Win the Pencil Drawing of Ginger
Monday January 23rd
Round #2 of Renovated Reputations will culminate in three shows.
Santa Clara University, California
January 9 - February 5th
Reception: Thursday February 2, 2012
It is located on the Alameda, at the intersection of Bellomy St, Park Ave, and the Alameda.
Ohlone College, Fremont California
February 7th - March 9th
Reception, Saturday, February 25, 2012
6PM - 8PM
Louie Meager Art Gallery
Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd.
Fremont, California 94539
Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento California
February 4th - March 1st, 2012.
The story you write should be a "Flash Fiction" which is a complete story in one thousand or fewer words.
The story you write should be a "Flash Fiction" which is a complete story in one thousand or fewer words. Please post the story in the comment section, you will have to provide your name and an email address in order to be qualified to win or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your info.
There is a problem with how many characters can post (only about 4,000) so if you cannot post it.
E-mail it to me at email@example.com
This is the second version of this show!
Stories will be published in a vintage style newspaper catalog and the gallery will be converted into a 1930 or 40's cabaret set and students will be acting the stories out as monologues at some of the events at the college in the art gallery.
More competitions posted on my website at:
These came in by e-mail:
By Elizabeth Hodson
I woke up with a nauseating feeling that has been haunting me for some time now. I cannot seem to get the motivation to get out of bed. I am scheduled to work in two hours. I placed one foot on the floor, and my other foot followed. One-step at a time, I made my way to the bathroom. After filling up the bath with hot water, I slipped my panties slowly down my legs, and took off my white t-shirt that I wear to bed every night. I got into the bath and washed all of yesterday off of my body to start this new day. When I get out of the bath, I wipe the steam off of the mirror, and look at my face, breasts, and phis. I thought to myself, “I long for a man to touch me”, as my hands made their way down to my phis. I close my eyes, and imagine being the most beautiful woman any man has ever imagined. I opened my eyes, looked at the clock, and realized what time it was.
Thirty minutes until work, “Shit”! I screamed out loud, because I have been late for work too many times recently. When I walked into the coffee shop, I received a less than welcoming hello from Michael, my boss.
“You are ten minutes late, what is the excuse this time?
“I am sorry, Mike. I over slept my alarm”.
“I am serious, this is the last time, Ginger, or your ass is fired”.
I grabbed my apron, and got right to work. I approached a man that I have seen several times in the shop.
“Hey, what can I get you today”? I asked Semi convincingly.
The man looked right at me; I glanced up from my pad of paper, and smirked as soon as I looked into his eyes.
“I will take a hot chocolate; do you guys have any ginger bread cookies”? The man asked.
“Yes, we do, I will be right back”, I responded.
I returned with the man’s hot chocolate and ginger bread cookie.
“Thank you, Ginger”, the man responded happily.
“You are welcome”, I responded, trying to maintain a smile.
On my breaks, I usually go outside and have a cup of coffee and a smoke. On my last break of the day, I rested my head on the wall of the coffee shop building, took a drag of my cigarette, closed my eyes, and exhaled. When I opened my eyes, the man I served earlier was standing in front of me.
He said to me, “You know smoking is bad for you”,
I looked at him with a blank stare, put my cigarette out, and said, “Have a nice day”. I had the same plans I had as almost every night. I was going to meet her friends at the local pub, go home, eat something not so healthy, and pass. I walked out of the coffee shop, locked the door, and as I turned around, the same man from earlier, was right in front of me, yet again.
“I thought you guys were still open at this hour,” the man asked.
I gave him the same blank stare I gave him earlier.
“Really, is that the pickup line you want to use”? I said mockingly.
I looked at the man awaiting a smile, the man smiles back at me.
“Would you like to come with me”? The man says maintaining the smile.
I reply courteously, “Where to”?
The man grabs my hand, and walks me to his car,
“Well, do you want to come with me?
“Yes, I do”, I respond with reluctance.
We end up at his place;
When I get to the door, I look at it as if I found a place where I belong. We walk into the bedroom; he tosses his keys on the table and settles in. I proceed to take off my sweater with a un- sure feeling of what is supposed to happen. I take off the remainder of my clothes, leaving just my panties on. The man sits down on the bed, and looks at my body from head to toe.
