Some Friday Fiction!

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From The Editor: Hello, reader, you attractive young devil! (Don’t argue with me.)

A little known fact about me: I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I could pick up a pencil, I’ve been scrawling yarns and tales and the such. Perhaps it was because I was a confused little homo looking for solace or because my parents divorced or because my sister used to beat the shit out of me, but I’ve always found comfort in the written word. Totally gay, right?

Like so many before me, I envisioned myself becoming a novelist or something equally glamorous. And, like every other blogger and/or journalist in New York, I’ve been working on a novel – it’s called Homecoming and will be published in the year 4013. Until then, however, I’ll have to sustain myself on short stories and other imagined things.

Since it’s Friday – and a fairly slow news day – I’m going to go ahead and publish something I wrote about four years ago. It’s called “Postcards” and I haven’t edited it since I wrote it, but it’s a good distraction from the six or so hours we all have left in this increasingly tedious work week.

Enjoy it or die. (Bonus points for those of you who send me some appropriate art!)

Nancy Guthrie never thought she’d bond with her husband’s mistress over a joint. Unfortunately, the conciliatory detail shocked her more than the existence of the mistress herself: Hillary. Like so many women, Nancy suspected her husband’s indiscretion, but blindly ignored the nagging over her husband’s debatable nuptials. When it came time to face the facts, Nancy couldn’t decide which she loathed more: her husband’s nine-year affair, a good chunk of their fourteen-year marriage, or her own affair with cliché. Most astonishing, Nancy would later confess, was that getting to know Hillary was sort of fun. She even felt a contradictory affection for the woman.

The truth was laid to rest, so to speak, on a warm day in early May, four days after Charles was felled by a heart attack. Despite his relatively young age of 42, Dr. Charles Guthrie had the charisma, good humor, and money to warrant a garish funeral, and the ornate church on Fifth Avenue was packed with people paying their respects. Naturally, Nancy sat up front, as striking as always. Charles’ family kept their distance: they never got along, and Nancy saw no need to start now. Always one for good posture, Nancy sat with the gracious dignity of a widow who mourns in private. Coiffed above her head nostalgically, her blond, wispy hair accented a noble, angular chin and flawlessly pink, eminent cheekbones. Slender, graceful neck, her green eyes reflected only a slight malaise, attentive as mourners marched by Charles’ big, fit corpse.

Growing bored nodding to the masses, Nancy wanted to just get the whole thing over with when a woman stepped sedately yet sensually to the casket. Without even looking in her eyes, Nancy knew the woman had relations with her husband. The odiferous air of adultery hovered above her, and Nancy was sure they shared carnal knowledge of the good doctor. A good ten years younger than Nancy’s thirty-nine, she wore a tight fitting, above-the-knee jade green pencil skirt and matching blazer. Her pitch-black hair pulled into a tight, shiny bun, framing the severe, troubled beauty of her porcelain face, she certainly demanded attention, and received it ten-fold from Nancy, who watched expectantly. Leaning over the corpse, skirt squeezing everywhere it should, the woman’s calm, analytic eyes scanned Charles’ made up face, as if searching for a sign of life, darting back and forth before coming to an abrupt halt. Her startling face fell under the weight of realization. Nancy recognized the grief of a widow in her eyes, however counterfeit.

The woman sniffled, kissed two crimson painted fingers and stroked Charles’ cheek before turning on her heels and marching away, oblivious of Nancy’s venomous stare. Nancy’s best friend, Francine, squeezed her hand with worried sympathy. “Are you alright?”

Nancy blinked purposefully. “Couldn’t be better. Why?”

She explained in her calm, British accent. “You’ve gone all white. You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Oh, please: there’s no such thing as ghosts. It’s much worse: I’ve seen a whore.” Nancy bristled, glaring at Charles’ lifeless face.