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The real life of the party is where absolutely nobody fucking cares just how lame they are potentially being. They don’t fucking care if they’re playing the most overplayed song of the summer, because it’s fucking good, and they’re jumping on the bed and spilling beers and cotton candy martinis. They’re wearing sunglasses inside, and the only politics that matter are of positivity and life and freedom. It’s the side of drug culture where nobody is using without friends looking out for them, and the music is amping up the experience, and it feels like the party is going to go on forever, and you feel really and truly young, for once not terrified of the future or the present or resenting the past.

And, in the morning—where the clock reads 1 pm and it’s daylight, afternoon to the normal—you want everything and have nothing. You know everything in your head is unoriginal and you want to delete everything you write and melodramatically tear apart or burn your journals.

Headphones were yanked away, and the world crumbled into the sounds of tinnitus from the grandiose world of crashing possibilities.

“Okay, great American author, we have to talk. How’ve ya been? How’s school? Makin’ fraynds?”

Clark looked up at his PA. She was young, brunette, gorgeous, and five years older than he was. Completely perfect. Exactly what he had asked for (demanded).

“You’re back from vacation,” he said.

“Oh, what’s getting back early from a free visit at a friend’s Spanish villa because your mole on the inside sends the call ‘Creo que Señor Clark se está convirtiendo en depresión suicida,’” she said. “He only wanted to get into my lacy white panties anyway.”

Clark looked away, imagining that his glasses covered the blush on his cheeks.

“It’s nice to see you, Elisabeth,” he managed.

“Thanks boy-o. Now, enough bullshit. You know I’m here for you. How have things been.” Matter-of-fact was the first stage of dealing with his problems. That was good—she only got to coddling and comforting if things were really bad.

“Fine,” he answered.

“Great. Universal code word for ‘not fine.’ Which I knew coming in. So, you sit here and try to preserve what’s left of your hearing and I’m gonna go check your medicines and the rest, cool? Cool.” She never waited to hear if it was cool before confirming it was cool. If he ever wrote a woman like her into a story, she wouldn’t seem real. She would be some down-to-earth version of a MPDG that fixed the hero up by being filled with sense instead of whimsy, but dumbing the whole person down to his being in love with her. She would be endless fuel for a never-dying flame of self-loathing of being so above him, being so universally better, if she didn’t somehow make him feel like he was worth the effort she put into keeping his life and work on track. That was the miracle—turning the manic-ly depressive teenage genius into a consistent success.

He followed behind her, floating around like a nervous kid on career shadowing day while she looked through his medicine cabinet to count the poisons that kept him in line and other things to counteract the side effect and symptoms of the main medicines.

“So, Clark, have you been doing school?” she called. She was like Lois Lane meets Ellen Page meets a Rashida Jones character.

“I-I’m behind, but I’ve been doing it.”

“Yep. Cool. Great.” She spoke as she continued to check other things. Routine gave a structured framework that helped him not get too bad before help could intervene, and daily hygiene rituals provided checkpoints to help Elisabeth tell how things were when she was away.

“Y-you didn’t have to hurry back,” he said.

“I wanted to,” she answered, and it sounded like one of those things that’s a lie and not a lie at once. “B-t-dubs, since this kind of thing is cool to me, I saw your books at the airports I went through. More the American ones than the Spanish one, but the first one was translated and still shelved with the bestsellers. So. Y’know. It was pretty coo.”

Clark laughed unnecessarily at the pronunciation of “cool,” like he did every time she approached positive news this way. “Yeah, pretty cool,” he returned, his voice cracking on the last syllable.

“Okey dokey. So we just need to check the fridge and the cards and boring things like that and I’m done with the more handler-y portion of my catch-up. You want to mention anything yet about how you were? I tried not to read what you were writing when I walked up, but a tiny bit was unavoidable.”

“Was it good?” he asked.

