I met Cotton Joliet through one of my flash fiction contests. I think she has some fun interesting stories so I paired them up with some paintings. I hope you like them.
AMARANTH by Cotton Joliet
John and Deena went to see their friends in another county who had recently gotten a dog: a beautiful female Samoyed whom they had named Amaranth. The friends were thinking about breeding their dog and asked John and Deena if they wanted a pup from the litter. “We’ll have to think about it,” said John, as Deena signed “yes” behind his back.
When the couple got back from their trip, John wrote in his little daily journal “Amaranth has a beautiful tail. When she walks and her butt moves I think I want her. I wonder if we could keep her and play with her for a few days while we decide if we want to get one of our own.”
When the cleaning girl came, she perused John’s diary, as usual. When she had read the page about Amaranth, she got pen and paper and left John and Deena a note saying “Clean your own fucking house, you perverts.” The cleaning woman’s name is Amaranth.
CHANGE OF HEART by Cotton Joliet
He had a heart transplant. It was absolutely necessary; without it he would die.
His wife, Ilene, noticed the changes in him beginning the first day he came home from the hospital. Her husband Lucas had been a CEO with a will of steel. He was the quintessential workaholic and feared by many. His explosive temper was legendary. Now he was gentler, kinder, more subdued. In California they would have called him “mellow”. In New York they called it getting soft. Ilene was ecstatic. She loved this new Lucas. He treated her with respect and constantly displayed signs of affection.
At some point Lucas became obsessed with finding out whose heart was beating so beatifically in his chest. Usually that kind of information is unattainable, but Lucas still had a few strings he could pull. He found out that the heart had belonged to a Tibetan monk killed in a car crash in New York. He had been visiting his dying sister. Lucas began studying the teachings of the sect to which the monk had belonged. He became more and more involved in his studies. Finally, after 7 months, he went to his wife Ilene and told her that he had a calling to join the monastery. Ilene was distraught and hoped it was a phase. She got her husband to agree to see a therapist, which he did. The therapist felt that Lucas was totally rational and had found his calling. So Lucas went to Tibet and lived as a monk for 3 years.
One day Ilene, Lucas’s wife, showed up at the monastery. She said to Lucas, “I thought you might want to read this.” “We have discovered that our records were in error. The heart came from a drug dealer sharing a cab with the monk. We are so sorry for the mistake.” Ilene was sure Lucas would come home with her finally.
Lucas blanched, composed himself, and said “Then it was my fate to save the drug dealer’s soul. I shall remain a monk.” It’s up to you, the audience, to decide whether you think he made the right decision.
CRIMINAL by Cotton Joliet
The lone guy sauntered into the “hip” cyber café. He almost looked normal, even mundane, if you will accept that label for a person, but he seemed a little nervous. What’s to be nervous about in a cyber café? Maybe a virus? I don’t know. But, to everyone’s surprise, he held out what looked like a gun in his pocket and said, quietly but with a kind of whacky authority, ”Close down those fucking computers. Come on, all laptops on the table here in front of me. I’m a maniac; I just may shoot if you don’t comply.”
“Oh Jesus,” one man was heard saying,” I was almost through with my report.”
“Now I command all of you to assemble yourself into groups of four and have conversations. I don’t care what about. Just talk, face to face.”
First there was a profound silence, then groups formed. At first, the talk was stilted, but it became more and more animated. After fifty minutes or so, the “criminal” said, “Okay. I’m going to leave now. You can take your computers back after I leave, or you can keep talking face to face. If you want, I guess you can call the police. I’ll be riding a royal blue Triumph motorcycle with racing stripes. It was nice seeing the transformation. Thanks.” And he turned and left. Another profound silence hit the room. And then a huge wave of laughter erupted. The conversations continued.