Fiction - The Wormwood Collective, Absinthe Literary Review

The Day Room
flash fiction by
Beverly Jackson

“I’m Richard. Drugs. I dry out every couple of years. Voluntary.”


“How nice for you,” I said. My eyes followed the cycles of an old turntable playing vintage Sinatra. My cotton nightgown felt hot against my skin.


”You’re a first timer. You don’t look like a jumper or blades. I figure you for gas-oven or pills. Am I right?”


“Fuck you.”


“That’s what I had in mind, pretty lady.”


“I should call the nurse.”


“They’re all lady friends of mine. If you know what I mean?” His face went smug.




“You ashamed of what you did?”


“No.” But I was. “Pills,” I said.


He stood up and came over to me. With one loose gesture, he pulled me to my feet and kissed  my mouth, his tongue hot, strong against my teeth.


“When do you get a pass?” he whispered.


Surprised, I stammered the truth. “My first one’s tomorrow. An overnight.” I had waited weeks for it.


“Take me with you?”


I winced. Closing my eyes, I tried to remember my bedroom at home. The paramedics had found me naked. Not surprising. I had been naked since the day I was born. I could fuck him on the white sofa, or on the white carpet in front of the mirrored wall. They all liked that. Until they realized I was needy.  Or geeky. Or boring. He’d leave as soon as we finished sucking each other dry, his curiosity sated. I’d never see him again.


“Sure,” I said. “Why not?”


This time I wouldn’t mess up. This time I’d get it right. 


© 2005 Beverly Jackson

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