“It was certainly in a genre—one where ‘good’ has less of an impact than ‘coherently stylish,’ which that was. I would have to be in the right kind of mood to read it and get what I was supposed to out of it. I think you should go for it, and then your agent and I will find the right editor to throw it at, and then we will, and the success will commence.”

“Okay,” he answered, still following behind at half a room’s distance. “Do you think I’m a good writer?”

“Yeah,” she answered. “You’d have to be to afford an apartment and assistant at seventeen.”

“Most seventeen year olds live with their parents.”

“In America. It’s amazing how young kids move out in other countries. I still can’t afford an apartment this nice, and that was the entire plan with going to college and mumblecough grad school.”

“You could live here. With me.”

“Nah, kid,” she said, walking towards a door close to his left. “People need to go home from their jobs. It’s important. Helps us get out of things that weigh us down.”

“I should try that…” he mumbled, but she was already in the other room.
Mostly-Empty Writer's Apartment
About to give up on being on time with FFM, but not quite yet given up on finishing entirely.

More semi-literary schlock.
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: sexual themes and strong language)
Take a hotel in a semi-prominent historical city in the American South on a weekend with no holidays and fill it with a bunch of undergrads and professors: call it a convention, sponsored by a larger society represented by a proud history of standards and scholarship and three Greek letters.

Say your convention starts on Thursday, and because we like to have fun here on Friday is the giant pool party, because we like to have fun here. There are a lot of ziplock bags holding people’s phones, and that conceit gives rise to people having a sanitary place to keep track of valuable necessaries like their debit cards and IDs without folding them into towels or keeping track of bags. What a world we live in, with college kids writing papers for classes which can then be adapted to papers for conventions, and on the river outside the massive wall of windows you can watch giant Maersk cargo ships block out the view in an impressive industrial display of Schrodinger shipping containers, simultaneously empty and not because we don’t know and never will from inside this hotel.

Take a girl at the bar. She doesn’t yet know the Shocktops she’s sucking down are six bucks a bottle, and such knowledge would be enough to tip her over the edge into the vat of tears she’s trying to hold in. Take the heterosexual young intellectual man a little further down. He’s obsessed with the image of things. He’s here on a paper about the images in Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s novels with the nonfiction information surrounding their relationship, and will have his performative day tomorrow. Then, like now, he will be frustrated that he’s not smoking a long cigar or sipping on an overpriced bourbon rocks. Tonight the low lighting is a bit cool for his tastes thanks to the white, blue, and green lights and tiles—tomorrow he will be happy to find the panel in a room suite with the overhead light off and reading lamps providing better light. For now, he’ll settle for Glen Livet, his father’s pick which he never quite liked, but it’s scotch and tonight’s a scotch night and if you’re drinking at a hotel’s highway robbery you might as well mix up a metaphor of some kind. And the no smoking sign is clearly displayed. Unfortunately.

He has one design for the night: Turn the Glen Livet and the girl into a metaphor via sex. Both are appealing in their own way and right for the evening, but neither are quite… hot, or glamorous, or unforgettable. She’s by no means the most beautiful woman here, and there are women he currently found more unappealing in their two-piece bathing suits. There’s something about her sadness that he fixates on—he wants to see her cry, he wants to see her truly ugly, and somehow that’s more honest than seeing the girls in their dresses and nylons and occasional lipstick for reading their stories or papers. There’s something vulnerable, not quite within the virgin/Madonna/whore complex, but it will be easy enough to give her a pigeonhole after a decent fuck.

“What’s bothering you?” he says, sliding his drink the last six inches on the bar while he takes the stool next to her. He speaks softly, unlike the excitedly conversing intellectuals dissecting literary elements of the movie Labyrinth or shrieking, excited coeds and laughing boys among a 70/30 ratio making them by default more desirable to the English-studying women of the conference.

The girl immediately turns away, her shoulders shaking and her chin drastically puckered below the hidden lower lip. The first brimming tears make their way out of the gate and race down her face, to much better effect than the single teardrop popularized in mainstream media.

