A Work of Fiction

After much consideration, I am going to continue posting my six sentence stories weekly, but my short stories and micro fiction are going to move to a biweekly schedule or the rest of the year so I can accommodate other projects. I finished my first novel last year, and would like to focus on getting it ready to publish.

This started off as a background piece for a character in my novel. There are a few different version of the story, this one is a “grew up in the city” narrative that I tossed out. It was also inspired a little by the “lie that got out of hand” idea, and I had just watched Sweet Home Alabama, and wondered what would have happened if the main character hadn’t been married and needed a divorce. Would she have lived the lie?


When people saw me, they made assumptions about my childhood. That I was the type of child who grew up in a penthouse, summered at the cape, and spent Christmas at the family chalet. I could never let people know the truth. I was from the city all right, but not the good part.

We were in the poor neighborhood, and even then we shared the three bedroom apartment with another family. There were 9 of us living there in that apartment, and there was no problem with the tiny kitchen that had no virtually no cupboards, because neither family had to money to buy so much that they would have to store it.

That was the thing about being poor. Not TV poor, where people live in lofts and wear designer clothes, and complain about having no money while eating take out. We were real poor, which meant it didn’t matter that it was half the price per gram to buy the jumbo package of rice, we only had enough to buy the small one, and there wasn’t any way to save up to buy clothes that would last long enough to be considered a good investment.

I honestly think the only new clothing I got my entire childhood was the few years that I managed to get a winter coat from the coat drive. It was strange, and I had to admit, though I loved the vibrant colors, the rough fabric irritated my skin, which had never felt something that hadn’t been worn down by two to three previous owners and countless washes.

I had ambition though, and I learned to sew, to fit the clothes I did have, which meant that while it was often threadbare, I didn’t have the wearing a tent look that my older brother had. To people who didn’t know my siblings, one would almost assume these were actually girls clothes, not just re-purposed cast offs.

My parents thought it was dumb, the idea of going to college. Why would you spend so much money to get a job anyways. If you worked that time, you would be making just as that new graduate, sometimes even more.

I didn’t argue with them, it was true, but only because they couldn’t see the big picture. It was almost impossible to get promoted past a certain level without a degree. The didn’t recognize that the other person had worked 5 years to get to a level the graduate got on day one, and after that the promotions were usually faster. Ya, sure, if you loved your job, and it didn’t need a degree, than getting one was stupid. But growing up the way I did, I wanted out, and I wanted big, and I was never going to meet the people I needed to meet to make that happen if I never left the two city blocks that was out neighborhood.

So I worked my ass off. I applied to a program for the underprivileged that would give me a subway pass, and I used that to get me to every free design, or sewing, or business class that I could get to, cause none of that stuff existed in my part of town. When it was time to apply to college, I applied to as many as I could for free, and then I begged, borrowed, and pleaded until my guidance counselor helped me get funding to apply for more. Then I applied for every scholarship, contest or grant I could. I don’t think I slept more than three hours a night the first six months of my senior year, and my grades were good that year, but not spectacular. I wrote more essays about growing up poor than I wanted to admit, and I hoped to hell some soft hearted admissions person read one and took pity on me because I was a lot of things, but I couldn’t be above charity, not if I wanted out.

And then I got in, more than one place, but the one I took offered me a full ride to a school of design, plus living expenses. My portfolio was impressive, they said, and I walked out the door of that apartment and never looked back.

My first semester was pure culture shock, but I quickly learned what to say, and what not to say, to fit in with the others. We were allowed to keep our projects, and so I toned down my physical submissions, and created myself a wardrobe. I tried calling my parents a few times, but they didn’t have much interest in me, more focused on my brother’s who still lived in the neighborhood. I gave up, and decided to make a clean break, and change my last name to something a little more, in. By the time I graduated, most the people I started with had washed out, and I had made connections with people who had no idea I wasn’t of the “those” Allertons.

When it was time to write up my bio for my first fashion show, it was a work of fiction, and the second I pressed send I wished I could take it back, knowing someone would find me out, but they didn’t. Apparently no one really cared that much about your childhood when you were designing fashion. I wasn’t an A-lister, so looking into my past just was not lucrative enough, and I rode that.

I met a woman, I got married, we adopted, and I raised three wonderful children without any of them ever knowing about my family. I wish I could say it was great, but it haunted me, loomed over me like a sword of Damocles, waiting to come down and destroy my life. How do you tell someone you are a lie?

It wasn’t first date material, or third, and at some point it seems like telling them after so long would be a betrayal, and I couldn’t lose my girlfriend, then my wife, then my kids, by admitting the lie. I knew I was going to die someday, under a name of my own making, and my parents, more likely just my brothers wouldn’t even know I had passed.

What had I done?

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

This one will speak to anyone who has ever tried to make friends with another human being as an adult. Especially if your personality is on the abrasive side, poor John isn’t sure why he was invited to lunch, but he doesn’t trust it, not at first at least.


