Category Archives: Quenby Larsen

quelle horror! quelle dommage! by Quenby Larsen

He would surely be fired, observed Chef, of Errand Guy #24, George, whose name Mme Stache pronounced in the French way. “Jacques” whose actual name was Jimmy and “Andre,” aka “Andy” had gone out in much the same way. Having failed to realize the way in which the woman anthropomorphized her dog according to its haircut, they did not do the one thing that would satisfy her: To make Fifi look like a happy, innocent young pooch.

If the dog’s hair became dirty and matted, she looked like a grimacing old man or a crook. If Errand Guy, who was in charge of taking the dog to the groomer, did not convey the message that Fifi was to have “Teddy Bear Eyes,” Mme became distraught when Fifi inevitably came back with a low shelf of hair over her eyes. The cut made Fifi look angry, said Mme, like “an angry little bitch.” As the hair softened and dirtied, the little dog looked friendlier again but she also looked like little waif, like a little trampy thief.

Chef felt respect for George when he realized he was torturing Mme Stache on purpose. Soon George and Chef became lovers. Soon they went away. Chef left his ladle in a pot on a cold burner on the stove, along with his apron and hat. George left a tape with the message: “My name is George. That’s G-E-O-R-G-E.” He pronounced the letters in the American way.


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Skin by Meg Sefton

“This must the least favorite part of your body,” said the manicurist, rubbing a rose scented cream into the woman’s hand. The manicurist’s eyes traveled up to the woman’s neck and rested on her face. “In fact, your whole right side is damaged.” The manicurist gave her some cream to take home.

The manicurist was not exaggerating. On the back of her wrist was a long purple scar where she had surgery to remove a ganglion cyst. It looked like some kind of backwards suicide attempt. There was a puckered white patch on a knuckle where she burned her hand ironing her husband’s shirt on his first day of work. Her pinkie had suffered third degree burns from the hot glue gun when she was helping her son make Gandalf for a Tolkien diorama. There was a slash on her neck where another cyst had been removed. There was a sprinkling of hypopigmentation on the right side of her face, a result of pregnancy that no amount of makeup could hide.

She used the cream. It worked. She looked nothing like herself.

She freaked out. She slashed the back of her wrist and the base of her neck. She burned her knuckle with an iron. She covered her pinkie with hot glue. She dotted her check with household bleach. She took herself to the emergency room and said she had been tortured, and no, she did not know her assailant.


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a mother speaks to a stone by Quenby Larsen

Hold the heart of stone in your embrace. Spread your wing over the troubled ground. Tip your head to her sleep. She is a dream of prayer. She was my dream.

I will with your daughter stay. When you are home tonight, spread yourself on her bed. She is where you take her, but I will enable the care of her body soul spirit.

You seem more than stone. Why do I think you more than stone? I have never seen a figure more tenderly wrought. Are we women together?

A child’s heart has become our home. We are women.

Who made your wings? Who draped your dress? Did you hold the granite heart when they engraved it, when they set my child’s picture there?

I am always everywhere at once and in you and here. These other things concerning me are at once known and essentially known as every detail of the child in my care.

Are you God?

You are given me, then, to comfort. You are real to me. I believe because I must.


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shades of a young miss zorita by Quenby Larsen

When you sit on your Mama’s porch with your friend’s eight foot boa constrictor around your neck, think: “Long lines.” You are along the lines with your constrictor. You are the fifty pound smooth skinned muscle sliding along your arms and shoulders. You tense, he tenses. You freak out, you’re dead. He’s not a kitten, OK? He’s not a puppy. He’s not your Mama’s love “surprise.”

You have never been so cool in your whole life. The beer you drank may be helping, though it may be the second hand pot smoke, and no, you don’t do that. You’d never see the light of day, much less the boa, much less the guy who kisses you with his pot mouth. At night, he climbs up onto your preacher daddy’s roof and into your bedroom. He puts his finger on you and releases bird after pent-up bird. You blow him with your grateful, wet mouth as he lies on your technically virgin bed.

When you are in the grip of the snake it helps you have been sexual, so don’t ever let someone talk you out of it. Its muscular contractions are like serial multiple orgasms. Some men cannot handle it, are terrified, are strangled, are found dead in cages. Lucky women know what’s going on. So ride it out, dear sister, do not move. Ride it out and lengthen your sweet gorgeous lines.


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