The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Tag: Short fiction

“Practicing in the Dark” By: Rosalia Scalia

It’s March and too cold for Delia, who pulls her black wool scarf tighter around her neck and tugs her coat—missing three buttons—tighter around her body. Under the coat, her winter blue-plaid school uniform offers no protection against the chill. She holds a stack of textbooks against her body for added warmth and wishes she hadn’t lost her gloves. She longs for warmer temperatures, for spring’s kiss on the now-naked winter trees lining the streets. Her father, who has sayings for everything, once told her March comes like a lion, but leaves like a lamb. Today, the lion roars her to numbness. She reminds herself to remember to sew the buttons back on her coat and to possibly snag her mother’s gloves.

On Riverside Avenue she forces herself step by step toward the Inner Harbor, away from Mary Star of the Sea High School, knowing she must endure the cold for another twenty minutes before she reaches her neighborhood. First a piano lesson, then home to change, and then her cashier job at the grocery store where her mother knows the owner and finagled the under-the-table job. The stack of textbooks provides some protection against the cold air, but her arms ache from the weight. She sets the stack down on a nearby stoop and shivers in her thin coat until she picks them up again. The books hold her coat shut. A few days ago, she asked her mother for a warmer coat, but winter is nearly over, her mother said, adding that she’d get a new one next year. She also asked her mother to sew the missing buttons, which sat in a small, clear cup in her room, back onto her coat.

“You could do it yourself,” Ivy said. Continue reading

“Nest,” by Meghan Ferrari

Scabbed knees scurry down a path saturated with yellow leaves.“Hurry up!” Sam shouts at her younger sister, exasperated by her slowness.She navigates the strewn branches swiftly, jumping over their jagged edges like a well-worn hopscotch. At the foot of the path she pauses, leaning her body, newly lanky, against the large rock shaped like a jelly bean. The grey bean, swathed in green moss, once served as the perfect table-top for tea parties, and Barbie’s BBQs, but now seats Sam and her friends as they practice their fishtail braids, crossing and re-crossing freshly highlighted hair, and discuss the day’s drama, most recently Becca’s foray with Ben H. behind portable #5.Sam waits until she can see the fraying bows on her sister’s pale pink sneakers, then continues deeper into the woods. As she runs, she stretches her flannelled arms out, and with pointed index fingers, grazes the passing pines, as though leaving a line to retrace.

 

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Tammy and Tom: A short play by Jonathan Joy

TAMMY and TOM

A short play by Jonathan Joy

Copyright 2014 by the author

joyjonathan@yahoo.com

(Lights up on a visibly nervous TAMMY. TOM is in the background, approaching.)

TAMMY – (to audience) It’s taken me weeks, but I have finally worked up the nerve to ask Tom out. I’ve chickened out plenty, but not this…oh, here he comes.

TOM – Hi.

TAMMY – Hi.

TAMMY – (to audience) He said hi.

TOM – Did you say something?

TAMMY – No…I mean…I was just talking to myself…no…that’s not what I meant to say…

TOM – Okay…bye

TAMMY – Tom, wait.

TOM – Yes?

TAMMY – I was just wondering…if you’re not doing anything…I thought maybe you’d want to get together and get a bite to eat…heck, I could even cook something…I’m a pretty good cook…or we could go out…

TOM – That depends.

TAMMY – What?

TOM – What would we eat? What would you cook?

TAMMY – Oh, I don’t know…

TOM – I’m a vegetarian. I can’t eat meat.

TAMMY – Oh, that’s no problem.

TOM – Good. And nothing dairy based. I’m lactose intolerant, so I can’t have anything with milk or cheese.

TAMMY – Okay, I think we can work around that.

TOM – And nothing wheat based either…my allergies…I’ll blow right up.

TAMMY – What can you eat?

TOM – Not seafood! If there is shellfish within 35 feet of me, I’ll need to go to the emergency room. I could die.

TAMMY – (to audience) To think I was afraid he’d say no. Now I’m afraid of potential manslaughter charges.

TOM – And not Mexican. The last time I had Mexican food I was in the bathroom all night.

TAMMY – Ew. Too much information.

TOM – Fruits and vegetables are okay, but they have to be pureed into a complete liquid form. Even then, no green or orange vegetables and no red or blue or green or yellow fruits.

TAMMY – That’s crazy.

TOM – What? That’s really insensitive, Tammy. I don’t know if this is going to work out, after all. Maybe it’s best that we don’t…

TAMMY – You know, maybe we should just skip dinner. We could go see a movie.

TOM – That would be better.

TAMMY – Good. We don’t have to eat anything all.

TOM – You pick the movie, but nothing R rated, please.

TAMMY – Okay.

TOM – And nothing with singing or explosions…I like to avoid all loud noises altogether.

TAMMY – Okay. Why don’t I pick you up…Saturday?

TOM – No, no, no…I don’t leave the house on days that have the letter “u” in them.

TAMMY – Wait, I’ve got it! You come over…Friday…we’ll dine on tomato paste and cold water…then we’ll rent a movie and turn the volume way down…

TOM – Tammy, that sounds like perfect evening.

TAMMY – It does.

TOM – Yeah…I have a seven o’clock self-imposed curfew, though.

TAMMY – You know what, forget it. I’m sorry I asked. Forget it.

TOM – (to audience) What did I say?

 

 

Jonathan Joy is the author of 25 plays, including “The Princess of Rome, Ohio”, “American Standard”, the “Bitsy and Boots” series, and over a dozen one acts that are regularly produced. His work has been staged in 12 US states, from countless productions in his home state of West Virginia to Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway stages in New York City, and overseas in France and Dubai. Publications and features include the New York Times, Smith and Krauss, Brooklyn Publishers, Southern Theatre magazine, Insight for Playwrights, the One Act Play Depot in Canada, and more. He has won several regional writing awards and is the only two time winner (2005 & 2008) of the national “Write like Mamet” award sponsored by the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. His books have topped the Amazon charts in Theatre, Drama, Political Humor, and Christian Literature categories. Mr. Joy is an English/Writing Instructor at Ashland Community and Technical College in Ashland, Kentucky, where he enjoys his dream job and has been nominated for Teaching Excellence Awards five straight years. He is the son of James Edward Joy, a Biology professor once described by a colleague as, “…the conscience of Marshall University for forty years…” and Susan Karnes Joy, a retiree of the Corps of Engineers and the kind of woman that would gladly take her son out of school early to see “Return of the Jedi” on its opening day in 1983. He is married to his best friend, Rissie, who is a successful Scentsy Director (rissiejoy.scentsy.us) and is father to an enthusiastic, playful four year old son, Levi.

The author may be contacted at joyjonathan@yahoo.com for information regarding royalties for production of his work.

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