Some shred of this young man that’s still human wants to say “Hey hey,” followed by a joke, forcing the sad girl to laugh and start bawling at once, making the situation the worst and a bit better at the same time. That part isn’t dominant in the slightest, but it is what she would like most. Another small thought was to go ahead and kiss her, which would certainly be implausible and theatrical and not really help anyone. Other smaller thoughts occurred to him while he considered and sipped.

“Excuse me? Another, and a cosmopolitan. Thanks.”

While he waited on the cosmopolitan, she regained control of her emotions. The chin was still cratered, but nobody gets everything they want. She at least faced forward instead of completely away from him.

The bartender delivered a drink in a martini glass, violently pink against the cool tones of the loud, splashy party happening around them. The boy slid it to the girl.

She said something approaching words, and he interpreted.

“You presented today?”

She nodded, in distress, more tears breaking loose from the weak points in her eyes’ defenses.

Thursday is a bad day for a four-day convention and presenting. Attendance is low and most attendants are more concerned with securing their rooms, transportation, baggage, and food than attending anyone’s panel. The words might be hard to get out of the girl, but her distress was entirely over the fact that everyone from her chapter said they would be there, but they weren’t, and she bombed her presentation with a nervous stomach beforehand, showing up last (but not actually late) to her own contemporary film critique panel, not reading well, and answering terribly to the few questions asked afterwards—questions which needn’t have been asked if anyone had paid attention to the basic definitions of “Mumblecore” shakily recited in reading the paper. She had spent the time since trying to comfort herself that nobody saw her fail—not even her advising professor, who had promised to film, and couldn’t help the massive traffic jam that made him late—but everyone knows that doesn’t work.

“Drink up. We’ll be friends,” the boy said, and that precarious truth was enough.
The Mubmlecore Debacle
Guys, excuse that this is/can be perceived as "pretentious as fuck." The problem is almost entirely of intended audience vs. practical audience.

The intended audience of this would be the people who go to things like Sigma Tau Delta conferences (or more accurately, the one at a particular hotel in a particular Southern city within the last year). These are the people who may more easily believe that this troll of a person who is the male protagonist (villain protagonist?) is something of an English Major stereotype. Unfortunately, my female protagonist is underdeveloped in this amount of space. It occurred to me almost right when I began that this would be hella too long for one short story, but I thought that maybe just the first section would fit. I didn't get a chance to go into what her paper was (something about the mainstreaming of Mumblecore, and how that is a good thing for the genre subset).

For literally everything that I know about "Mumblecore," watch Kyle Kalgren's review of Tiny Furniture. It's a very entertaining and informative thing.
It would have been a massive cliché for Peony’s maid-of-honor speech to cover everything she actually thought about the lucky bride and groom. But, she was used to being that kid at performance who practiced for month and then fucked everything up by talking too fast and leaving things out when she finally got to competition and was in that classroom with the desks shoved off to the side walls and the judges at the back of the room, all catching different mistakes.

So, having missed as much of the wedding planning process as she had due to master’s degree things in another state, she at least had the maid of honor speech. Her one opportunity to stand center stage and have all the attention except for the groom’s at the wedding of the most beautiful woman she knew.

“As you all know, Kate is an unfairly perfect, ridiculously perfect, amazingly and sincerely and wholeheartedly wonderful person. Honestly, I think every person in this room can kind of admit you either did hate or really, really, really just wanted to, but she worked her magic, and you just couldn’t, no matter how hard you tried. And then maybe you ended up as maid of honor—oh, no, wait, that one is just me.

“God, just look at her. How is that even legal? And, God, she’s not even pregnant. How does something that perfect even happen? On what altar were all those virgins sacrificed for this?


“I met Kate in high school, back before her ridiculously hot adult phase, when she was a moderately beautiful teenager and I was the weird loner friend who was desperately trying to be too cool for all this. I never grew out of that, and she grew into this. Life is unfair, but sometimes just so rewarding to look at.

