writing about writing

Jane Stafford’s Flag

Posted by Flood on June 10, 2006

The phone rings early. He says, "Sorry I woke you, but I wanted to talk." She yields to listen. Again.

"Last night. When I tried to hit you…I didn't mean it. We were drunk, it was only a joke."

That night he comes over, on top, beneath and when he's done, she lies there, wondering. What's the point? His liquored musk hangs an aura around her. He tells her it was good, then stands, stumbling to find the remote.

In the flickering light, she says quietly, "You've never understood that when the white flag is flying, it doesn't mean anyone actually won."

He moves closer to the bed and asks her to turn down the television so he can hear her. She doesn't move. He screams at her to move her lazy ass to the television and turn it down. As his hand pulls back to slap her, she smiles. Changing his mind, he traces her body's silhouette with his finger. He climbs on top of her again, like a irritable child, wanting mommy to make him feel better.

"It's not like I don't have a choice," he whispers into her neck. "I know it's wrong and I do it anyway." He lifts her hair to his face. "I'm glad you let me in tonight. I know I don't deserve it." She remains still as she tells him that the checkered flag is down.

"You win." Her limp body concedes.

"Turn off the fucking television then," he shrieks, without getting off of her. She makes no move, no tightening of muscles, only the soft flesh of a low woman with no choices. He calls her vile names but her brain bearly registers his words. She focuses on letting fear go and senses her weight becoming lighter. I am more than a gash. Her mind floats.

He puts his hands around her neck and she reaches her arms around his torso. The warmth of her body meets his tight chest. Head back; her eyes are closed. She clings fiercely to him for death. He mistakes this for weakness and rages at her fragility. His grip stiffens at her throat until she comes.

Then goes.


2 Responses to “Jane Stafford’s Flag”

  1. michaelm said

    I liked this Flash.
    You have a nice way of describing the subtle (and not so subtle) details of a relationship such as this one.
    Judging from what I read, it can’t end well.
    Maybe that’s why I like it.
    I hate happy endings.
    I’d never make it in Hollywood.


  2. Flood said

    Thanks Michael. As you can see I still have a lot of cleaning up to do around here before an official opening, one of them being reinserting italics and bold fots where I had them before import.

    Thank you for the compliment. No, this story doesn’t end well. I also enjoy a lost/forlorn/darklybeautiful/no-one-wins-the-race kind of ending myself. gives me something to chew on for a while.

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