Texas Vs. London
by Jon Steinhagen
Rilling is thirty-six hours without sleep and leaving the theater and thinking This is The Strand. Thinking I am young and I will kick jet lag's ass. Don't go to sleep right away when you get there someone told him and he remembered. Thinking now Feel all this history this is The Strand and I just saw a play with a naked person in it a naked man but anyway there was nakedity and it was nothing like Blue Man Group.
art by Gay Degani
Rilling feeling a heavy shawl of fatigue walking across the night-draped pigeonness of Trafalgar Square thinking There's not a straight street in this city. Rilling thinking he shouldn't have worn his boots. Rilling knowing he can turn in soon and thinking Did Shakespeare walk here. He can't remember his dinner. A boiled something. Thinking This is me this is my trip just me eight days no plans just get off the plane at the start get back on the plane eight days later I'm twenty-three and I'm hungry.
Rilling passing a purple glowing thumping discothèque and he is lost.
Rilling a moment of wet fear stamping it down he can always hail a taxi. Smelling something fried. Keeping walking.
Two girls sensed probably leaving the discothèque and seeing Rilling. Tight miniskirts fringe shoulderbags lots of hairspray. Rilling meant to hear them.
Look at the lovely boots.
So clean cut.
Gotta keep up with them legs.
Rilling red rom his neck to his hair thinking does he turn around for a sudden new direction and sink further into lost escaping the girls. He knows the name of his hotel. Does he stop and say something to his pursuers.
Go on Lorna ask him how's the weather up there.
Rilling thinking This would be a story for home when he got back a story of how he bedded two British girls in his tiny hotel room so tiny he will have to sleep diagonally if he ever finds it again. This would be a story all he has to do is stop and turn and talk and play it cool and maybe even go heavy on his twang and they will love him and he just saw a play with a naked penis in it and everybody was laughing and he has already forgotten the story.
Rilling thinking I could also kill these girls and get away with it.
Rilling thinking How did that get into my head.
Read the interview.
Jon Steinhagen is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists ; his new play, "Successors," will open in January at Signal Ensemble Theatre . His short fiction has recently appeared in Lantern Journal and Monkeybicycle.
Gay Degani has published in journals and anthologies including three The Best of Every Day Fiction editions and her own collection, Pomegranate Stories. Nominated for a Pushcart, she has been a finalist or short listed at Glimmer Train and The Fish Anthology and won a first place at Women on Writing's Quarterly Flash Fiction contest. She edits EDF’s Flash Fiction Chronicles and blogs at Words in Place where a list of her online fiction can be found.
All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2013 by its authors.
Issue Thirty-Seven (September 24, 2012):
Two Boyfriends by Simon Barker «»
Two Days in American History by Patrick Allen Carberry «»
What I Told God by Sarah Carson «»
Partners by Simon Jacobs «»
Wreck by Will Kaufman «»
Keep It Down by Harry Leeds «»
Ants by Lindsey Gates Markel «»
Quantifiable Consequence by Adam Padgett «»
The Temperature At Which Paper Burns by Young Rader «»
Bad Traffic by Matt Rowan «»
Clearings by Joseph Spece «»
Texas Vs. London by Jon Steinhagen «»
Clichés by Aaron Teel «»
When I Was Twenty-Three by Dan Townsend «»
Revived by Eugenio Volpe «»
Jalapeno Summer by Ryan Werner «»
A Collector by Bess Winter «»
Simon Barker «»
Patrick Allen Carberry «»
Sarah Carson «»
Simon Jacobs «»
Will Kaufman «»
Harry Leeds «»
Lindsey Gates Markel «»
Adam Padgett «»
Young Rader «»
Matt Rowan «»
Joseph Spece «»
Jon Steinhagen «»
Aaron Teel «»
Dan Townsend «»
Eugenio Volpe «»
Ryan Werner «»
Bess Winter «»
Cover Art by Jennifer B. Hudson «»
Letter From the Editor
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