“Ginger, come sit down on the bed”, the man said slyly. There is a mirror behind the bed, and I cannot help but to look for a second time today, at my breasts, belly, and then I place my hands on my phis. I look at the man with confidence, and then slide my panties off. I get onto the bed and sit on his warm body.
“What is your name”?
“My name is Everett”.
“What do you do for a living”?
“I teach, Darling”.
I smiled and placed Everett inside of my throbbing phis.
We made love all night; Everett fed me what I had been craving. He fed into every need her heart had desired. Afterwards I cuddled myself into his body feeling his warmth smelling him, taking it in, he was there with me.
Everett takes a deep breath, and says, “I have to get up early to teach a class”.
I slip out of bed, and put my clothes on; Everett comes behind me, and whispers in my ear, “My Ginger bread, so sweet, so pretty”.
“I will be seeing you, Everett”. I walk out, not knowing if I meant what I had just said. The next morning, I actually showed up for work on time, I did not sleep a wink. I waited all day to see Everett, but he never showed. When I got home, I ran a hot bath, and looked in the mirror. I felt something, but it was not sadness, but gratefulness. Everett certainly was a teacher, but not the kind I envisioned that he was. Even though I never saw him again, he taught me that I was still good enough, and I was not alone, even if it was just for the one night that we spent together.
Nickname by Karlena Lee
Six o’clock, Sharon walked into the room, plopped her bag on the table, and let out a deep sign. Typically she looks forward to class, but today was probably one of the worst days of her life. The teacher asked, “Is everything okay, Ginger?” She knew the teacher didn’t really care about her answer, so she just put on a fake smile and replied, “Ya, I am just tired.” As the teacher walked away she remembered how much she hated that nick name. It reminded her of too much. Today they were to pair off, take turns and paint portraits of each other. Everyone paired up immediately and the only person left was Nick or as all the girls in the class called referred to him as “Sexy Nick,” since there were three other Nicks in the class. Sharon never really noticed, but she could see what all the other girls saw. Trying to be friendly she playfully said, “I guess you’re stuck with me.” He just smiled and they both sat down. She thought Nick was the best, so she was a little excited to see how he would paint her. Sharon was in no mood to paint, but luckily Nick offered to go first. Nick pulled out his materials and started to paint. Trying to make conversation Nick said, “Interesting hat.” She paused for a long time and slowly responded, “It’s my boyfriends.” Nick responded with a simple “o” and he continued painting. After that it got quiet between the two of them.
Sharon mind trailed off to a few hours ago. Today her boss informed her that due to some cut backs she would be laid off. Feeling rejected and useless she went back to the apartment hopefully to confide in her boyfriend only to be rejected again. When Shannon entered the apartment she heard the shower running. She needed to confide to someone so she entered the bathroom only to find her man with some other woman. After that a cascade of screaming, yelling, and running occurred. The other woman had left in a rush and tears were streaming down Sharon’s face, but she had a terrifying expression on her face. Her boyfriend still dripping wet tried to plea, “I am sorry Ginger. I won’t do it again my Gingerbread.” She used to love it when he called her by that nickname and she wanted to forgive him, but she just couldn’t. Instead she slapped him across the face, quickly grabbed a coat and hat and stormed out the door.
Out of nowhere Nick said, “You don’t have to force a smile.”
“I want to look good. You are the best in the class.” Nick slightly blushed and smiled. After five minutes of silence Sharon broke the silence with, “It is my exes.”
“Excuse me?” he responded.
“The hat. I was in a rush, it’s sort of complicated.”
“I have time. And it’s not like you are going anywhere any time soon” he said with a smile and curiosity. Strangely Sharon felt comfortable, so she started her story. “It all started with a simple nickname, Gingerbread…”
By Mindy Nguyen
He is caught off-guard, and in his shock he does not consider turning around and walking away. The woman walking in his direction spots him after a moment, smiles brightly, and to his horror, speeds her pace so that she can join him under the awning.
“It’s pouring!” she says with a shudder, shaking her umbrella dry and splattering droplets on his new shoes. “Hello, Isaac!” she says at last, hugging him fiercely and soaking his coat with hers. “It’s been ages, hasn’t it? I’m glad I decided to take the long way home today, despite the rain, because I’d wanted to stop by the deli. I’ve been hankering for some sauerkraut for days, and so – “
“That’s very nice, Ginger,” he intervenes, glancing at his watch and taking a step back, hoping she’ll take the hint. “But I’ve actually got to be going now – Mary’s told me she’s getting home late so I’ve got to make dinner.”
