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Quick Fiction

February 24, 2011

Just a piece of quick fiction I wrote. I wrote this after reading some of the fiction and poetry published on thethreewisemonkeys.com. It is a short, morbid scene about acquaintance and friendship.

The Acquaintance

“It’s finished!” Reggie said and then the sarcastic triumph ran off his face.

“You hate it?” I asked and he just rolled his shoulders as if his part in this piece of art had been the strenuous one. “Well, I could just get another one-”

“No, no, no.” For a moment he gauged the large slab of flesh hanging from the hooks with a single thumb. “It’s fine. It’s just never how you imagine it. You know…?” And then he looked at me. I kept quiet. That look was his challenge for me to speak. That, “Why are you even here look?” He was always arrogant that way. He the artist. Me the hired hand. But he knew why I was here. Because he was a pussy. An artist pussy and he needed me to fetch and haul materials.

“Hey, you don’t have to tell me who’s the artist.” I said and brushed past him to the sink to wash the blood off my hands. “’Cause you’ve already told me a thousand times.”

I poured a glass of water, held it out, and smirked. He took it from me and then sat down on the beat up vinyl couch. I joined him. We admired our work for awhile and shared the water as if it were our last beer.

Blood dripped off the artwork and coagulated on the floor. I don’t know what Reggie saw. Artists are wired differently. Perhaps it was in the creation. Each knife stroke changing a body into something else. For me, well, I was lost in the moment past. The hunt. The thrill in knife-edge success and risk.

We sat a little longer after we had finished the water. Eventually he conceded that it was a good job. We knew this was both ours. Before we met, our pleasures were private, guilty ones. But together, as a team, there was satisfaction. Something close to a camaraderie. But the moment was passing. I hopped up and he helped me lift it carefully off the hooks so we could hang it in his gallery. To me the gallery was just an industrial refrigerator.

I pointed to the blood on the floor. “You want me to?” He waved the gesture away, shook my hand, and led me to the door. I left and that was it. For awhile. In the past, without Reggie, it wouldn’t have been so easy. But with such an acquaintance, perhaps even a friend, that is all we needed. For awhile.

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