm and confident, they still feel loose and comfortable, butterfly toes and bumblebee bellies hold more weight.

A shuffle above and some shimmying results in linen dropping loose and falling down across my arms, a double whump as harder hoof pieces trip off a shoulder to settle thump thump into the grass pond. I can sense the delight mounting as several more pieces come unraveled from around the tiny beast zip, zoots, zot and finish raining down around us.

Atop my chest now the hooves begin to tap out a rhythmic pattern, like the wasps who dance to each other instead of speaking. The toes slide, tap…tap, slide…slide tap and the body begins to whirlwind around itself faster compelled by something far beyond my understanding.

 The human beast wears nothing but their skin. Just skin and sunlight and the dancing partner of shadowed leaves racing to keep the pace. Skin changes colors and arrangement, from light pink at the points of her hillside chest to cream spotted with kisses from the sun in freckled patterns haloed in healthy Earth toned brown silhouetted by the great azure ocean above.

I am enthralled. It does not hurt, I have never been a dancefloor before now. Though once a man did tie a throat rope up to the thicker of branches overhead and do a soundless jig in mid-air, his shadowy feet casting wildly about until they moved no more.

Today I am something new.

The champagne runs between fingers and the larger beast laughs, guffaws, others are stopping to stare. I don’t mind them. They can’t yet see but come next Sunday there will be new secrets painted across me, applied one freedom filled dirty footstep at a time.