Thursday, August 1, 2013

Two very short minimalist stories (in progress)

Two exercises in minimalism using the technique of consecution.

'Lunch Dynamics'

It made her friends uneasy when she bought them lunch, which occurred not infrequently. She never used the food as a tool, but it did help to move things along with people. She always wanted to go to the same restaurant too. A wood filled place near the university and right on the water.
All the servers knew her, asked about her, asked how she was. They had the decency not to ask about dad. At the end of the meal she would pull out a blue credit card with her father’s name on it. ‘The city wasn’t going to pay for lost revenue. At all,’ When the card came back, there were always apathetic rows of zeros along the bottom where to total could be. ‘Now I guess they offered fifteen million, which is something, but one place alone wanted sixteen so…you get the idea’
Once a friend, a male said, ‘If I knew it was gonna be so free I would have gotten something more expensive. Something smaller.’ She had to smile at this though she had heard its iterations too many times before.
 It was the kind of food which did not last well in the fridge but she gave it to her friends to take home anyways. This, in part, may explain the unease.
‘Here take it, take it. My stomach has been terrible recently. I can’t eat unless I smoke and I can’t smoke cuz I’m at home.’

'Wonderous Teeth'

They had been dating for five, maybe six months before he first saw her brush her teeth. She took the brush in hand, added a dab of paste, stuck it in her mouth and sucked for thirty seconds. The raw brush, its bristles unruffled after years maybe, she washed and shoved back in the cabinet. He had to wonder but hardly had the heart to correct her, the poor soul. She had good teeth, though, just naturally. Born with small pits and tartar guarded gums. Braceless since birth. He always wondered at her two perfect rows. In the three years they had each other’s company she never mentioned a dentist. He would wonder on it often.
Laying on the ground on a sunny day he told a joke and she laughed loud, open mouthed. The angles were just right, for just a second. The back side was a row of bore holes, happy and round in their enamel homes.
            ‘I’m just saying it might be a good idea, considering the time that has passed.’
            She curled up, facing away, like he had struck her. Silent for a whole minute.
            ‘That means talking insurance’
            He knew if she didn’t call then, she would not call the next day, nor any day after. So he told her. So she called.

            It would usually happen right after the calls though that day she decided to hold it in. She let it out in small, confusing bites until they were at home, in bed and half drunk. That was when the rest came out and he could finally stop wondering.


  1. I wish someone could explain to me the last paragraph of 'Wonderous Teeth'.

    1. this story was more of an exercise than anything else but the idea was: to discuss her insurance she has to call someone (a family member most likely) with which she has a bad relationship. after these calls she takes out her frustration (caused by this relationship, the call) on her boyfriend, usually in 'little bites' but this time it all came out at once. Thus he realized why she never brushes her teeth: it is connected to this bad relationship etc. Thanks for reading my stuff.