“And then the deli happened to be giving out free cheese samples today, so…aww, really Izzy? But I just got here.” She pouts, as he expects. She always acts as if they’re still in high school. “You can spare a few minutes to catch up with an old girlfriend, can’t you?”
“A few minutes” with Ginger usually indicated a few hours, in his experience, but he decides to give in and leads her to a nearby table. She plops into a seat and leans forward.
“So? What’s life doing to you nowadays?”
“The usual, I guess, Ginger.”
“Well I’ve been so busy you wouldn’t believe it. The restaurant down that street? You know, the one you said looked like a mad circus from the outside? I applied for a waitress position and they actually let me have the job! You’ve got to go there sometime, so you can see me in action.”
“I’ll try to remember.”
“So how is Mary, anyway?”
“She’s been better. Her new job keeps her working long hours, so I don’t get to see her as often.”
“Hmm, I see. Reminds me of my brother – I barely see him these days too. Hardly ever gets up from his bed unless he smells something I’m making in the kitchen. I’ve learned that one of his weaknesses is banana soufflé. Who’d have guessed?” She laughs for some reason – Isaac has no idea how that relates to what he told her.
The conversation persists, and as always, it’s mainly one-sided. Eventually he stands and tells her he really must go.
“Oh Isaac, it really was fun talking to you,” she stands and gives him one more hug. “Let’s meet at our usual spot at the park next time, yeah? We should try to talk at least a few times a week.”
He takes a deep breath. “Listen, about that, Ginger. I’ve got to tell you something.”
“What is it?”
“It’s…well it’s not me. Or you. It’s definitely not you. But Mary doesn’t want me seeing you anymore….Even if it’s just to chat.”
Her eyes widen in shock. “But…why? We’re just being friends! She…she’s not jealous, is she!? I mean, the two of us haven’t been together since college.”
“I know there’s nothing between us now, Ginger, I know. But since Mary hardly gets to see me anymore, and I’ve been seeing you more and more…. Honestly, I can’t blame her for being against all this. I’m surprised she’s only brought it up now.”
Ginger’s eyes are welling up. “I…I had no idea she was worried about that. If I had known, I wouldn’t have tried seeing you so often.” She clears her throat, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand. “Well…I can’t do anything that would risk your marriage, so…I guess….” “Sorry. I’m so sorry, but this is goodbye, Ginger.”
“Don’t be sorry, silly,” she forces a shaky laugh. “I completely understand. But maybe…we’ll run into eachother sometime?”
“That would be lovely. I do hope that will be the case.”
“Right. Well then…I wish you the best, Isaac.”
“Take care, Ginger.”
He’s watching television when he hears the door open and keys being set down on the counter.
“Hi darling,” Mary leans down and gives Isaac a kiss.
“Welcome home. How was your day?”
“Oh it was alright. Things just got a little hectic in the afternoon, but we managed to smooth it all out. How about you?
“Well…I ran into Ginger on the way home.”
“Ginger?” Mary sits down next to him and scoots close. “Ah right, your ex.” She wraps her arms around him. “How is she? How is her job at the bank coming along?”
“It’s going fine. As you know, she’s had that job for years now, so she’s doing quite well.”
“Well good for her. You’ve got to invite her over for dinner sometime; I hardly ever get to talk to her anymore. That’s it, next Saturday we’re all going to eat together. I’ll cook up something special. She’s such a nice lady, after all.”
“Yes, we ought to. I do hope she can come; she was busy with work the last time we invited her.”
“Shame that was. Well I’m going to take a shower and then I’ll be right down to prepare dinner.”
She heads upstairs. He stares absently at the screen, not paying much attention at all. He just tries to imagine what Ginger must be doing now. Is she still upset, letting out those tears that she’d tried so hard to hold back earlier? Or is she really that simple-minded as to already gotten over the “break-up,” in the kitchen enticing her brother with banana soufflé?
He supposes it doesn’t matter either way.
Santa Clara University
It was a Tuesday when it happened. As much as Ginger would like to
remember it as yet another gray, wet winter day, it was actually the
first time anyone had seen the sun shine in weeks. She did not hear
ominous sounds of organs, nor did she hear the depressing resonance of a
violin. No, the universe did not feed her sorrow, did not allow her
environment to reflect the gaping hole in her chest that continued to
unravel like someone pulling the thread of an intricately woven sweater.
