Archive for the Sarah Russell Category

flash fiction by by Sarah Russell

Posted in Sarah Russell with tags on July 13, 2017 by Scot

Figure Drawing at Community College

 

I’m getting goosebumps from a draft, though the class doesn’t notice. Most are open-mouthed, charcoal scratching paper, concentrating on the weight of my breast, curve of hip, sag of buttock. I bite my lip, think of the rigidity of a villanelle, try to compose one in my head while the old guy in a beret for god’s sake, studies the cleft, the pubic mound, then meets my eyes.

I want to yell, “I just want to earn enough to get cable,” but I look away, try to show disgust without showing disgust because the woman who will pick up kids from school at 4 is drawing my face. My arm is falling asleep. The instructor said to tell her when I need a break, but the young man by the window is so intent, I hate to interrupt him. I start to tremble, try to shift but not throw off the line. The villanelle becomes a limerick.

There once was a nude on a table
Who couldn’t afford to get cable…

Trembling. Can’t feel my arm at all.

She posed for a class
Where an old man was crass,


Ah, the instructor is announcing a break. I raise my body off my arm and feel electric shocks as blood starts to flow. I reach for my kimono. The old guy sidles up to me.

“Coffee later if you are able?” he asks. Shit, he’s finished my limerick. I walk away rubbing my arm. “Maybe tomorrow?” he calls.

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D NER by Sarah Russell

Posted in Sarah Russell with tags on January 20, 2017 by Scot
Wish it had been the R that fell, she thought.  Then it would say DINE, like the food was good, like it was more than runny eggs and meatloaf.  But it was the I, and everyone called it the DEE-ner, like some hillbilly joint.  Jake said it gave the place character, didn’t even know where the I had blown to after all these years.
She hated waiting tables.  Her mama said she was uppity.  “Worst thing we did was name you Chelsea after that foreign place,” her mama said.  “You get off your high horse and make peace with staying here.”  But she never would.  Never!  She’d get a little money ahead and clear out.  Go where Chelsea was an OK name, and DINE was what folks did, and tips were more than a quarter.
“You gonna stub that smoke and get back to work? I ain’t paying you to be on break all day.”
“When you gonna put the I back, Jake?”
“No time soon, Chelsea girl.  No time soon.”