“When the stars threw down their spears  and watered heaven with their tears, did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the Lamb, make thee?”


“What? God,  Theo! You scared me.” Vera hadn’t heard him over the clatter of washing dishes. The man was like a little ghost walking around the house.

“I’m sawry,” he said in that baby voice she hated. He pushed up against her. He was already hard.

“Please. I’m trying to do the dishes.” She was hoping that he would take a hint and help out.

“You can do them later,” he purred. Apparently, she would have to be more direct with him. But why did she think otherwise?

“This brewing company is messy and smelly and you and Josh don’t help by leaving your shit all over the place. Either help or get out of the kitchen! Comprenez vous?”

Theo shrank back. “But of course, ma petit tigre.” He rolled back his sleeves.

“So, what do your comic books have to do with Blake?”

“My comics? Oh. Right. That poem is in one of the Hellboy comics.”

“Do you know what it means?” They both stopped swapping dishes for a moment.

“I suppose… I figured it was that God created Hellboy. That he created devils alongside everything else.”

Tres bon, ma petit agneau! At least, close enough. Blake wrote that poem about a tiger, kind of a musing on why God created this ferocious beast that kills God’s supposedly most precious creatures.”

She hands him a big bowl to dry. “And?”

“And what?”

“What’s your point? You always have a point.”

They stopped again as Vera thought. “I was just wondering if the Rapturists, crazy they may be…”

“Don’t even finish that sentence.”

“What? I’m not allowed to think now? Is that it?”

“No. You can think. I’m okay with thinking. It’s just…”

“Look. I’m not going to run off and join a cult. I was just thinking about… moving?”

“Moving what?” She could hear the increasing fear in his voice.

“I know you haven’t thought about it. You and Josh love this little world you’ve created, but I keep thinking about the rest of the world.”

“What about the rest of the world?”

“Think about it, Theo. We have enough alcohol to pay our way on a fishing boat, I’m sure of it! We could go to France! Or Monaco! Or Guadeloupe!”

“Why would you want to go to Monaco? Or Guadeloupe, for that matter? What’s even there?”

Something! Something else! Why is everyone so sold that moving up north is the answer? We’ve walled hundreds of thousands of people in here who are afraid to step off their own front porches most days! You want to know what’s in Guadeloupe? Freedom! Freedom from our own damn fears!”

“Say you’re not crazy and you could get to Guadeloupe. Then what? We’ve set up a life here, Vera. We’ve got a steady income. We’ve got friends. We’ve even got a poutine stand down the street!”

“You think this is a joke?” Vera slams the plate she was scrubbing crashing into the others. “You know what’s a joke? You’ve got beer, a deadbeat business partner, a best friend who runs around the streets playing detective, and you can keep your damn poutine!” Having dried off her hands on a dish towel, Vera threw it in Theo’s face.

“She’ll get over it…” Theo mumbled to himself, but he couldn’t shake this feeling like he had air trapped in his lungs that he couldn’t expel. And all he was doing with his life was holding his breath.



Filed under FEATHERTON II, Flash Fiction

5 responses to “Dishes

  1. awesomepie

    I’m trying to take a different approach to the zombie stories now. I’m taking Edren’s latest comment to heart and I’ve decided to drop the current story arcs. I could see myself adding plot elements just to create suspense or drama and not really create an interesting story. This isn’t a movie I’m trying to write here, after all.

    This one is sort of a transition story. I’ve decided to shift gears and focus a little less on North America (specifically the little fortress-town of Juneau). We’ll see how it goes…

  2. Been out of the blog-O-sphere lately so not sure about any alleged arcs you may or may not have developed. I like dialogue-driven stories, so I like this. Very um, attention grabbing.

  3. soulinmyfist

    Your comment confused me. I didn’t get the impression that they were zombies… are they? Or were you saying that you’re moving away from that for now?

    The actual story… there were some confusing parts… Who is speaking initially? I thought it was Vera because then Theo comes in and scares her… but why is she randomly reciting this while doing dishes? Another thing, are Vera and Theo a couple or married or something? She talks about moving but not about “hey, I’m thinking about leaving you” or “I want us to move”… and throughout, if you could add like Vera said and Theo said, it might make it clearer who is saying what. I kind of got lost.

    And god, I hate it when they come up on you with a hard on when you’re fucking doing dishes! Like hello, trying to get shit done, it’s a mess that you helped make jackass! Heh, yeah, it’s a realistic scenario…

    What’s a poutine?

  4. libertad

    I’m going to use exactly this like the next time I try to convince someone to go backpacking to the Andes with me: “Think about it, Theo. We have enough alcohol to pay our way on a fishing boat, I’m sure of it! We could go to France! Or Monaco! Or Guadeloupe!” Except I’m going to replace those names with the names of Andean countries.

    Anyway, I don’t exactly get the zombie part either. Are they supposed to be Canadian zombies from Québec? I ask this because of the poutine and the random French thrown in. As far as changing your zombie stories, I know it can get tiresome to write about the same themes but it’s also important not to force yourself to write something else just because someone else told you so. Of course, it is good to challenge yourself. Just my two cents about your comment above.

    I do think that you set up tension very well in this story.

  5. awesomepie

    While I am shifting focus (lately I’ve been very focused on developing a plot around a few characters and I’d like to get away from that), don’t worry! I’m still writing zombie stories on Monday. I apologize if I confused anyone. Vera and Theo aren’t zombies (zombies don’t have conversations, for one), they just two people trying to get by in the zombie apocalypse. Oh, and Vera is from Quebec and the poutine stand guy is from British Columbia. They are in Juneau, Alaska, though. I guess in my revisions I’ll have to clarify all of this a bit.

    ~ Seamus K.

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