“Tiny House” in New Flash Fiction Review

Read Original Here

Tiny House

by Nancy Stohlman

After the rapture I decided to buy a tiny house. The realtor met me in the driveway.

That’s not a tiny house, I said. That’s a Barbie house.

You say Barbie house, I say tiny house the realtor said. Wait until you see the inside.

The realtor opened the flimsy door. The walls were made of pink vinyl with drawings of bookshelves and framed family photos and a two-dimensional television. That’s for easy collapsing the realtor said. The whole house can fold up into this suitcase—he held up a pink suitcase—which most people find extremely convenient.

The fridge door can open the realtor said, opening and closing the door several times. And your oven comes with a roast chicken already cooked.

It looks delicious I lied.

Yes, it does he agreed. The house comes with wine glasses but no actual wine, of course.

Of course.

Into the bedroom there was a walk-in closet with tiny hangers and a vinyl bed that folded down from the wall. A cat sat unmoving on the bed.

I’m allergic to cats I said.

Oh, you won’t be allergic to this one he said.

As we stood there one of the vinyl walls started to buckle and he pushed it back into place.

The best part about this house are the amenities he says, taking me outside to the carport and a pink Cadillac. The car comes with the house.

Wow, that is a perk, I say.

Yes it is. You may be asked to sell some Mary Kay skin care products, but I think you’ll find that the moisturizer is great.

Yes, I’m sure it is.

Hold on he says, checking his phone. I need to take this.

While he steps to the corner where the two vinyl walls meet, I look in the closet. A nurse’s uniform, a tennis outfit. A pink ball gown.

Good news he says, I’ve been authorized to throw in the Barbie ice cream maker—it makes real ice cream and other frozen treats.

Hmmm.

And the Barbie helicopter and landing pad.

Well I have to be honest—it wasn’t quite what I had in mind, I said. I was thinking of a tiny house made of wood or something. You know, like a tiny real house. Like they have on tv.

Oh you won’t see a house like this on tv, he agrees. And actually, you won’t find another house like this in the entire state—most of them have been recalled.

Okay, let me think about it.

Don’t take too long he says. A deal like this won’t last forever.

tiny house

The Morning After

The Morning After

by Nancy Stohlman

morning after      The last thing I heard before I went to bed the night of Super Tuesday was Hillary Clinton on the television warning Democrats –“a vote for Bernie is a vote for Trump. If you go to bed with Bernie you are going to wake up with Trump”.

Which I assumed to be a metaphor, of course.

I was not prepared for Donald Trump’s warm, slightly reddened body laying next to me when I woke up this morning. He was making some sort of half wheeze, half snore, and his hair was lying on my extra pillow like an errant wave haphazardly crashed upon the wrong sea.

I looked around for my clothes (oh thank god, they are on) and started to creep out quietly from the far side of the bed when Donald Trump, awakened by the movement, rolled over and caught the waistband of my pajamas playfully. Come back here he said, engulfing me in a sweaty, overly warm spooning embrace, his morning breath on the back of my neck.

Apparently I’m now dating Donald Trump.

How did this happen? I vaguely remember the last night’s caucus, the cafeteria of the local high school filled with tables and old ladies yelling out precinct numbers, bewildered people meeting their neighbors for the first time, the Bernies at one end of the table, the Hillarys at the other…

Over breakfast Donald Trump reads the paper, drinks his coffee with three lumps of sugar and half a cup of cream, eats a bear claw. After breakfast Donald Trump wants to take me to the amusement park. I can tell he’s trying to be romantic, even though he is still wearing a suit and tie and we are followed by a camera crew. You’re beautiful he says. Isn’t she beautiful he asks one of the bodyguards. Buy her an ice cream or something. Do you like ice cream? he asks, not waiting for the answer. Get her a banana split with an extra banana—do they still have those? he says, dragging me to the Wild Chipmunk roller coaster. Here, you like roller coasters, right? She’s beautiful, take her picture.

The camera crew takes my picture and I’m hoping no one recognizes me. Donald Trump’s talking to the ticket taker at the merry-go-round—what do you mean I have to buy tickets? I have dollars, see, do-llars. Habla Ingles? Dollars aren’t good enough for a carousel ride these days? Where’s your manager?

The ticket taker waves us through and Donald Trump tucks his arm through mine and I smell the aftershave that I won’t be able to stop smelling for the rest of the day. Hey, I got you a present. You like presents, right? he says, handing me a giant purple stuffed giraffe. I don’t ride those things myself, I get indigestion he says as I climb onto a waiting horse, waving as I disappear.

 

“The Fortune Teller”

Originally published in Flash Frontier. Read original here

by Nancy Stohlman

The Fortune Teller

The fortune teller looked at my hands, smoothed them onto the table. You lost something, she said.

