Flash Fiction

The Mapped and the Spoken

A/N: Lovely readers! I was recently featured in an online literary magazine, Dead Beats. The short story they published is called “The Mapped and the Spoken”. Please feel free to check out this link for the full story.

The Mapped and the Spoken
by: Ellise Ramos

The first warning you always gave me, before launching into your secrets was: “I need to know you’re not going to write about this, or fictionalize it in any form.”

You would stop then, as doubt took over. You would turn to me and try to size me, as if you were weighing the advantages versus the danger and consequence that came with telling of your story.

And then you would wait a full two minutes: a long, conscious soundlessness where the language I hear is the one spoken to me by your body—a vocabulary of gestures, a novel of wordlessness.

This is your story too, and forgive me for lending it my voice; I know how much you hate to be misinterpreted. But words are all we have, my darling, despite how limiting—it is all we have to translate and to let others know.

And because there is no other way for a revelation, let me cheat our memories by recounting it. Let me draw a clear demarcation in our lives, so that we can create a beginning and a possible end, and tell me how you like it.

And tell me you remember what we once said, what we once meant.

Remember how we painted the walls yellow while The Pixies blared from our stereo? When the landlord first showed us the apartment I tried to telepathically communicate to you: don’t look too eager, pretend we don’t want it. But your smile was wide and your eyes were bright with opportunity: we couldn’t haggle the rent lower, not with that so visibly naked grin. Back then you could accept, without hesitation, that things couldn’t belong to you, that the best we could do was to content ourselves with what we were given. We knew that owning things meant eventually becoming owned, and that was a concept we couldn’t let happen — not to us, not to our freedom.

 Read more at Dead Beats

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Character Portraits, Flash Fiction

Miss Representation

She sits on a leather-bound chair, stilettos clicking in tune with her fingers as they danced across her keyboard, sipping espressos by the minute and leaving lipstick stains on the rim of her white mug, decorated with names of writers only the educated could recognize: Beckett, Pinter, Bellow and Pynchon.

Soft knock on her door.

“Come in,” she barks, authority marked clearly on her voice.

A meek first year comes in, hunched over in his backpack, dishevelled hair and confused eyebrows bunched together in a face that screamed irretrievable disorientation.

“Miss?” his voice quivered, barely resembling a question.

“Yes?” she snapped impatiently.

“Will it be okay if I hand in my assignment late?”

“NO!” she cried out, making the first year’s head snap back into his neck like a turtle. “When I was in first year, I ALWAYS handed in my assignments on time! I didn’t even dream about asking for an extension, or making some goddamn lie about a dead grandmother! You went into this university and by doing so, you entered into an agreement – A PROFESSIONAL ONE – that you will abide by the holiness of the deadline and nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, should ever differentiate from that! Have you no shame?! Have you no integrity?! If I give YOU an extension, then I’d have to give EVERYBODY an extension! Do you think that’s fair for me?! Marking until the dawn of September just because you goddamn froshies can’t get it together enough to write a dog-simple essay?! My ass can write your 1,000 word essay in one goddamn minute! You do your essay! YOU GO DO YOUR ESSAY RIGHT NOW!”

The first year managed to peek out of his neck long enough to offer a meek nod, and in doing so, nudged a donut out of his pocket.

“WHAT IS THAT”

“It’s a donut, ma’am,” he said, tears forming at the corner of his eyes, regretting the second he decided to line up at Tim Horton’s before gathering the courage to knock at his professor’s door.

“YOU GET THAT GODDAMN DONUT OUT OF HERE AND DO YOUR GODDAMN DOG-SIMPLE ESSAY!”

And with that, the first year ducked out of her office, heart pounding, crushed donut balled in with his clenched fists. Another first year was waiting outside the door, shocked at all the commotion that occurred inside.

He glanced at the trembling freshman up and down before asking, “So, did you get an extension?”

“Hell no,” he replied, “but man, she had some nice tits.”

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