Two Short Stories
by Helen Peterson
"A Little Red" & "Hello Young Lovers"
"A Little Red"
Molly growled, clicking through the channels. There was nothing but crap on TV, crappy reality shows, crappy game shows, just crap. She finally stopped on Fatal Attraction, playing for the 400th time on TNT this week, when her foot began to ache. A splinter. Damn. She set down the Welsh Rarebit she'd been nibbling on and tried to dig it out as Glenn Close got hers on the screen. Stupid splinter, dug in so deep, what had Rob been thinking, dragging her out into the woods dressed like that? Oh well, he won't make that mistake again, she chuckled, licking the melted cheese from her wrist, flicking his skin out from underneath her fingernails. The movie ended and she turned off the tube. This was the last time one of those mangy animals was going to mess with her. She ran outside to the garage, grabbed the can of black spray paint, and ran out, nearly stubbing her toe on her dad’s old ax on the mad dash out. She chuckled when she thought of the old man, how he’d taught her every inch of that forest as a kid. Too bad Rob never thought to listen to her childhood small talk the nights he’d come slinking around the bars after her, as if he’d caught the scent of something he couldn’t shake. Oh well. There was just enough in the can to make a likeness. Molly stepped back from her masterpiece, digging the gristle from between her teeth with the sliver of bone she’d finally removed from her foot. The legs were a little lean, but the message was clear enough, the hunch of the back, the gaping mouth and dead red eyes. It should keep the rest of the wolves away. Molly grinned and snapped off the crimson cape. It fell from her shoulders and into the mud as she strode back into the cottage.
"Hello Young Lovers"
She believed his tongue tasted like a tree frog’s breakfast somewhere deep in the Amazon, where light feared to tread the earth, a kind of insect trapped in a fringe of moss 100 years old, not unlike the dead skin delicately flaking off from his lips, landing like rose petals on the new pedal pushers her mom bought her last weekend half off. Her grandmother liked to tell stories-- the story of growing up without television, the story of Dad when he was just little Benny running around without drawers on. The story of first love, the first kiss. Grandma would always go a little soft and whispery with the love stories, she would look her granddaughter in the eyes and say “Doll, you never forget. You judge all the rest by that first one. So make it good, baby girl.” She believed in stories. She believed in the charity of second chances. So she bit his lip a little, hoping he’d let off a bit so she could catch her breath, swallowed down what she hoped was spit, and kissed on.
© 2009 Moronic Ox Literary Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books
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About the Author:
Helen Peterson is the managing editor of Chopper Poetry Journal in New London, Ct, and has previously published in Fell Swoop, Main Channel Voices, Gloom Cupboard, Tonopah Review, Cartier Street Review, Poor Mojo’s, Wilderness House Review, Battered Suitcase, diddledog, Hiss Quarterly, Right Hand Pointing, Elimae, Haruah, Zygote in My Coffee, Pedestal Magazine (book review), Literary Fever, Debris Magazine, and Poetrybay, among others. Currently she has work in Girls With Insurance, Out of Our, and Elephant, and will have work in the upcoming spring issue of poeticdiversity. Her work was also featured in The Work Book, an anthology put out by Poet Plant Press in 2007. She just got an email today that she might be out of work very soon, so appreciates you reading her work, and would like a dollar now please.
New England Poetry
Critic Patricia Ann Jones:
"A Face in the Moon is a Shakespearean-like tale
with a twist. Waldman’s deft narration and rich characterizations make
him an author to watch."