Author Topic: Short Story Excerpt/Adult Language/1400 Words  (Read 239 times)

Offline ponpan

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Short Story Excerpt/Adult Language/1400 Words
« on: January 11, 2019, 05:58:21 AM »
Hi there My name is Ponpan
 Hey, folks. I've been putting together a book of short stories, each around 6-7K words. I've completed three of them. I'm attempting to write each story in different styles, playing with tenses, voice, etc. Below is an excerpt form the fourth story. Let me hear your thoughts!

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The key to being a spirit medium, the key for any conman, is to know when you’ve almost worn out your welcome. I mean, I’m good—real good—but eventually people wise up and walk away.

Or worse, run out of money.

For instance, every once in a while, I’ll get invited to someone’s home to hold a “séance party”. Mrs. Whats-her-face is a long-time client. She came to me when her father died of liver failure. She came to me when she thought her daughter was pregnant. She came to me when Trump was voted into office, asking about “omens of doom.” Whatever that means. About six months, this woman was in and out of my parlor, coming to hear me say things like, Your aura is bruised. The spirit world is communicating, but are you failing to listen? Again, all of this horseshit.

So I get a phone call, the one I was telling you about, the phone call where everything turns to shit. This chick, Whats-her-face, calls and says, “My husband is out of state for a conference. Is it possible to book you for a small gathering at my place?”

Immediately, I know this is the beginning of the end of our consumer/provider relationship. The best thing to do here is to charge triple—even quadruple—what I’d usually charge. In advance.

In the early 90s, McDonalds was really blowing up. A drive-thru ended up on every major street corner, the big golden arches spaced about twenty miles along every interstate. The big wigs in home office know that maintaining quality food with this many chains would be nearly impossible. Not to mention how difficult it is to provide a dining experience for people eating inside, and speed for those eating on the go. They approached this problem with a psychological solution: hard, cheap plastic seats. Sit and eat for more than five minutes, and your ass is so sore, you can’t wait to leave. In every McDonalds, high quantities of bright yellows and reds—colors denoting urgency. Everything about the layout screaming go, go, go. Google “hostile architecture.” Google “aggressive interior design.” The trick to getting more money, the trick to not pissing off scores of customers, is to get them in and out of their own volition before they have time to complain. Customer experiences in high quantity, not quality.

When working away from my parlor, in some hostess’ house, with all her skeptical friends drinking white wine and judging each other’s nails—I know my presentation will be shit. Without the theater design, without the diffusion of saffron oil, without a track of chanting monks playing at low volume, my whole shtick is nearly impossible to pull off. Suddenly, under the lighting in this chick’s dining room, my mysterious goatee looks… glued on. With everyone around me at the table dressed in GAP, my second hand robes look dingy. I’ve got a little more eye liner on one side than the other. Don’t look too close, because, yes, I’m wearing silver-tinted contacts. Before the séance even begins, I’ve already these people. This is why I charge so much for home visits. The big bang marking the end of steady income.

Our hostess says something like, “Guys. I promise. Victor here is the real thing.” But there’s a hint of doubt in her voice.

Lighting a cigarette, I say, “So, are we gonna do this?”

One of these Gucci soccer moms looks over, appalled, and says, “Tobacco is really bad for your health.”

Yeah, with the inflection and everything.

And blowing smoke, I say, “I’ve read your palm, sweetheart. Between you and me, I’m not the one who should be worried about cancer.”

Half way through the séance, and people are rolling their eyes. Whats-her-face is bright pink, and drunk, the bottle of pino grigio sitting a few inches from her glass. I stand up and bow, saying, “Ladies, the mysteries of the spirit dimension must wait. I need a piss.”

I make my way to the bathroom, up polished wood stairs. A few minutes later, I’m wiping my hands on a monogrammed towel when I hear something. Singing. A low, croaking kind of voice singing in what sounds like Russian. Cocking my head to the side, I’m walking down the hall towards a partially shut door, lamplight inside spilling out from underneath. Behind me, from downstairs, Whats-her-face is apologizing to her friends between hiccups. I press my ear against the door to catch the tune being sung and the singing stops. My hand flat on the door, I push it open.

This is where I first meet the Glass-Eyed Woman. Sitting on the edge of a twin bed, wrinkled and veiny hands resting shakily on her lap. She’s ancient. Decrepit. Barefooted In a pale nightgown, I can make out the shape of her tits, sunk low, sitting heavy
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