“Intuitive” by Carolyn Smuts
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.)
This week, Carolyn Smuts lives in anxious anticipation of the future.
Psychics are fake. They are lying bullshitters who make a buck conning the stupid and the naïve. I’m no psychic. He thinks I’m intuitive. I’m not; he’s just a drunk.
I hated the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray knowing in advance what people would say and do bugged me. I also hated that, as a mere audience member, I knew what came next even though the characters in the film were in the dark. Anxious anticipation of knowing what will happen then waiting for it to play out—fake intuition—bugs me. I know because I live it.
He walks into the kitchen and shuffles through the crap on the counter.
“Are you making Jell-O?”
“Get outta my head. I’ve been dying for Jell-O for some reason. How the hell did you know I want Jell-O?”
I slowly stir the boiling water into the green sugar stuff and watch it dissolve, pausing for a second to lean in for a kiss. “Mmmm . . . I’m so glad, Honey. It’s been so hot I just thought Jell-O sounded good.” And last Tuesday when we went to the Mexican place for tacos, you slurred something about college and Jell-O shooters and how much you love fucking Jell-O. You’d been shooting Patron while I sipped my margarita and tried not to stare at the piece of lettuce stuck to your stupid cheek.
“I need to run a few errands this afternoon,” he says.
“You going to run by Home Depot?”
“For a sprinkler part?”
“How’d you know?”
I shrug. You slurred it at me last night after downing enough Dewar’s to sedate a rhino, dumbass.
“I’m just in a pissy mood,” he says casually. “I feel like I need to do something constructive today and the freaking brown grass isn’t going to fix itself.”
“I know, Honey,” I soothe. “I think you’re stressed about work stuff . . . maybe that mistake of Carmen’s that’ll make you look bad if it isn’t fixed by Monday. Sweetie, I know you hate to work weekends, but it might be a good idea to fire up the computer and handle it today so it isn’t hanging over your head on Monday.”
“I didn’t even know you knew about the mix-up, but I was seriously thinking the exact same thing about taking care of it today. You’re damn smart, woman—you don’t care if I work for a few this afternoon?”
“Nope.” I know it needs fixing because you whined and rambled about the stupid ordering mix-up for two hours and fifteen beers Friday night while I was trying to watch my movie, you clueless asswipe.
“While you are out, you should get a haircut,” I offer.
“I know. I’ve been wanting to. I think I will.”
I know. You told me, fuckface.
He’ll do the haircut first because he is a vain motherfucker and he’s thinking of being back on the market. I know he doesn’t remember, but he laid it all out pretty cruelly and bluntly after the Maker’s Mark Saturday night—his plans to leave, to take the dogs, to leave me with nothing.
He’ll hit Home Depot after that. I know he wants the yard looking good because if the house is going to be on the market, it needs better curb appeal.
“What are you up to today? Anything planned?” He asks.
“I’m going to hit the gym then get my hair done.”
“Seriously? I mean, that’s awesome. You haven’t been to the gym in a long time.”
“Yeah, I just have a feeling it’s time to get back in shape,” I casually remark as I stir the antifreeze into the lime Jell-O. “Just intuition, I guess.”
CAROLYN SMUTS holds BA and MA degrees in history and enjoyed extensive academic work before fleeing to become a writer-for-hire. Prior to that, she survived a seven-year stint working at Disneyland and an array of exciting temporary positions ranging from German steel imports to Pennsylvania coal mines. Carolyn’s work has appeared in the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Times, the Ventura County Reporter, Woman’s Day, Glamour, Level Renner, Family Circle, Self, Ultimate Motorcycling, and Creative Living magazines. Two of her books were shamefully and secretively published under pseudonyms. She lives in Southern California with her family.
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: Nov 6, 2014
Featured: Music/Popular Culture/Art
- Will Work for Drugs
- Lessons in Taxidermy
- Sale GTFTS/YHTFE Bundle
- Copycat: And a Litter of Other Cats
- HNIC (limited edition signed package)
- A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola
- The Jesus Lizard Book
- Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool
- Sale Simon’s Cat Bundle
- Go the Fuck to Sleep
- Rock Star Digit
- Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don’t Have Bruises