Texas Vs. London
by Jon Steinhagen Read author interview September 24, 2012
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.
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.
About the Author:
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.
About the Artist:
Gay Degani is the content editor at Smokelong Quarterly. She has had three of her flash pieces nominated for Pushcart consideration and won the 11th Annual Glass Woman Prize. Her suspense novel, What Came Before, was published in 2014. Founder and editor emeritus of Flash Fiction Chronicles, she blogs at Words in Place where a complete list of her published work can be located.