The Comely Cannibal

My entry in the latest Angry Hourglass Flash Frenzy contest. Your story had to be inspired by the photo below and the word count max was 360. I had a lot of fun writing this story and I received an Honorable Mention this week. The judge this week, Nancy Chenier, left some very detailed comments on all the stories, and you can read her thoughts on my tale at the end of this post.

10710789_580645482062293_8336764312618692816_n2 photo by Ashwin Rao

Keep waving your hand, buddy. I see you. Yes, I’m ignoring you. Don’t fret, somebody will snatch you up. That snazzy suit of yours will help. Sorry, this cab is trawling for the pretty things with razor smiles.

She was standing on the corner, same as always. A body like chilled custard, firm with the proper amount of jiggle. She had the kind of face that required future alimony payments. Her painted nails flagged me down. I tried not to swoon.

“You want a blowjob?”

“Do what?”

“Do you like your job?”

Damn. “It gives me some freedom, so yeah, it’s okay. What about you, you work?”

“I eat men.”

“I bet you do. How does that pay these days?”

“I could throw out numbers, but it would sink your heart. If you had made a better career choice, maybe I’d eat you, too.”

“I ain’t gullible, lady. I ain’t that easy.”

“No? That’s cute. What if I opened my coat and gave you a little glimpse? What would you do then?”

“I’d look, that’s what I’d do. Might even let my eyes linger, take a mental snapshot. Doesn’t mean I’d fall in love, sweetheart.”

“Is that why you drive by my corner like a yellow stalker everyday, ’cause you’re not easy?  I’ve seen that look of yours before, I see it a hundred times a week. I own you, I own them all.”

“Boobs and a vagina, lady, plenty of those around. Fish in a barrel.”

“Yes, you drive a taxi for a living. I’m sure your social calendar is busting at the seams. I’d wager that you have an OK Cupid account. Am I right?”

She was right. “Please, that’s insulting. My bed squeaks on a nightly basis.”

“That’s hilarious. This is my stop, and your last chance at rapture. You want a teaser before I go? It might inspire you to be more successful.”

“Maybe next time.”

“How much I do owe you, mister lothario?”

“No charge. Have a nice day.”

“Thanks for the meal.”

I cranked a tune by Hall and Oates as she glided away, her backside swaying like a deserted boat in a typhoon.

Judge’s comment: The Comely Cannibal—The hard-boiled Chandler-esque figurative language seduced me, irresistible lines like: “chilled custard”, “the kind of face that required alimony payments”, “deserted boat in a typhoon”. That last one all the more delicious because she went away alone (“deserted”) despite her professed meal—the MC didn’t take the bait (yet). I loved the confusion over “blow job”—by the end we’re not sure if the cabbie misheard or she was really taunting him. The voice had me hooked despite the fact that we have two rather unsympathetic characters—well-played.

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4 thoughts on “The Comely Cannibal

  1. Oh my goodness, once again you’ve wowed me. Haha! I’m still chuckling. This was a fantastic piece! The balance between descriptive, emotive writing and telling dialogue you use here is consistent in all your flash writing. Looking forward to what you’ll come up with next.

    1. Dang. Thank you, Grace. It’s really nice to get some positive feedback, especially for an insecure writer. Ha! FYI, you got robbed on Flash Friday. It’s subjective of course, but I was shocked you didn’t place. Baffling. Tough job for the judge, I suppose.

      1. Welcome to the club. I’m not sure there are any that can call themselves a confident writer, at least I’ve not met any. And If they do I’d beware, sort of like the fool who thinks he knows the meaning of life.

        I typically loathe the words as they leak from my pen and then I step away. (I’ve learned to step away and not merely hit delete.) Sometimes it takes a day often weeks, but I’ve found I’m never fully satisfied with what I write, then I revisit and revise. At some point I say screw it and just toss it on the blog, or click that dreaded link to submit.

        I read and read a lot, different subjects and genres, but I’ve found my preferences lie in descriptions that make me feel and dialogue that makes me think. I’m not slapstick or absurdity, I favor humor with wit, and I guess I’m morbid in the sense I’m drawn to the darker side of melancholy.

        With all that said, I know we are truly our own worst critics.

        You have a talent with phrasing that shows and doesn’t tell. It’s a lovely gift. So from one self-deprecating writer of words to another I say, yes, writing is subjective, but I thoroughly enjoy your ink.

        Thanks for you vote by the way. (And I almost hit delete on even this response. haha!)

      2. I’m glad you didn’t hit delete! We are quite similar about not being fully satisfied with our writing. Last week I wrote a poem for Three Line Thursday, but I didn’t submit because I kept telling myself it was garbage etc.. lol. That happens often with other contests too.

        Similar to you, I’m also drawn to the darker side of melancholy. I don’t mind a “feel good” story necessarily, but as a reader I want to be punched in the gut by an emotional fist. Life isn’t always rosy, and I enjoy when writers explore that deep ache, that eternal yearning that resides within. I tend to respect writing that takes risks, writing that maybe exposes the author to a certain degree. I just want to feel something at the end of the story/poem.

        When I read your poetry and flash, I’m always thinking “she gets it,” if that makes sense. You aren’t a gimmicky writer, you aren’t winking at the reader because you think you’re clever. You just write gorgeous prose, layered in emotion, that really impacts the reader. I’m an extremely picky reader, but I’m really enamored with your style, and your ability to make the reader look within themselves to flesh-out the relatable truths contained in your stories/poems. Not an easy feat.

        Ok, now I want to delete this too. Lol!

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