Sunday, January 11, 2009

Entry #54

Static Ellen
by Dottie Camptown


Henry was already in line before the official notice instructed all next of kin to show up. Behind him a breathless girl murmured in her cell phone, “localized temporal stasis.” Henry felt around his coat pocket for the birth certificate. He would be in the next group of ten.

Yesterday morning was humdrum. Ellen pedaled ardently on her stationary bike; he tried to proof an article before they left on vacation. (Aberrant Manifestations in Actuarial Science)

She said, “You will L-O-V-E Aruba.”

As always she had picked the destination. The brochure showed a man and a bikini-clad woman falling back into the surf. Bold red lettering said, “Bye-Bye, Winter Sky.” Letting go of the handle bars, she pointed at the never-breaking bank of clouds outside their den window, “How true is that?”

A woman holding a clipboard signaled his group inside. Henry gave Ellen’s name and showed her birth certificate. The woman marked an “X” on a mall map.

“She’s on the west side up escalator. Please don’t touch any of them.”

Henry walked up the stilled steps. Ellen’s back was to him, her ascent an inference. Ignoring the no touch directive, Henry reached under Ellen’s sweater and felt her breasts – warm, unrestrained, halted. She didn’t smack his hand away.

Ellen was static, but Henry was still in motion. He fished a pair of white cotton underwear out of her Victoria Secret’s shopping bag. Resolved they wouldn’t stay clean forever, Henry took them to Aruba.

27 comments:

laughingwolf said...

nice twist, thx dottie :)

wrath999 said...

Wow, unique and great twist.

JR's Thumbprints said...

This gives new meaning to handrails. I know, I know, bad joke. It seems Henry couldn't wait. For the trip, of course.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

That was eerie!One doubt,is she dead or preserved or something else?

harshad said...

thts a nice dark tale...cool twist!

Dottie said...

Sameera, I'm not sure there is a medical or scientific explanation for what's happened to poor Ellen and the other shoppers, but I'm sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Thanks for the clarification,was just confirming :)

peggy said...

Temporal, time travel stasis..very interesting idea, cool story.

Sarah Hina said...

Dottie, I always look forward to your entries, and now I remember why. :) Really brilliant work.

I love the mix of surreal and humdrum. Something so arresting about all those stilled shoppers. And the fact that he felt her up, then stole her panties just about knocked me out.

One of my favorites, for sure. Great job.

one more believer said...

what a wonderful story...panties, elevators and the stillness of a vacation..

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Very unique take...loved it

Nothingman said...

hope there aren't any frozen ppl on the beach where he is going...

strange story:)

N

Scott said...

I don't get it, but it was very, very interesting. I'd like to know more...

Catvibe said...

So she's just stuck in one position forever? This is definitely one of the strangest entries I have read! Nice job.

Prashant Dhanke said...

Surreal. What would have she done to Static Henry :).

pjd said...

"Don't touch any of them." Seems it might creep him out to know that someone else's "next of kin" might be taking the same liberties with is very own wife. What's with the security in that joint? Oh, yeah, it's a mall. All the mall cops must be at the donut shop.

bluesugarpoet said...

That confirms what I've always suspected: actuaries are naughty. Loved your story! - jana

JR's Thumbprints said...

I hope you don't mind, but I had a heated discussion with a convicted murderer who thought Ellen was a mannequin. I didn't know what to do, didn't know what to say, so I simply agreed with him.

Dottie said...

JR, your post is better than my entire story. Carefully, carefully tell your friend that mannequins do not have warm breasts. Or do they? This will involve some research and perhaps a night or two in lock-up for me as well.

September said...

Ohh...so interesting. I liked it.
Good work.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Dottie, His argument included the following: Ellen's "stationary bike," Ellen's location "'X' on the mall map", the woman's request "Don't touch any of them." His trump card (after I mentioned the warm breasts, the birth certificte & the shopping bag): Henry's "Aberrant Manifestation."

We spent an entire class period discussing your story, which BTW I liked very very much.

As for my blog post, I put that narrative together in less than an hour. I'm glad you liked it, but it's not that good. I just hope the written voice in my flash fiction piece can hold its own.

Dottie said...

Your student picked up on all of the thematic plants I put in the story, he just came out with a better interpretation. Really, having her be a mannequin is brilliant and I'm tempted to lie and say that's what I meant to do. I have a friend from high school who is an actuary and CPA. Her professional (and FB) motto is, "I account for things." I tried to have that in my head as I described Henry's world.

Finally, JR, I think your class talking about my story is one of the greatest compliments I've received as a writer. Thank you for letting me know.

ceedy said...

Sureal portrayal....interesting story....live warm static partner could lead to many interesting mischiefs...

Terry said...

I'm sorry that I didn't get the chance to read your story before the contest end. Glad to have the chance to do it now. Congratulations on your win!

jason evans said...

Congratulations on 3rd Place!

Great job on pacing, entertainment value, technical skill, storytelling, and voice! And welcome to the Forties Club!!

Thanks for being a wonderful part of the contest.

Victor Bravo Monchego, Jr said...

Wow! The universe works in strange ways.

Dottie said...

Thankfully the weirdness is usually confined to the narrative universe. Lets the real Ellens live in peace with their boring underwear.