“Clubbing” by Jennifer Schaefer
Thursdaze (because the weekend won’t come fast enough) features original flash fiction modeled after our Drug Chronicles Series. Each story is an original one, and each encapsulates the author’s fictional experience with drugs. Our print series has anthologized authors writing about marijuana, cocaine, speed, and heroin, but contributors to the web series can focus on any drug, real or imagined, controlled or prescribed, illegal or soon-to-be legalized. Submissions to Thursdaze will be judged on an author’s ability to stylistically emulate his or her substance of choice. Submissions are also limited to 750 words, so try to focus. (They have a pill for that.)
by Jennifer Schaefer
It took the bulky female bouncer all of five seconds to find the stash in Sallie’s bra: “Now, what’s this, love? Next time keep it in your knickers.”
Damn it—now she’d have to try to score inside.
Roaming the pulsing, metallic club, Sallie spotted a group of garishly dressed, swarthy-skinned guys going mental on the dance floor. One of them—a short fellow sporting a Cat-in-the-Hat style hat—caught her eye and skipped over. “Need a bit of help, my hon?” He produced a small white pill. “First one’s on me.”
“Thanks,” she said, necking it. “So where are you guys from?”
They were ethnic Albanians, he explained, whose families sent them to England to escape the strife in Kosovo. “Very good parties in London. We like to stay forever.”
“Same here. About the parties, I mean.”
“You a Yank, yes? I can tell by your smile.” And then he was pulled back onto the dance floor by his friends, so Sallie fell into a plush velvety chair. And then finally—
yes yes yes and now she is grinning and squealing and everyone’s so beautiful and she is coming up so hard has to dance has to dance feels so good the story of the music flooding her veins as she stretches her arms up and is hypnotized by the patterns of hands painting the air everyone’s so happy please don’t let it ever end all the lovely decorative people she loves them all so much until oh gross some slimy guy is dancing way too close which brings her down better go get some water man this is good stuff lots of little explosions going off in her body she can’t stop smiling but needs to pee so leaves the dance floor and now looking in the bathroom mirror she sees a group of hyper girls disappear into a stall “just stick it up your bum,” instructs one of them “you’ll come up faster and won’t get ill neither,” back on the dance floor here are the albanians blowing whistles and flapping their hands she missed them so much but oh god here’s the paramedics rushing into the ladies room what a downer but it’s impossible not to smile surrounded by such glamorous people all feather boas leather faux fur and spacesuit silver and she can’t believe it’s three already time flies when you’re off your face but her legs are aching this isn’t fun anymore she looks for the cat-in-the-hat but can’t find him and now here’s a beautiful boy wearing only green velvet pants and loops of mardi gras beads “you’re a game lass,” he says and he is wonderful to dance with might as well melt into him he feels good and they’re holding hands and grinding and inhaling each other until she sees a gorgeous guy with spiky raven hair and black clothes leaning against a column like a gothic god watching her broodingly so she mimics his frown which makes him crack a smile so she turns away from beautiful boy to dance for this new one this gothic god who peels himself sensuously off the wall and saunters over ignoring her pissed-off partner “shall we throw him in the thames?” gothic god growls in her ear and they both laugh until beautiful boy skulks off and here is someone passing around a bucket of popsicles and they share a lemon one before dissolving together kissing and they’re all hot and wet and sticky and tingly and totally in love until someone sneaks up puts his arms around their shoulders and says “i want some of what you two are on,” and she rejoices at her old friend cat-in-the-hat and a girl blowing bubbles puts a pink tiara on sallie’s head and someone else pulls her up on a podium and she looks down at all her subjects worshipping her and she knows now that this is why she’s here why she came to this land and when she stumbles her new friends help her off the podium but where is her gothic god it must be closing time because the dance floor is clearing out and everyone is sitting around in deflated clusters she looks around for him but now the music is off and the lights blinding and the bouncers shouting and shaking heaps of passed-out people while the half-living stumble off the floor all buggy eyes greasy skin and wet wrinkled clothes she waits outside the men’s room for a few minutes for gothic god feeling pathetic “fuck this,” she finally decides, throwing the pink plastic tiara in the trash.
JENNIFER SCHAEFER is a Chicago-based writer whose work has appeared in Curbside Splendor and The Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row literary journals. For more excerpts from her novel, The Salamander’s Slipper, please visit: www.jenschaefer.com.
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Thursdaze flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your submission should never have been published elsewhere.
—Your story should feature a drug, any drug, and your character’s experience with it. We’ll consider everything from caffeine to opium, and look forward to stories ranging from casual use to addiction to recovery. Stylistically, we’ll respond most favorable to stories that capture the mood and rhythm of your drug of choice.
—Include your drug of choice next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected], and include THURSDAZE in the subject line. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
About the Drug Chronicles Series: Inspired by the ongoing international success of the city-based Akashic Noir Series, Akashic created the Drug Chronicles Series. The anthologies in the series feature original short stories from acclaimed authors, each of whom focuses on their fictional experience with the title drug. Current releases in the series include The Speed Chronicles (Sherman Alexie, William T. Vollmann, Megan Abbott, James Franco, Beth Lisick, Tao Lin, etc.), The Cocaine Chronicles (Lee Child, Laura Lippman, etc.), The Heroin Chronicles (Eric Bogosian, Jerry Stahl, Lydia Lunch, etc.), and The Marijuana Chronicles (Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Linda Yablonsky, etc.).
Posted: Feb 6, 2014
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