The Dumber They are, the Better I like ’em

Fast Food Fiction

Volume I, Issue 02

08 June 2017

© 2017 All Rights Reserved

For zine, anthology, or all other media reprint rights, including virtual, digital, or hard copy, or questions and comments, email Mike@LMGSwain.com

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20170608
0825—0915
945 words

The Dumber They are, the Better I like ’em

by

LMG Swain

 “Whose poochy poochy is you?” she said teasingly as she sat at the table.

He didn’t look up. Instead, he stared at the froth sitting atop his draft beer. The little bubbles popped and danced, leaving the dark white foam pockmarked. Subconsciously, he reached up to his face and felt his cheek’s pitted skin.

His alienist’s voice rang in his head: It’s for your own good.

“Gonna buy a gal a beer?” She pushed her maroon cloche hat slightly so that it sat squarely on her head. She placed her small black coin purse on the mahogany stained table.

Why did she refer to herself in the third person? His reality lay somewhere on the continuum between outright craziness and insane delusions, and his second biggest problem at the moment was trying to decide if the woman sitting across from him was real or imaginary.

“Geeze, this place is hot,” she said, fanning herself with her hand. “A gal could get sweaty just thinking in this joint.” She smiled at him and winked.

Getting out among people will help you to adjust to your new life, become more sociable. Like you were before the war.

Fucking war. He huffed.

“You hot, too, daddy? You oughtn’t to be wearing that beanie down over your ears.” She pulled a lone cigarette from her coin purse and held it between two fingers, the tip close to her slightly opened lips.

He looked up. Was he her daddy? He squinted to focus his eyes better in the darkened saloon. She wasn’t a doll, but she wasn’t a bug-eyed Betty, either. Was he ever married?

He pulled the knit cap down farther.

Agoraphobia, Mr. Winston, isn’t a fear of open places, as some laymen say. It’s a fear of hopeless that you can’t escape a difficult situation. Before the war, you didn’t suffer from this phobia, but . . . .

“A gal could die of thirst in this place.” She still held the cigarette close to her slightly opened lips.

He pulled out his lighter, flicked open the lid, and spun the flint wheel. The spark hit the the fluid-soaked wick. The flame was fire white as it exploded, then it settled down to a warm orange glow that faded to soft blue inside the lighter’s pitted con.

“My name’s Jane.” She put the cigarette between her lips and leaned it towards the flame. The tobacco and paper flared. Then she sucked the flame into the cigarette. The end of the cigarette was a brilliant orange glow. “You been here before.” A statement. Not a question.

Having been confined for several months in a box while in the POW camp triggered this anxiety. You cannot live your life as a refugee from the rest of humanity. Didn’t you have a girlfriend before the war? The only way to undo the damage is to find her, to get out among . . . .

She sucked in a long drag and then blew the gray smoke from one corner of her mouth. “Look, Jack: I ain’t got all night. Unlike you, I gotta work in the A.M.”

He nodded. He pushed his beer across to her. “I . . . haven’t . . . touched it.”

She laughed. “Hell, I ain’t afraid of no cooties.” She picked up the beer glass and guzzled the draft in one attempt. She smacked her lips and took another drag. “You ready?”

He nodded.

Her apartment was only two buildings from the saloon.

“You gonna take your beanie off?” She threw her cloche onto a faded and ratted Queen Anne and sat on the bed. She kicked her shoes off and rolled down the stockings from each leg.

He pulled on the ends of the beanie. “I’m not . . . I need to wear it.”

She shrugged. “Whatever flips your switch, Jack.” She stood, reached behind her and pulled down the dress’s zipper. She held the dress in place and stared hard at him. “You didn’t turn into some freako psycho, didja?”

He smiled, hoping his eyes were bright and shiny and inviting.  “No. I’m . . .normal.”

She looked at him with a blank expression for a few moments, then she shook her body and the dress slithered down her form and unto the floor.

Of, course, getting out in public will also help you with your trichotillomania.

He had fooled his alienist. He continued to pull out his hair during an anxiety attack. His beanie obscura kept his secret.

“I had a real schmo up here not long ago who was a real scumbag, with breath that’d peel paint from brick. He fancied himself some sort of love guru. Cry he did. Just cried when we was both all natural. Didn’t even try to give me grins and giggles. All about him, he was. Some love guru. All he was really was a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.” The noise that erupted from deep within her throat was a mixture of a guffaw and a belch.

He stepped back.

“It’s okay, daddy,” she said and reached out both arms to him. “I ain’t no bedswerver. I just like having some fun sometime.” She pulled him closer to him and kissed him. “You remember, doncha, before the war? You were gone so long. I missed my snuggle pup.” She started to push her hands under his beanie, but he shoved her away. She stood, naked and confused. Then she shrugged. She turned and opened the drawer of the nightstand. “You can keep it on, but you’ll have to wear a party hat as well.”

She dove her hand into plethora of square packages and pulled one out. “I like this one. I think it’s called ‘French Letter’.” She guffawed-belched again. “No spelunking without the proper safety equipment.”

Once in bed, as she embraced him, she said, “Forget the war. I’m your little Sheba.”

The End

Eight words were submitted by FB Friends for this Fast Food Fiction tale and are listed. Word number 8 is in the story, I promise, but it’s cleverly written. I chose the last two words at random.

I also experimented with combining modern slang with flapper slang.

  1. continuum—a coherent whole characterized as a collection, sequence, or progression of values or elements varying by minute degrees: submitted by Jameson Payne Fellhauer
  2. refugee—one that flees, especially a country or situation: submitted by Kayla Gabelmann
  3. spelunking—cave diving, exploration; the act of exploring for the missing condom after deep penetration: submitted by Eric Reitan
  4. alien—belonging or relating to another person, place, or thing: submitted by Eloise Peacock
  5. plethora—a large excess or amount: submitted by Teresa Ropp Remsberg
  6. agoraphobia— abnormal fear of being helpless in a situation from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing that is characterized initially often by panic or anticipatory anxiety and finally by the avoidance of open or public places: submitted by Sami Bear
  7. trichotillomania—condition that gives people strong urges to pull out their hair: submitted by Janet McNally
  8. supercalifragilisticexpialidocious—(1940s) extraordinarily good; (1964) something to say when you have nothing else to say—submitted by Mike Dinos
  9. cloche—a woman’s domed hat with a short brim, popular during the Flapper Era: Random word I selected.
  10. bedswerver—Shakespeare coined this one to describe an adulterer: Random word I selected

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