“What is that? A fish?” I asked the woman sitting next to me at the bar. I pointed to the black and white tattoo trailing up her arm. I have to admit, she scared me. She sat almost a head taller than me, sipping the froth off a pint of Guinness and staring straight to the back of the bar, as if the Jager on the shelf had insulted her mother. Then again, I was pretty smashed and I would have talked to a grizzly bear if it was drinking next to me.

“Yeah. It’s a koi. A Japanese carp.” she said, in a prettier voice than I would have thought. She had a decent rack, too, but I was sure it was all muscle underneath.

“But you aren’t even Asian,” I said, not daring to mention the fact that she was a woman and shouldn’t be wearing tattoos in the first place.

“So? Do I have to be?” She barely glanced my way.

“I guess not.” I tugged at my beer. “But why koi? Why put a fish on your arm?”

Her throat opened to make way for the dark brew. I waited as she slowly finished her pull, briskly lowering the glass to the counter. “I like them. When I was a little girl, I used to watch them in the pond in my backyard.”

I couldn’t imagine her as a little girl, though I didn’t tell her that. “You were rich enough to have a koi pond?”

“My dad was a businessman. He spent a lot of time and Japan and I guess he liked them enough to get some of his own.”

“Yeah? Weird. I would have thought you got your tats in prison or something.” I laughed. She didn’t. Man, she was making me uncomfortable. “So, um, where are you from?”


I exhaled, smiling. “Oh really? Compton?” That makes sense.

“No,” she smirked into her pint. “That was the joke. I’m really from Seattle.”

“Yeah? That’s cool. What they got up there?”


I almost smiled again, but then I was started to catch on to her game. “That’s another joke, right?”

“Ha. Right.” She chuckled into her beer.

What? What’s so funny?” She’s totally into me. Why are all the ugly ones so desperate?

“So, what brings you—” But before I could finish, a wild-haired black girl came running up and wrapped her arms around the big woman’s waist. “Hurry up, Joan! I want to go dancing sometime tonight!”

“Sure. Just one more thing.” She put some money down on the counter. “Bartender! One White Russian for my friend.” She looked down at me. “Gotta drink your milk. Maybe one day you’ll grow up.” She left with the dark girl and I saw she had a dragon clawing up her other arm. It made me uncomfortable. I turned back to the counter.

That’s why she was so strange! She’s a homo! Should have known, her being so big and all. Wait until the guys at the office hear about this! I sipped the froth off my drink and thought about sucking on big titties.



Filed under Flash Fiction, Session VII

2 responses to “Koi

  1. sanskrit , of , love

    if imagination were akin to a factory, yours has the intensity and productiveness of a gigantic steel factory on an especially busy day. dunno if you’ve published yet (northridge review or any journal, really), you’ve just GOT to!

  2. sanskrit , of , love

    y’know, there’s this book series called “scary stories to tell in the dark” by alvin schwartz. they’re horror tales written for children (if you can imagine that), and i’ve loved these books since i was a kid. anyway, each of these stories is roughly the length of your flash fic entries – just long enough to be “told” aloud or read in half-a-sitting. in other words, i’m thinking you can compile a slew of “greatest flash-fic hits” of your own – you could have one hell of a manuscript!

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