Short Story in Nine Parts.
I. It is somewhere rainy and lush. Everyone’s t-shirts are dirty. There are irreconcilable halves of bumper stickers stuck to cheap cars. There are not very many roads in.
II. There is only one house of note, in which most everything occurs.
A. The house is stoic and grappling.
B. The garden is polite.
a. It is very easy to grow here.
b. Research: what is bougainvillea? And also: where?
c. Many of the flowers have bright bushy heads, like puppets.
C. The entry way is splotched carpet.
D. Something intended for keys now catches spare change, movie stubs, rubberbands.
a. Keys are still lost.
III. The woman has fox-colored hair down to her nipples
A. Sheer T-shirt
C. One cigarette
IV. A man comes in. We do not know if it is the lover or male relative. He knows a lot about paying bills but also her T-shirt is sheer.
V. The lover says something that reveals he is a nice guy most of the time, but that everybody makes mistakes.
VI. The woman thinks something that makes her unforgivable to any reader.
A. Are we the woman or the man? the reader will ask.
VII. Draw attention to the cigarette ash, as it becomes very important here.
A. It is long and it burns with no help.
B. She must be distracted by something, or otherwise lost.
C. The ash gets on the carpet and contributes to spots
D. The brand is cheap and burns too quickly.
a. It must be a fictional brand so as to avoid her being associated with: cowboys, punks.
E. The lover says nothing about the cigarette ash, nor does he smoke, which indicates they will not last much longer.
VIII. Something happens outside to break the tension, which by now should be like water threatening the drain.
IX. She says the name of a certain flower. He touches something that is not her.
Iris Ann Moulton was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she studied English Literature and Anthropology at the University of Utah. She now lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where she is pursuing an MFA and works as the co-Editor-in-Chief for Beecher's. She has most recently been published in Fugue, Everyday Genius, elimae, and appeared as a featured writer for the American Short Fiction web exclusive series. For more: