Long and winding

I’m staring down at the old bag when she sticks out her hand for me to shake. Except it isn’t a real shake – she just offers me her fingers like she’s reaching to pat a dog.

Christ, her head is a mess. The old fart who brought me to the interview warned me. He said just focus on her pretty green eyes but I can’t help staring down at her. I’m 5’ 11”, everyone looks short to me. When she says she’s five foot three I hold the snort. Unless snootiness is measured in inches, I’m thinking – and there’s lots of that coming out of her Mexican Hairless-with-psoriasis scalp.

I want the job though, I really do, but she’s a bit much with her how d’you do’s and let’s have a cuppa tea and chat about your goals in life. Sure, Vee – that’s her name – my goals? How about: I don’t want to take my clothes off in strip bars and give masturbators’ their jollies anymore. I don’t want to live on Midden Road where the sump pump overflows as regular as high tide. I’m sick of living with roommates who think seasonal work means beach baking in the summer and bumming smokes in the winter. I don’t want to reknit the same dress the rest of my life.

Yes, I say, I’m a knitter. That’s my act. I unravel a knitted dress for the big reveal. The masturbators love it. But then they don’t know what to do when a vision of their knitting mommy pops up along with the woodie. I kinda giggle thinking about it. I imagine them stiffening and shrinking as their conscience beats them – no pun intended. My wool stash comes from the Sally Ann. You can’t believe what people junk. The ugliest Icelandic sweater I’ve ever seen was made from the best Alpaca. I bought it for four bucks. Ripped it all out and re-made it into a tunic.

I’ve totally destroyed the interview. She blinks a lot, winking on and off, as though she’s a light bulb about to pop. She turns red, too when I talk about the masturbators, even the top of her head. Oh my God. When am I going to learn to shut up. It’s the first interview in three years where I don’t get asked to audition – a strip club owner’s version of “Show me your tits.”

I don’t even know why I’m telling her the truth. Maybe because of her head. I’m not even sure what the job is. Modeling I think. But then Vee starts going on about her plans for the business. I like the one where she says I’ll be a busker – I can keep the proceeds (WOOT!). I’ll go around to farmers’ markets with one of the llamas from their farm, be wrapped up in wool – a giant ball – with a string attached to the llama. I ask if the ball will unwind and I’ll be left standing there in a teeny weeny string bikini. I can see she sort of likes that idea but then she asks Would I like to do that? No, I say. Then we won’t, she says.

I forgot to ask how much the job pays.

<a href=”http://yeahwrite.me/fiction-poetry-writing-challenge-231/”><img src=”http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/fiction231.png”></a&gt;

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24 thoughts on “Long and winding

    • Hi Stacie, Thanks! As I write these practice pieces I try to make them stand alone, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not so much. Glad this one worked.

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  1. The backstory hints you placed throughout this got me to click the links, so I think you’ve succeeded in hooking me. I giggled that I left the scene as clueless to the job as your narrator. I thought she was trying to leave the stripper industry, why would Vee even ask if she’d be willing to unravel the llama thread? What employer would ask their interviewee to do that?

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        • No, Vee and the old fart have been through rather a lot. In truth, James, I don’t plan these vignettes/flashes too much. Mostly they are writing exercises for me and I’ve been working on characterization. On reading this again I see a few holes, such as the one your raised, that should have been plugged but in my haste, well, they got missed. I’ll keep working on the plugging the holes.

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    • Thanks, Jennifer. As I mentioned to Cynthia, I’ve been working on characterization so it’s good to hear this comment.

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        • I appreciate the comment, Cynthia because I’m working on characterization with the aid of a book called Developing Characters by Irving Weinman. It’s helpful though certainly not easy to achieve the results I want. Most of what I’m posting here are drafts that will probably never go any further but they’re good exercises.

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          • Well, you are already doing quite well, I think. This character is not just flat or stereotypical,—though she can be seen as typical—- but has a certain dimension of ambiguity about her, by the end of the story. As ugly as you make Vee,( in the estimation of the main voice) even Vee gathers a smidgin of dignity here.

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