Slam Fiction:

pretend who?

a not-so arbitrary word count for
arbitrary words

113 - 355 words
Slam Fiction now accepts work of 113-355 words (or less?).  Submission guidelines are >>>>
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Last update: 25 September, 2011
Bloodcalf (163)
Anna-Lena Carlson

dear momma,

its been a long time since I have writen but I want you and everyone to know that I am all rite here. Everbodys’ been wonderfull and last nite I had vanila ice cream for desert. I brouht my robe with me on acount that you told me it woud rase my self asteem if I walkt round in it and pretented I was a vanpire or somethin cos of montsers bein’ afraid of other montsers in the dark and if’n I was a montser then there ain’t nothin to be afraid of in the dark. It was just like you said momma. Ain’t nobdy even messin with me and I’m warin the robe all off the time now even when I’m outside and doin work. They try to make me not ware it but they ain’t got no rules about what I can ware here and I hippotize them any ole way and now they all walkin round like gohstes.

Tortoise (172)
Chris Akers

Dansby made a name for herself cutting sugarcane in Laos.  She was a woman of likeable proportions, a minister to orphans, and pet-owner.  She woke up one afternoon after a long sleep next to her daughter and told her pupil--who had waited patiently in the living room--about their drive back from the river.  The pupil smiled because she didn’t understand.

“My favorite river has always been the Mekong”, Dansby said. 

The pupil nodded.  Dansby wiped sweat from above her lips.

“Can you say that?  My favorite river has always been the Mekong.”

Dansby liked the pupil’s demeanor.  Not so much for its own sake but for how the demeanor reflected on Dansby, with a combination of near-love and curiosity. 

“I’m going to make a sandwich”, Dansby said.  “Can you say that?”

“M gon ta mak sandch”, the pupil said.

Dansby nodded.  She went to the kitchen.

“Come with me”, she gestured.

Her daughter was still sleeping, dreaming of the giant tortoise she saw as they drove back to the house.

Painter  (211)
Candace Burnham

Her pain was unofficial and therefore not recognized by the authorities. Years ago she began the process of making her pain official. She had gathered all the official documents and applications she needed and separated them into folders that she kept beneath her bedside table. She filled in all her personal information, including her name, and all the places she had ever lived, including a brief stay at a friend’s place for two and half months. She thought it best to be thorough. She had even managed to pinpoint the particular date on which her pain began.

She imagined that most people put down a certain month or year. Some might have known the week. But she thought that putting down the exact day her pain began would expedite the processing of her documents. She was optimistic until she read the instructions about getting testimony from people who witnessed her pain. Did they know that she was in pain at the time or were they just told of it? They would be interviewed to make certain. Falsification or forgery of witness testimony brought a harsh penalty. The wording of the document scared her because she had never told anyone about her pain and she therefore abandoned hope of it being recognized.
Brandy and Plums (345)
Lewis Stull

We thought we heard his grandfather in the background mumbling something about the Germans.  His mother couldn’t bring herself to speak.  His father said his son liked to invent new words and pretend that he could only see out of one eye.  I didn’t catch his name but I saw his face.  I remembered him riding his bike around here.  Maybe he ran away, I thought.  His parents didn’t seem like the type to ruin a kid but you never know.  Maybe he just couldn’t take it anymore.  Maybe they weren’t perfect enough.  Or maybe they were too damn perfect.  Sasha came back into the room.  She stood by the dresser and put on her watch. 

“I have to go”, she said.

She smiled at me.  She’s going to come over here before she leaves I thought, she loves me.

“Sure”, I said.

She walked over to the side of the bed and kissed me. 

“I’ll call you later”, she said and turned off the TV. 

I didn’t care.  It was all brandy and plums for her but I despised her.  It was something that built up in me without me realizing it until it was too late.  A slur here and there.  A sigh.  An objection.  And then one day I despised her.  I explored the feeling for a few days to understand what I was feeling.  I wondered if it was a feeling that I could change or if it would change on its own.  But despising her no longer bothered me.  When she left, I spit into the sink. 

“Let me be clear” I said, looking at myself. “I feel nothing for you.”

If she despised me also it would be easy.  What I didn’t want was all the drama, the talking-about-it, the crying, the hold me.  I could take a chance that she felt the same way and then there would be a clean break between us.  But if she didn’t feel the same way then I might have to console her and that would make me despise her even more. 

A Local Matter (125)
Ken Webb

It’s difficult to tell what happened you know. A body was found by the creek. Can’t recall the name now. Of the creek. But, you know, the body has a name. Well the girl the body belonged to has a name but we’re not gonna release that until we notify her parents, if she had any. Or people similar to them. We don’t know if there are any other bodies out there that we haven’t found so to say so, you know, would indicate a hypothetical on my part. So I’ll just say we can’t say for sure but you know, no. We’re treating this like we would you know, treat a local matter. But not in the same way as a regular local matter.

Slammed White Board Clown (288)
Laura L. Koenig

Red-haired white faced super size it clown on a coupon.  Buy one, get one at full price.  Not even a sale.  She, being a sensibly-shoed school teacher, placed the coupon in the recycling bin.  How she got a husband at all is another story, but in this story, the Big Guy realized he could make a point without having to speak to Mrs. Know It All.  BG was having a Very Bad Year, but he had crayons and scissors so the coupon clown was resurrected.  First, scissors poked the eyes out. Teach freaked, put the clown back into the bin.  BG knew better--she wasn't listening.  Next, red crayon tears.  Teach freaked some more, but refused to trash the picture.  BG knew she still didn't get it, so spiders appeared with the poked out eyes and red tears, carefully taped to the white board in the kitchen that Teach used to leave little Honey Do lists. Teach really freaked this time and put the coupon on the bottom of the bin. 

Teach wasn't listening.  White Board clown next appeared red-teared, poked eyes, spiders, and a slashed jugular vein. 

Teach freaked, wondered if BG had something to do with the clown's reappearances and asked how his day was going. 

I thought you'd never ask, he said. 

I'm learning, she said. I'm cutting up the clown and not recycling if he reappears, she said.

No you won't.

You're right, she said. 

Why don't you do something really radical, he said, and use that old computer that won't boot up Word and write a story about a white board clown and slam it somewhere?

Right, she said. But I can't get a word count that way.

It's under, he said.


who knows? (239)
Neena Kessundy

why do people sit down to write. why dont they just walk around dictaphone in hand or with some slave type asswipe running behind them scribbling frantically.

today i'm going to write. no scrub that. hurry up keep up why do you walk so slowly? stupid ass. start again. today i decided to write but there was nothing to write about. is this a poem? a flashgasblastslam? whatever. i thought and thought but nothing could free me. there were no trains leaving jet planes with my longlostrecentlyfoundandgoneagain lover on board. there was no soundtrack. just the eternal daily groundhog day miserable reality. where the fuck are the butterflies, the crystal wine glasses chinking cheers? scrub all of that - get a new page asswipe.
where to start. the trees. i should have written upstairs, the trees usually kickstart the thoughts that make the words that make the poem prose thing. i miss my mum. shes not dead. but. shes not there. shes there. just not there. i miss having a place to go, even though i didnt go. not physically anyway. i miss that thing thats mums have. that big fat feeling that has no words. some days i wonder if she misses me. when im there. when im not there. are you keeping up? scrub all of that it sucks. it doesnt say what im trying to say.

there is nothing that says what im trying to say.