Oh memory

Trieste, somewhere near Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia, a youngish woman exiting a gelateria with a cone stacked high. Made me think of a sack due to the shapeless brown dress, which seemed to cover a heavy structure. And immediately I thought of someone in a movie recently seen who wore sack-like clothes until the very end, when she revealed herself as quite shapely in something much more revealing. All premeditated audience goading, of course. But not so likely to happen here.

– James Steerforth (© 2018)

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For hire

For hire - photo by Johannes BeilharzYou see, my immense success is all due to that watch – it all started with that watch, which projects just the right image of wealth and manliness. And now I’m the owner of a nice red car, a monkey and two slaves … err … employees. And have been touring the world teaching and enabling personal success. Call me at 1-800-C-O-A-C-H.

 

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The WTF poem

“WTF – I wonder how that is pronounced…”
“Not that easy to say, it being Proto-Srpko-Pannonian.
Not at all what you would guess from the spelling.
Probably sounded like hwiss, the final f generally
being mute for all we know.”
“And, pray tell me, what does it mean?”
“Something like What the heck.”

– James Steerforth (© 2018)

One of the pieces from the forthcoming Erudite Matters.

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Happy ending

That’s what YOU call a happy ending: you plundered our joint bank account, maxed out our credit cards and ran off with the Austrian masseur who looks like Arnold reborn and is twenty-eight years younger than you. While I’m home with the debts and three hungry children. Thank you, Lucille!

– James Steerforth (© 2017)

Flash fiction in 50 words.

Loosely based on a song by Kenny Rogers:

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A confession. Sort of.

I know it’s not really an excuse, as if I gave a damn anyhow, but one night when my dad had grounded me and both my parents the jerks were out I got fucking drunk while listening to music and snuck down to the car park around 3 or 4 in the morning with the baseball bat and smashed that old German guy’s car window on the driver’s side, fucking mad at him because he’d complained to my dad about me playing music too loud in the middle of the night. Made me fucking mad. These old fuddy-duddies with their boring lives and need to sleep. I’m a free spirit and I need my rock, and I mean as loud as I like, whenever I feel like it. Nobody knows who I am on the Internet, that’s why I’m publishing this.

– James Steerforth (© 2017)

Notes
By no means recommended for copy-catting!
It’s been said about me that I can creep into anyone and speak as if I were them. This is an exercise in precisely that.
What inspired this story – besides some similar real events to those related in it – was the 2016 Italian film Fiore that portrays a girl about the same age as the first person narrator above (i.e. about sixteen, seventeen) who earns some spending money holding up people in dark passages by putting a knife to their throat and demanding their cell phone, including the password. She ends up getting caught and going to prison. The interesting thing about the character is that there is no indication whatsoever that she regrets these robberies or feels that there’s anything wrong with them. It is likely that she’ll continue where she left off once she gets out of jail.

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I could definitely like that cutie

“Hey!”
A short-haired blonde with freckles and a turned-up nose had come to a stop to let her Labrador or whatever that big black thing was take a dump at my entrance.
“Yes?”
“Better clean that up!”
A mischievous nod of obedience.
Real or fake?
I’d see in a minute. But now I had to go inside to answer that insistent phone.

– James Steerforth (© 2017)

Woven around mischievous, nod and obedience from 3WW, week 521.

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The target

“Target is crossing street. Following.”
“Love that swaying little ass of hers.”
“Shut up, Jeremy.”
“Wonder what she’s done that we’re going after her.”
“Target keeps looking back, seems nervous.”
“Reminds me of Diana. Lady Di.”
“Don’t need your puerile phantasies, Jeremy.”
“Just saying. She’s definitely cute.”
“Target turned left into 10th Street. Staying behind.”
“Are the Russians after her?”
“What Russians? You been watching too many stupid movies.”
“The Russian mafia. Maybe her boyfriend’s involved.”
“Target is walking faster, keeps looking around. Not at us, I don’t think.”
“Or the IRS. But she doesn’t look like big fish.”
“Black Audi, Jersey license plates. Target looking to cross street.”
“Feel completely superfluous, John. Just following you, taking orders. Complete waste.”
“Shut the fuck up, Jeremy. We’re on a job.”
“I’ll bet you anything she’s on to us.”
“Target crossing.”
“Wanna bet?”
“Audi speeds up. Target hit!”
“What the fuck!”
“Audi speeds off. Target motionless on ground.”

– James Steerforth (© 2016)

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