Yellow Mama Archives II

Tony Ayers

Home
Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernice
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Koperwas, Tom
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reutter, G. Emil
Robson, Merrilee
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Heidi

 

by Tony Ayers

 

 

          Heidi reads Ashley's text; maybe it is him, lol. She sees the grey ellipsis appear, disappear, pop up again, and then disappear again.

Heidi returns to the phone hours later, but neither Ashley nor anyone else has texted her, so she goes to bed.

          The following morning, Heidi awakes with tears in her throat and images of her estranged mother picking tiger lilies in her head. Her mother's big, brown eyes are melting; the petals on the flowers dry up and blow away. The nightstand buzzes. Maybe it's him, she thinks and answers the phone. 

          "Hello?" she says softly into her cell phone. There is no breathing or white noise on the line, yet she is certain someone is there. She defers to her godmother’s photo on her dresser; she urges her to hang up, so she does. She stares at the phone as if it will strike her at any moment.

When it doesn't, she turns the shower handle to steam level and prepares her shower accessories, including shaving her legs.

          Ashley's message reads; Gravel Bed tonight???…dress sexy. Heidi flutters open like she did at spring prom. She types: see you there.  Her hand hovers over the keypad, and so does Ashley’s, as they confront each other with ellipsis again.

 Ashley expects her to ask for a ride. She can feel that familiar tug drawing her in and making her question her actions. Heidi wonders if their relationship is contingent on her giving in to Ashley and what sticking up for herself would do to their friendship.

Thirty minutes pass, and the moment hangs. Heidi calls her dad and tells him to order her a pizza for lunch. When it arrives, she eats two slices and falls asleep watching a movie. It's seven when she awakes, so she takes a shower and dresses for the evening. 

          Around ten-thirty, she gives up calling schoolmates for a ride and buys an Uber. She calls the unknown number again from the car: When someone picks up, she says, "I will be at the gravel bed tonight. I am wearing that silver miniskirt you love.” She hangs up, decidedly more nervous than exhilarated.

She stares out the window until the fire becomes close enough to smell. The car slows to accommodate the bumps in the road and then bottoms out. Mohammed stops and tells her, "Thanks," and then, "Be careful," but his rearview eyes tell her he means something else.

          Their eyes swim a little; when their silence concludes, she tells him, "Thanks for the ride," and heads toward the fire.

          The ground underneath makes it difficult for her to walk in heels, and she stumbles several times. Someone yells "drunk," and "slut," but no one is listening.

Heidi doesn't care either way and scans the faces for Ashley or her classmates. Although some faces morph into someone recognizable, they fail to produce someone she knows. This schism moves her around the fire to catch a conversation and to stay warm as she intermittently shakes from the night chill. 

          In the dying fire, she relents that neither Ashley nor her night caller will arrive. "That bitch,” she says, feeling set up, and she walks away in search of a signal in the remote sky. Steps approach her from behind.

          "Hey," he says and takes off his backward hat to show her the top of his hair. 

          "Hi," she says to the man—Are you him? 

          "I saw you across the fire all night." He says toneless, and she wonders how old he is. "You're so beautiful and young." 

          "You have nice eyes," she returns and means it, although she notices a heaviness starting to wear them down. He leans in and kisses her on the mouth. She allows him to touch her chest, and he slides his hand up her miniskirt. 

          Soon they are lying on the cold grass. "Does this feel good?" he asks, kissing her gently on the neck and ears. 

          "Yes," she says and rubs the outside of his pants. She pulls down his zipper and then struggles too long with the button, which forces him to unbutton it himself. He gets his pants around his knees and lies on top of her. He presses up against her but does nothing else.

          "Can I?" He stares at her with pleading eyes. She reaches down and guides him in.

Within moments, it's over. He pecks her gently on the forehead and then leaves her on the ground without a word.

She feels cold against her back, and after hours it seems, she gets up and walks to the fire. Everyone seems much older, suddenly. She's freezing, so she asks a man and woman for a ride.

          "We can drop you off at the end of your street."

          "That works fine."

          The car warms her up until the night air squeezes it from her at once. She cuts through a cow pasture and thinks about riding a heifer home to her house—the cold starlight is the only witness. But then her kitchen window blinks at her warmly, and she jogs barefoot over the cold field until her throbbing legs climb her steps.

She slides into her bed and falls asleep without checking her phone.



Coyote-Murder-House

 

Series of 3 Thematically Connected Drabbles

 

by Hillary Lyon

 

 

 

Coyote Knows

 

Laughter woke us around midnight. Not laughter, but a coyote’s special howl—the one celebrating a kill.

Next morning, I found Bradley, my husband, by the backyard wall, staring at the coyote on the other side. “Fetch me my gun,” he growled, like when he told me he’d filed for divorce.

I took the pistol from his nightstand, came up behind him. Looking over his shoulder, my eyes met the coyote’s predatory stare. A stare that challenged, What are you gonna do about it?

I raised the gun. The coyote threw his head back and laughed.

I squeezed the trigger.

 

 

 

This Heat Is Murder

 

“Why a ‘dry heat’?” Lana whined as we hiked into the canyon. “How’s that a good thing?”

“When it’s humid, your sweat doesn’t evaporate,” I explained. “So—” She wasn’t listening; she was scowling at the desert scenery.

“Take water everywhere, take sunscreen. And the car is like an oven! Next year, I pick the vacation destination.” I whacked her on the back of her head, hard, with my binoculars, then half-carried, half-dragged her out of the canyon.

I tossed her into the trunk of the rental car, locked it. “You’re correct,” I admitted. “The car is like an oven.”

 

House of Scorpions

 

New couple moves in across the street. Being neighborly, I give them a little UV flashlight. So you can see scorpions at night, I explain. They glow in the black light. I warn them, Check your shoes before you put them on—scorpions love to hide inside small, dark places.

Why am I being so friendly? Because her ex pays me handsomely.

Next day, the pest control van is in their driveway. That night, a fire truck. Seems she set their bed ablaze, convinced the mattress was scorpion-infested.

If she’s scared of scorpions, just wait until she hears about tarantula hawks.



Site Maintained by Fossil Publications