Instead, the earth was singing. Children were playing. Couples were
skipping in the park, enjoying the sunshine. The old man sat feeding the
Ginger felt like she was stumbling helplessly down the street, with
tears streaking her makeup, gasping for breath between sobs. Why
wouldn’t her feet move? Why weren’t the tears coming? So this is what
it feels like, she thought. To die while being alive. To drown while on
Down the street, a 30-something year old suit stood outside a donut
shop with his dog. The dog pulled lightly on the leash, surprised they
had stopped. The man pulled back with too much force, cursing aloud,
startling a lady walking by. The dog cowered at his master’s feet,
quivering and dropping his eyes to the ground. The suit then tied the
dog’s leash to the post and quickly paced around the corner, not looking
back at his dog’s droopy eyes or pathetic whimpers. Despite his owner’s
evident lack of compassion, the dog stood in the same spot staring in
the direction the suit disappeared.
Minutes passed. Or was it hours?
There they stood, staring ahead of them but not really seeing
anything ahead of them. Neither has moved their feet, because once you
move, then what? The dog would probably go lie down or pester people
walking by, looking around hoping for a pat on the head or even the
tiniest bit of acknowledgment. And Ginger, what would she do? She felt
just as leashed as the dog. Would she too search for even the tiniest
speck of affection, only to be disappointed a second later?
Majority of people passed the dog up. Some scooted around it, thinking
perhaps that it would attack them. Parents pulled at their children’s
hands when they tried to get too close. Others gave it a quick rub on
the head or scratch behind the ear as they walked by. A few even knelt
down for a quick 15 seconds. No one seemed to notice Ginger. She didn’t
care either way.
Hours passed. Or was it days?
Ginger watched the dog. For a second she even considered moving
her feet to go stand by him, but that seemed impossible. For the first
couple minutes, hours, days, the dog vied for anyone’s attention. It
paced, yearning for a touch, look, acknowledgment. He succeeded
occasionally, but each time it turned out to just be a tease, like a few
drops of water after days of dehydration.
Eventually, and rather surprisingly, the dog turned its back to the
sidewalk of people walking by and laid down, facing the wall. For the
first time since Ginger found herself in the position she was is, she
moved. She cocked her head to the side, clearly surprised by the dog’s
response. Ginger observed as person after person walked by the dog, some
noticeably going to give it attention, but the dog made no movement
toward anyone. Without thinking, Ginger walked toward the dog. She
stopped right next to it, not quite knowing what to do next. She bent
down, but the dog did not lift his head to look at her. Finally, she
opened her mouth: “How are you?” The dog lifted his head toward hers.
They stared at each other. The dog stood up, walked close to Ginger, and
sat in front of her waiting expectantly. She glanced at his tied leash
and smiled for the first time in years… or was it hours?
Primordial Dreams—Matt O’Malley
“This is it?” Ginger’s roommate frowned as he looked at the petite Edwardian containing window displays of colorful teapots, trays, cups and saucers.
“Yup. We’re here.” Ginger replied cheerfully from the passenger side of the car.
“Looks like crap.” He said giving a disgusting look. “Well, let’s get this over with.”
Ginger’s roommate climbed out of the car and headed for the door of the teahouse as Ginger watched from the inside of his car. Her roommate seemed to revel in his size; walking with his shoulders back, arms cocked slightly out as if he was holding the handlebars of an invisible motorcycle. When he reached the door of the teahouse he called out, “You coming?”
Ginger tried exiting the car but a Catahua tree blocked her egress and she had to squeeze herself out which not only erased her smile but also any doubts she had of her current plans. Inside, and the hostess and Ginger followed her roommate as he maneuvered his barrel shaped body around the room until he found the table that suited him. Ginger placed an order as her roommate pulled an extra chair over from a nearby table. Her roommate then removed the hat that covered his apish dome and placed it along with his coat upon the chair he had dragged to the table.
Ginger had convinced her roommate to join her on this little journey to the far-flung town of Bolinas through subtle manipulation. She knew what he expected if he acquiesced to treating her like a woman once in a blue moon, the inevitable demand of tit for tat, something she was sure she’d avoid this afternoon.