“And I met the groom before she did, since our beautiful bride used her amazing perfection to accidentally steal my boyfriend—it’s okay, she hella cried over it, and that, too, was utterly adorable. And hey, at least she’s marrying him, right?

“And I can see a few of our grandmas shaking their heads in embarrassment that I’m mentioning all this like it’s the rehearsal dinner scene from Rachel Getting Married or something. And, first of all, thank you~! for comparing me to junkie Anne Hathaway, highlight of my night by far. And second of all, I need all of this as background so you understand the things that I mean when I tell every person in this room one thing:

“The only thing more perfect than Kate in this room is Kate and Wally together.

“You don’t know it like I do. Maid of Honor privilege to say so, but I know more than you do. There has not been any challenge or trial in his life that would not have been or would not be better with Kate there. There are no high points that Wally will ever have that would not be higher without Kate as his better half.

“I’ve been Kate’s best friend, or best distant strained and changing relationship that once was amazingly close friendship, and reclaimed platonic soul mate and staunchest coping mechanism. I have seen her at her worst, most terrified, most vulnerable, and other things that are none of your business to know about. And you know what? Wally makes all of that better and further away. He is a stable rock, he is that responsible boring old person that she will still love eighty years from now, so you both grow older than 100 together, okay?

“I love both of these people. This is the best wedding in ten years because this is going to be the best marriage in twenty years, and both of them know the marriage is more important than the wedding. I look forward to being fairy godmother to their children once much more responsible people are chosen for godmother and godfather. I look forward to getting texts from her when the both of them will have terrible flus from making out while contagious, and still feeling so blessed to be together. I look forward to a lifetime of invasive social media pictures of adorable dates and him constantly remembering to treat her like she’s the greatest treasure in the world,

“Because, Wally? We both know she is. You’re marrying my soul mate tonight, so you have to make her eternally happy.

“Congratulations on your beautiful, wonderful, perfect wedding and marriage. Now give me the kids I’m not going to have for myself.”
The Maid of Honor's Congratulations
One more piece till I'm caught up.
“Gina? Good evening, I’m Ellonde.” One forty-something woman held out a hand to a woman whose profile claimed she was 38.

“Shall I thank profile pictures or sharpening gaydar for this greeting?” asked Gina.

“You were the person who looked like you were waiting on someone.” The two women stood in the lobby of a hotel with a notable restaurant and bar. It was expensive for a first date.

“Not a bad line.”

“It’s similar to one my father used with my mother on the blind date where they met,” said Ellonde. In past dates, after saying anything that referenced the beginning of her parents’ marriage made people… uncomfortable. It almost felt odd to lack that initial aversion, or perhaps to have that aversion replaced with apathy.

“Well, they should have our reserved table ready slightly ahead of schedule if you want to ahead and sit,” said Gina.

“No trouble, answered Ellonde and they walked in. There was a brief spell of awkwardness for her at the table where she briefly felt she should pull out the chair for her date, but Gina had seated herself before Ellonde could think through the uncharacteristic bout of chivalry.

“A few things,” Gina said. “I’ve been having misgivings about this ‘date’ for two or so days. I flirt easily enough over email, but this is a bit ridiculous for me. That makes sense to you, doesn’t it?”

“I don’t quite completely understand,” Ellonde answered, “if you wouldn’t mind explaining a bit more. Oh, hello.” The maître d then approached to cheerfully discuss wine options as though this was her grown-up job after a youth spent as a barista. Gina had cool disdain to spare for all around.

“Rule one: Don’t date straight girls. Rule two: Don’t be the first girl that someone just ‘explores’ her sexuality with. Rule three: The first two are the same rule,” Gina said once they were again alone.

Ellonde drank her water silently for a pause. “Those rules seem very personal,” she said. “And that’s either ‘especially for someone who very staunchly does not want a relationship,’ or ‘exactly because she does not want a relationship.’”