I waited for the punch line, and it didn’t come. So, I tentatively, trying not to hope, went back to work. I put it all to the back of my mind until an alarm went off at 11:55, 5 minutes to lunch time. 5 minutes to truth time.

I saved my documents, put away what I was working on, and headed to the cafeteria, hesitant, but hopeful. There he was, sitting at the table with a few others and my stomach dropped. Was it a joke after all, or maybe I was just that forgettable?

I was about to turn, walk out, maybe send a message saying I was working through lunch today, when he turned and caught my eye. He smiled, and I froze.

“Hey, John, you made it, come join, saved you a seat.” He patted the empty spot beside him, and I smiled, which was probably way more awkward looking than happy, cause thats how I roll. So, I walked over, in way that was probably a way too eager, and stated. “Uh just gonna grab some food first” and then went and joined the line.

I usually did the hot lunch, but I was nervous enough without adding the complication of trying to wind spaghetti to the mix, or keep a soup spoon level, so I grabbed a sandwich, an apple, and some pudding. Might have to come back and grab a snack later, but better than getting fries and flipping my lid if someone else touched them. Got coffee though, needed coffee to make it through whatever this is.

When I got back, Chris was alone, and he gestured to the seat across from him. “Guys were on early lunch, had to head back. Just you and me now. On that note, I am going to go grab something myself.” He explained and was up and heading towards the line before I had even figured out where he wanted me to sit.

I sat down, and tried to figure out if I was supposed to start eating,or wait. It had been a long time since someone had wanted to eat lunch with me. I wasn’t exactly what people would call friend material. I was loud, and abrasive, and if my sister was to be believed, pretty fucking obnoxious.

I focused on adding the milk and sugar to my coffee, stirring, tasting, adjusting. I was saved the trouble of what to do about the rest of my food by Chris returning just as I was double checking I got the lid on right. Nothing is worse that taking that first sip, and then wearing your perfect cup of coffee instead of drinking it.

“And I’m back.” He slid back onto his bench seat and grinned again.

“And my coffee is perfect.” I joked, holding it up and taking a small sip. God it really was perfect. I looked across the table, and saw that he had the spaghetti. I couldn’t imagine having the confidence to do this and eat spaghetti of all things, but then again if I looked like Chris, maybe I would.

The standard small talk followed, and then I blew it with an inappropriate comment, only instead of getting offended or chastising me, he did the unexpected, and laughed.

“Really, kind of served her right a little. But don’t tell anyone I said that, wouldn’t do for someone in my position to making comments yanno?” And he was grinning, he was entertained, and I realized that he didn’t want anything. The whole lunch was just that, lunch. The other shoe didn’t drop, he actually seemed amused, sent back a few zingers himself, and like me he was a lot more relaxed leaving the cafeteria than he was entering it.

I want to say I accepted the implicit offer of friendship, and went with it, but well, it was three more months before I realized that we were friends. That was all that this was, friendship. There was no ulterior motive, and it was watching him chat with someone else, one of the other “popular” people at work that made me realize it.

If I hadn’t known him better, I would say he was relaxed, cool, confident, and enjoying himself, but I did know him better now. His shoulders were hunched a little forward, his body turned away, and his smooth answers were too smooth, rehearsed, a little boxy even for him, not that his companion seemed to notice. He was like that with most people, playing the cool guy. He wasn’t like that with me though, he was, shit, he really was my friend.

I watched him another few days, between our weekly lunches and I came to a realization. I might be his only actual friend here. Everyone else came, they chatted, wanted something, got it and left, except for me. I literally just wanted his company, we weren’t even close enough in departments for me to see him most days. If it hadn’t been for that stupid supervisor lunch and learn where we ate horrible food and learned nothing, we wouldn’t have even met.

Next lunch, I had the spaghetti, and when the topic of movies rolled around I found myself blurting out. “Ya, I can’t wait for that to come out. We should go!”

He froze for a second, and I thought I fucked it all up, but then he smiled. The real smile, not the impressive one. “Ya, that would be great, I haven’t gone to the movies in ages.” And I went back to my spaghetti trying to keep my face from showing how happy I was. I think I actually had a friend!

Katherine the Great

I will be honest here, no memory of writing this, but it seems a wonderful choice to post right at the New Year. I am not a resolution type of girl, and sometimes I think people need to work a little more on being happy with who they are, rather than trying to become someone who will be happy. Controversial opinion, I know. Please note, I do not condone smoking in any way, shape, or form.


“Today’s the day I change” She said to herself, reading the little card. Stupid affirmations, they always seemed so shallow. Though she wasn’t exactly sure what it was that she was expecting. After all they were only small pieces of cardboard.

She skipped ahead to the next day “keep trying”

Bleh, she threw the stack in the garbage, and pulled the package of cigarettes from her purse. She was jittery, and on edge, and smoking was going to kill her one day, but this, the feelings might do it today if she didn’t.

She breathed in and relished the burn, letting the familiar sensation calm her in a way that a thousand stupid affirmations wouldn’t. She looked at the yoga mat in the corner, and felt a simmering of guilt at not even opening the gift. She knew that it would help, but she had been so busy it just seemed like one more task, on an endless list of tasks.

