New prose/flash by Karen Carlson

A Practical Illustration of Entropy
 

John loves Mary.  Mary used to love John.  She got over that a long time ago and now loves Peter, who thinks he might love Mary, but he might also love Cathy.  Cathy's married to George, whom she doesn't love any more, but he's rich and she's willing to sleep with him and make him breakfast to keep her BMW.  George doesn't love Cathy any more either; still, she turns heads when he walks into the Christmas party with her, and she makes a great spinach omelette, and for passion he has Frannie who's cute even if she thinks Watergate is just a hotel.  Frannie's happy to sleep with George once in a while, but she's really taken with Doug who is trying to decide if he wants to be straight with her or gay with Michael, who's still in the closet, and has Linda as his beard.  Linda knows she's a beard and she's fine with it since she weighs 200 pounds and smokes and nobody else wants her, but she keeps hoping if she can just stick to her diet maybe Jerry will look at her differently.  Jerry doesn't want to look at Linda, diet or no, but he's nice to her because he feels sorry for her, even though he really loves Doris, who isn't sure she's able to love after her abusive marriage to Monty who left her for Lucy, the redhead from Albuquerque who doesn't mind the bruises as long as she has someone breathing next to her at 3 a.m.
 
Entropy hiccups, thus reverses.
 
Lucy decides Monty's breathing isn't worth the bruises and heads back to Albuquerque, which sends Monty to a therapist to deal with his anger towards women, stemming from his mother's toilet training methods back in 1952.  He reconciles with Doris, who of course dumps Jerry immediately, leaving him bereft and forlorn and suddenly Linda looks pretty good to him, meaning she is no longer available to be Michael's beard.  Michael takes a hard look at his closet and finds it dark and tiny and dusty, so he starts holding Doug's hand in public and a few weeks later they have a commitment ceremony with rings and a catered reception.  Frannie decides if she can't have love, she'll settle for money; she takes a cooking class, learns to make a terrific spinach omelette, and gives George an ultimatum, which he decides is fine with him.  Cathy gets a great divorce settlement, keeps her BMW, and starts making eggs benedict for Peter, who is won over by the hollandaise and stops seeing Mary.  Mary decides she loves John again.
 
Entropy's hiccup over,  John notices Kirsten from Accounting has a fantastic ass…



* Karen Carlson lives in Maine. Prior publications include Toasted Cheese and SHINE! She adds “This is kind of an odd piece – it's been called a prose poem, humor, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and wordplay – so I'm looking at litmags that can handle something outside the box.” Oh yes, we can handle outside the box stuff.

One comment

  1. I love this flash, and I used it to illustrate a point in my interview on The Writing Show on short story beginnings. The question was: “do short stories have to have a main character?” And my answer was to read the beginning of this flash.
    You can hear the interview here: http://www.writingshow.com/podcasts/2008/08172008.html
    Thanks, Ink Sweat & Tears! I've given the host of The Writing Show the link to your site so listeners can find it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*