With surprising promptness, the maître d returned with their German Riesling and poured two glasses of chilled, crisp wine, then disappearing once more.

“I referenced my reasons, but if you’d allow me I’ll explain them more fully,” Ellonde said. “I mentioned that I married young. Marrying at twenty-one, I didn’t have options to explore adult dating with anyone except my husband. We occasionally joked, but even exploring my attraction to women through a three-way was out of the question. Until very, very recently it would have been impossible for me to explore my sexuality because of my family’s stance and their place in my life.”

“One: Bullshit. Two: Excuses. Three: Your excuses don’t at all change the fact that you contradict my rules and I don’t have a reason to rethink things.”

“But you haven’t left yet.”

“The wine’s only just arrived, and as lackluster as this ‘date’ is, it’s an excuse to eat oysters that didn’t come from a grocery store.”

By the time the food had arrived and the first bottle and a half of wine had cleared, the women were getting along much better and no longer talking like the conceptual conceit of a Lifetime network original movie.

“So so so so so seriously, high school, just… gay dreams… and that didn’t make you question your sexuality… because your Catholic school—”

“No no no, not even Catholic—I’d be a total lesbian from the time I was thirteen if I’d been in Catholic school. Just Christian, heavily implied Missionary Baptist.”

“Yeah yeah, so you just thought ‘Oh no, it’s the gays in the liberal media and demons in my mind making me want to lick another girl’s pussy!’”

“No! It was never even that! Like, the most disturbing and graphic it ever got was second base, boob-touching. Or, as I later learned, nothing. Most of the dreams were just, you know, about holding hands, and enjoying another woman’s company, and just sort of appreciating her.”

“No. I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’m actually a big gay lesbian. And so is that chick, the luscious twenty five year old in the red dress giving off that ‘pampered Republican sex kitten’ aura. And boy, she does not appreciate our conversation. Or she’s sexually frustrated that the other potential lesbos in the room are old, saggy, and not quite politically correct. Isn’t that the worst? When other people view you and say ‘You, existing person with an internal life and external circumstances, you are a stereotype!’ Like, oh nooo, I’m going to melt like the Wicked Witch, you’ve found my one weakness, waaaaah. Bitch.”

“So, did you have a hard time? Coming out?”

“What, from the womb? Because I’ve been a cornfirmed bachelor-ette that long. Cornfirmed? Confirmed. Damn this wine’s good. The one time I tried to date a guy—he turned out to be a literally flaming homosexual, lives in Hawaii now, we’d skype more but too many men’s sex organs come before my eyes when that happens—ahem, phrasing. Anyway, the one time I tried to bring this tall, muscled, eyeliner-wearing poetic young man in front of my family as my date, my mom laughed and outed me at him, and he shrugged, and when we tried the ‘going through the hetero motions’ thing he didn’t even do the boob-touching portion of second base. So, excusing the heaving grinding, ‘nothing’ happened. Does your family know about you?”

“Well, since this is my first date with a woman instead of having a huge secret crush and just hanging out as eternal friends, and I’m a forty-four year old woman with essentially grown kids, no. And I’d like to be shockingly far along in a relationship before I do them the favor of that heart attack.”

“I’ll get ordained and gay-marry you to your forever spouse, then,” said Gina.
Dinner for Middle-Aged Schmucks
The initial idea was to write about a middle aged lesbian and a middle aged bisexual woman who'd never had a chance to explore more than one side of her sexuality. But then that sounded dumb and Lifetime-y. So I got them drunk and loud and laughing.
You know what’s scary? The inevitable. The inevitable is what is scary.

So I’m going to tell you: That girl there? With the curly hair and bad posture? I’m going to kill her. That’s inevitable. Ooh, scary. Now, with that unsettling thought nestled in your brain, I’m going to continue with the opening monologue.