She snuffed out the cigarette, and reached for her second vice, breathing in the bitter smell of the hot coffee. It was bad for her anxiety, or so she had been told, but there were some things that she wouldn’t bend on, and this was one of them.

It seemed the recipe for clean living was being miserable, and she was one of those who was going to die far too young under the banner of living well. For her quality was everything, and while she tried to balance it with quantity of life, most of the time it just fell short.

What was it the song said “good time, not a lot of time” or something of the sort? She was determined from here on out she was going to stop stressing ,and start enjoying, and that meant coffee, cigarettes and fucking cake, not a stupid salad, no dressing, and 45 minute jog. She stepped back in from the balcony, closed the door and got ready for the day

She brushed her teeth twice to make sure to rid herself of the smell, and took a long shower. After, she did her hair, nails, makeup, and layered her clothing just so. She looked in the mirror and the person starting back at her appeared completely unrelated to the person who walked into the bathroom. She nodded at the stranger in the mirror and she knew she was ready to face the day.

The wasn’t Katie, who rather spend her day in her PJ’s eating ice cream than talk to another person. This was Katherine, consummate professional, impeccable, sociable, and good at what she did. She was ready to take on the world, and god forbid anyone stupid enough to get in her way, because Katherine took no prisoners.

She thought back to the nonsensical affirmation card and laughed. Nothing was going to change today, and maybe, just maybe, that was a good thing.

Countdown is On!

The year is almost over and this number is a little warning to be careful on deciding who to kiss at midnight. A little bit of comedy as the hopeless romantic goes for that all important midnight kiss at the office new years party. Now overly dark, but my brand of twisted comedy. See you all next year!


I had a minute to midnight and I was a woman on a mission.

The mission, kiss Jeremy Vallincourt.

He was an accountant at the office where we worked, and I had been lusting after him ever since he lost a water fight at the fourth of July picnic, and yanked his shirt over his head to reveal those perfect abs.

I had kept an eye on him all night, chatting here and there, flirting, but it was go time and Jeremy was nowhere to be seen. I was frantically signaling my friend Carly, my wingman for the night when the countdown started.

10

Carly finally caught wind of my signals and pointed towards Jeremy who was thankfully standing alone, and I started towards him, remembering the first day we met. When he bought me a cup of coffee to thank me for showing him around the office, even though it was my job. I should have snatched him up then.

9

I narrowly avoided the projectile vomiting of our moron office manager, who never makes it through an event with alcohol without throwing up. Jeremy, kind soul that he is , drove her home from the Halloween party, using a plastic pumpkin as a bucket.

8

Sarah, the secretary, or whatever the hell she calls herself is heading towards him too and as we meet up, I “accidentally” trip her, causing her to face plant in the punch bowl. So long, competition.

7

Its just me and him now, I just have to get there…

6

Almost almost, he turns and sees me, barreling towards him and stops. I hold my breath, hoping he doesn’t turn away, and score, he smiled.

5

Oh my god, he is heading towards me. This is it, this is it, he is so gonna kiss me at midnight!

4

We reach each other and stop, staring at one another with stupid grins and I am ready.

3

He reaches up and pushes my hair behind my ear and then.

2

Slowly he leans in and I am so ready for this, after 5 months of waiting I am going to get the guy. Me, who never gets the guy.

1

Oh my god he’s kissing me, its, its, horrible. Oh my god its horrible. This is without a doubt the worse kiss to ever be put upon another person in the history of kissing, and I am backing away and he is following his hands grabbing my ass. I felt him brush up against me, and nope that is not a banana and I jump back.

“Whoo! I guess I drank a little more than I should have. Sorry about that!” I said pretending to be so drunk, that I thought I had initiated the kiss.

Before he could get a word in edgewise I loudly continued. “Yep, better get home. Carly and I are splitting a cab.” I said, and I violently broke through the crowd to Carly and grabbed her arm. She started to protest when I continued “Yep, gonna go home, and eat some PINEAPPLE, and go to bed. High in vitamin C, great for staving off hangovers, PINEAPPLE.”

At the second repetition her eyes widened. “AH yes, the PINEAPPLE. Sorry George, see you around!” She ran out with me, and we dove in a cab as Jeremy yelled out the door, wait.
She stared at me, one raised eyebrow.

“What?” I snapped.

“Well? You aren’t going to explain that? Fleeing your dream guy, amazing dresser, wonderful personality,” She started

“Terrifyingly bad kisser, inappropriate fondler, the type of guy who pops a boner in the worst new years even kiss ever and wont let it stop.” I finished, and she let out a snort.

A second later I joined her, and we laughed until we almost cried.

“Well bright side, you dodged the bullet. Just think, you could have committed to dating him, at least now you can pull a good ‘I was drunk and have no memory of this’ Still akward, but.” She shrugged.

“Yep, definitely. That said, I am never going after a guy from the office again. Too much drama.” I said, seriously, believing it at the time. I even still meant it when I went back to work the next week. Then I met Kevin.