Twisted Fiction Press

Archive for November, 2009

Higher

by on Nov.12, 2009, under Flash

by J.S. Breukelaar

Bobby left the apartment and went to find the DJ, but the DJ had left the building. At the end of the hall, he pushed through a door and began to climb the stairs, dark drifts of dust at the edges. At the top of the stairs, he pushed hard against another door, stepping over butts and condoms jizzed to the spongy threshold, the smell so sad, and the door opened to the night and there she was, up on the roof, sitting with her back to him high above the silent streets.

‘Listen to me,’ the DJ said.

He wiped his eyes and went toward her until he reached the edge. On the long empty road far beneath her dangling legs some shadows moved and some didn’t.

‘I’ve played in Varanasi. The band set up on a ghat beside the piles of white ash. Ram, my roadie at the time—I picked him up in Cairo—had to kick aside a human femur to hook up the amp. Once I played in the Rio favela, the decks set up on an overturned bathtub on the roof of someone’s kitchen, and twice I blew a marine outside of Fallujah for some scag, but I don’t remember the first time. The second time I met you I wrote you a song, but I lost it, and the remix isn’t as good. Out of one song comes another, each dream a little death. I got the giggles over a mass grave outside of Kladovo, it’s the way it hits you sometimes, but it only hurts when I laugh. I slept in a Malaysian body parts depot or tried to, just to put myself in the mood for our homecoming tour. But you never came. I heard you on a radio interview once. You called in with a question. I was down Sonora Beach at the time. I’d dropped the mic down into a dumpster for some unique samples, the wind blowing across the dunes through the ears of a rodent. But all I got were the sounds of teeth on metal. You wanted to know what song I would play to someone who had just been born.’

Bobby sat down beside the DJ on the ledge, his legs dangling into space next to hers, and the wind gusting all around. He knew she would not let him fall.

J.S. Breukelaar is a Sydney based writer.
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Heavy Weather

by on Nov.11, 2009, under Flash

by Jay Stern

It was a zombie day. One of them sat on a branch of the old box gum across the street, eating his own entrails. The sky so grey, the streetlights so sulphurous. Night had not come. It would never come. The zombies on the porch next door were making a meal out of Mrs Baldacci. I remembered Mrs Baldacci’s nettle risotto. I’d never eat that again. So many experiences gone forever. Elaine lay still beside me. One half of her face bitten like a cookie, but that didn’t spoil her beauty. Not to me.

Jay Stern attends the University of Western Sydney.
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Life, Schmife

by on Nov.04, 2009, under Flash

By Jay Stern (with apologies to Ron Carlson)

What if Bigfoot stole my life? I mean, my wife. What if Bigfoot stole my wife? Someone in class came up with that, and they said it wasn’t original, but it ‘resonated’ more for them than the other idea being floated: What if a guy discovers a surprising tattoo behind his knee? That just didn’t do it for them. They’d first heard the Bigfoot idea from a previous writing teacher, and the class decided to go with it. What if Bigfoot stole my wife? Write for fifteen minutes, class, on what if Bigfoot stole my life? What if the earth running between my fingers was not my earth? Or if the night in this place where I stand not knowing how I got here or when, is not the night of dark earth and winter leaves, but in my flared and wary nostrils, the smell of lemon and dry dust? What if Bigfoot stole my night? Did my friends choose me, or did I choose them? Who abducted who? Where are my real friends? People I know. Places I’ve been. Bigfoot came along, honestly, and said, look! Up in the sky! And while I was looking the other way, he stole my child. I told them it was Bigfoot because he was the guy who was with her last. She was my angel. And now she is real. Really gone. I haven’t seen her for years. I follow her life on Facebook. All those pictures. Isn’t she beautiful? She’s the one with Bigfoot. The guy who stole my life, my night, my child.

What if he woke up one day to discover a surprising tattoo behind his knee?

Jay Stern attends the University of Western Sydney.
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