Yes, I said. I want to get it back.

But you can’t get it back, you know that.

That’s not true. Don’t say that, I said. That’s why I’m here.

Look, she said, pointing to the fleshy part on the outside of my palm. It’s gone. I don’t decide these things but I’m telling you what I see.
So what do I do now?

She patted my hand. It’s just part of your story, now, she said.

fortune teller

 

The Vixen Scream now available!

vixen cover final
The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories
(Pure Slush Press, 2014)
“Hilarious, irreverent, twisted, bawdy, brilliant – these short shorts by Nancy Stohlman feel like a series of off-kilter encounters with the strangest characters you swear you’ve met before in a previous, more interesting lifetime. With sly humor and daring, Stohlman weaves tiny tales reminiscent of Etgar Keret, but with her own inimitable stamp. The Vixen Scream and other Bible Stories is an amazing collection. Do not deny yourself the pleasure of reading it.” – Kathy Fish, author of ‘Together We Can Bury It’

“The Vixen Scream is a collection of compelling and strikingly original stories – an imagination functioning at full throttle. Nancy Stohlman is a word-alchemist, and here is her book of wonders!” – Robert Scotellaro, author of ‘Measuring the Distance’

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Two Micro Fictions by Nancy Stohlman

indexIndentured

“How much are you getting paid to do this?” he asks.

“Enough to pay off my student loans,” I answer, as he begins to tattoo the Coca-Cola logo across my face.

Published in Blink Ink

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True Tales From Therapy #5

Though there was absolutely no correlation between seeing a new therapist, and that therapist killing himself with a shotgun the following week, Mr. G couldn’t help wonder, for just a fleeting second, if his wife’s claim that everyone was sick of listening to him whine about his problems had some validity.

Published in Right Hand Pointing

Art Installation: Exhibit #2558

by Nancy Stohlman

You Twisted My Spite Into Sculpture—1997
United States

Mixed media: garbage bags, plaster of Paris, broken jewelry, straws, boyfriend

On permanent loan from the artist

Artist Statement: Mask making has always held a special place in my work. I believe there is an inherent fear of asphyxiation present in the creative relationship. This piece began as a mask but I soon realized a simple mask no longer was able to encompass the plight of current society—today’s citizen wants love but feels trapped. My work explores the implications of falsifying our true nature. The piece is really about transforming everyday negativity into art.

The crowd clustered around the sculpture, the crude plaster, the bits of broken jewelry cemented into the patina. The figure stood almost defiantly, two straws poking from the nostrils and the only movement, a sort of desperate darting of the eyeballs.

Originally published as part of the Exquisite Duet series–the first line “You twisted my spite into sculpture” was provided to the authors. Read original here.

sculpture

“I Pawned My Boyfriend for 85$”

pawnFlash fiction by Nancy Stohlman

I’m not saying I’m proud of how it all went down. But maybe if those collection agencies hadn’t been calling me all the time. After avoiding another 800 number last Saturday morning, I looked over at you sleeping, lips pursed, eyelids fluttering, all mussed up like a baby koala, and I thought: there are plenty of people out there who would pay good money for that.

You’re still pissed. I tried to explain that I won’t have the money to get you out until my next paycheck, but the pawnshop owner said that I was just riling up the merchandise and if I wasn’t gonna buy nothing then it was time for me to leave.

When I went in today you’d been moved to the front window display wearing a lovely tiara. I wondered if he would give me a deal on both because I really liked that tiara. You looked away when I walked in but then the owner said to be nice to the customers because Father’s Day is coming up, after all.

Today is actually our anniversary, but you didn’t want to hear it and wouldn’t open the card I brought. Look, you can’t hold onto your resentment forever I said. But you just turned away, tiara sparkling in the mid-afternoon sun.

Originally published in Blue Five Notebook. Read original here.

“The Reluctant Hero”

Flash fiction by Nancy Stohlman

I wanted to just keep walking and pretend I hadn’t seen it. I knew plenty about bags floating in rivers. It wiggled, and I knew I should stop but I kept walking, and I was reminded of my mother sneaking me down to the edge of the river, showing me all the empty bags left in the mud like used condoms – look at those stories, she would say, people just threw them away like trash! They could have lived. And then she would fall to her knees and pray to her god.

So when I saw the woman leaving the edge of the river, I knew what was going on. I avoided eye contact with all the gypsies, beating deflated pillowcases against rocks as I crawled up the muddy banks and caught the tail of the story. I dragged out the waterlogged thing and took it home, where I set its cold, blue body gently on the page and let it live.

Originally published in Flash Frontier. Read original here