I hope we’re not off on the wrong foot—it would really be a shame if you thought wrongly of me. Which is to say: I want you to be disgusted and horrified. I don’t want you to think I’m boring, or pretentious. But anyway, back to discussing the philosophy of the inevitable.

It’s why everyone is so scared of death, underneath everything else. It seems so unnatural because what we understand is living, and not-living is weird when it’s not meat to be eaten. But we all know about ends, about death. We know it and we know we can’t stop it.

It’s beautiful in a way.

I bet you’re wondering about my intended victim. She is beautiful in a way, too. The words “she used to be a man” are a bit crass and buff out many of the complexities of a bigger situation, but it settles the issue into a bite-size, digestible piece of information.

I’m not killing her because she’s trans, if that’s what you’re wondering. And I’ll grant, the level of violence directed at people like her will make this crime self-covering-up (a murder to be sure, definitely a murder, but just one of many and this mayor isn’t likely to push for resolution for anything like a case of murdering a trans person). It would be really ugly if I were to murder her over that. And I’m still going to murder her, but considering all the pain and trouble she will have endured over her life over this, I can at least say the last thing to happen to her won’t be over that and it won’t be from someone who has trouble with her over that.

Why am I going to murder her, in that case, are you wondering? Am I a jealous lover? A random psychopath? A hypocrite and liar?

I’m going to murder her because it’s right. Not traditionally or morally right, but because it will set my world to the way it’s supposed to be. Her existence and life doesn’t cause imbalance, but as soon as I murder her there will be more balance. She’s my saving angel, you could say, but I won’t, because I don’t believe in any powers besides balance and chaos. Again, beautiful. I also believe in beauty, but that’s an earthly belief.

Well, it’s been nice talking in your direction, but I really need to go. I have the rest of a murder to plan, and I have to figure out if this one will be personal or impersonal, and I just have a lot to do and you aren’t going to help me do any of it.

Goodbye, observer.
Goodbye, Observer
It didn't turn out quite scary since I didn't focus on the sensory imagery which would have made it scary. Oh well. It's written, and another step towards catching up is done.


ElaineRose's Profile Picture
Welcome, I'm Victoria
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
  • Mood: Triumph
  • Listening to: April Smith and the Great Picture Show
  • Watching: A friend's drunkblogging on my tumblr dash
  • Eating: Slurpable foods as I'm down 4 wisdom teeth
  • Drinking: water to keep from getting dry sockets
Well, I checked this site technically yesterday morning and found more notes collected there than I think I got in the entirety of Flash Fiction Month (which, to be fair, is directly tied to me being slack and not really reading and commenting on other folks' work like I ought).

The piece, featured by neurotype is The Scattered Monologues of Jessica Leland: Dinner. Its companion piece, which I think I personally prefer, is [Less Scattered seq] Monologue: About the last one.

So. Official journal. Thank you dearly, neurotype. And to people who are now follow/stalking/watching what the hell ever we call it on this site, thank you all for the kind words and notice! You are collectively a bushel of peaches.

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BWPhotographry Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Professional Photographer
Hey i am currently replying to your note that you sent me i have not forgot, like your self i have not been on DA for a while so i am going to promise to reply.

ElaineRose Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014  Student Writer
Good to hear.
RevRun14 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014
Thank you for the fav!
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014
Congrats on your success with an FFM piece!
ElaineRose Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Student Writer
Ardenta Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013
Hi there

I read your thoughts of "Show, don't tell" and it made a lot of sense, I thought a lot about it and I want to thank you. :)
ElaineRose Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2014  Student Writer
No problem. =)
joe-wright Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013   General Artist
I saw a cool gif about your swimming anime and had to share it with you… =p
ElaineRose Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Student Writer
Ah, it's funny because I already reblogged this one. Quality, sheer quality. Have you given the series a chance yet then?
joe-wright Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013   General Artist
Can't really play video on my computer at the moment, it's dying a slow, protracted death
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