Ginger slouched forward in her chair, her arms hanging to her sides below her knees as she prepared for what she often considered to be worst then sex with her roommate, his talking. Talking, talking and more talking. He began with a story he had told her yesterday. It was the same story he had told her a week before and several more times before that. And he did this all the time, the rehashing of a story ad-nauseam. It brought Ginger to the realization early on in their relationship that either he was stupid or he just liked hearing his head rattle. His endless monologues gave her heartburn and a nervous twitch that caused her to pound her chest to relieve the heartburn and to scratch at the itchy spot that would develop in her armpits.
And the way he told stories was like the way he had sex; selfishly, relentless, and indulgent, whereas she was not allowed to get a single word in edgewise. He would not allow her the satisfaction; that was until she learned a trick, a way to get him to momentarily pull back from his onslaught of repetitive storytelling.
The trick Ginger learned early on was to get him to eat, which he performed extremely well in a primordial sort of way; mouth open, smacking and slurping all the while. As he ate with his head inches from his plate, he would sometimes gasp for air just to say a few words but then it was back to his feasting upon whatever was in front of him. Once his plate was cleared of food of any substance, he would take a finger to wipe away any excess residue from his trough and clean his finger pornographically.
A multi-tiered pyramid shaped tray carrying scones, small sandwiches, cakes, berries and petit fours was brought to their table and Ginger’s roommate cried “That’s it?” His face resembled a young boy who just saw his dog run over by a truck. Ginger nodded and he quickly grabbed at the tray, snatching handfuls of items and piling them high on his tiny plate.
Ginger had taken her roommate to this teahouse for its location and to throw him slightly off-guard as she hoped the atmosphere of the area might soothe the savage beast enough that he could be caught unawares. It was just a matter of time before she could make her move and until then, she would just continue sitting here, feeling like a captive animal stuck watching a freak show. Ginger furrowed her brow as she pinched, picked and tasted a doorstop shaped scone.
Her roommate emptied the tray, ordered a replacement, and a pot of coffee before announcing “I gotta take a shit.” He stood and added, “And after this, maybe outside, you and I can drive somewhere and you know what they say, Ginger settles the stomach.” He laughed at his old joke Ginger heard so many times before.
As soon as he left the room, Ginger saw herself reaching into his coat pocket and taking his wallet and car keys. She then took his hat, ran from the teahouse to jump and swing from a branch of the Catahua tree before letting out a hoot and landing in the street near the driver side of his car. Ginger unlocked the car and then with the hand that still held her roommate’s hat, she curled her arm and quickly extended it as if she was going to throw a Frisbee.
But Ginger didn’t release the hat. Instead she flicked the hat into the air to catch it upon her head. She then pushed it back with her index finger and brought her finger down to her mouth to blow as if cooling a smoking gun.
Bolinas, far from the city and with no regular bus, boat or taxi transportation back, it would be hours, Ginger thought, if not days, before he was able to make it to their apartment and by then she would be gone and have him out of her life forever. She would just keep his cherished hat as a memento to remember what she did not want in a man.
Ginger’s roommate returned from the restroom, poured himself a cup of coffee and asked “Bout ready to go?”
Ginger, hatless and glassy eyed, nodded.
GINGER BREAD by Stephen Rogers
Ginger sat on the bench. Close but not too close. She extended
a hand holding a nutritional bar coated in chocolate. "You look
like you could use this."
"Thanks." The young girl sniffed before reaching for the treat.
"I'm a little short on cash."
"I've been there. Eat up. I don't mind." Ginger glanced around
the room, brushing the hair away from her face to unblock her
peripheral vision. "When I first came here, I was fighting the
squirrels for acorns."
"Didn't have a friend in the world. Then I found The House, and
look at me now." Ginger beamed.
"What's The House?" The young girl moved closer.
"It's a place where everyone is accepted. A place with hot meals
and long showers and beds. They bought me these clothes and this
hat." Ginger nodded. "I'd never had a room of my own before.
And friends. Everybody there wants to be your friend."
"Sounds nice." She couldn't hide the yearning.
"I could ask if they have an opening." Ginger quickly added, "If
"I'm interested. If you think they'll have me."
"Don't you worry." Ginger helped the young girl gather her
things. "They'll be thrilled to have you."