SmokeLong Quarterly

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Ask for This

Story by Myfanwy Collins (Read author interview) September 29, 2009

art by Robinson Accola

Those walking through found the house smelled of someone gone, weedy and dank.

How would they know he sat on the cement floor of his basement and regarded her name penciled on to the label of one of the drawers of their filing cabinet? The cabinet held their bills, their passports. It held his newspaper clippings and her garden diaries.

It did not hold the summer they met.

It held nothing.

Wolfeboro: They worked at the same resort on Winnipesauke. His second summer, her first. Gosh, she was pretty. Black hair and puckered lips. A real looker. His dad would think so, too, though he hoped his dad wouldnt notice everything about her.

They had bumped into each on the shrouded lane which led to the beach. He went left, she went left. He went right, she went right. They laughed. Slapstick. No better way to break the ice.

Weeks before he dared touch her, hand on skin above her capris, just below where her knotted sleeveless blouse had ridden up. They were sitting on the dock, talking, as they did, well after all of the guests were either in bed or out dancing for the night.

Lap, lap, lap, the waves against the wood.

Their feet dangled and swung and hesitated above the water. She laughed at something he said and tipped her body backward. He reached out to steady her, the palm of his hand tissuing her smooth back.

He remembered that his hand on her back had lingered.

But it had not. His hand was a hummingbird, alighting, and off.

Ask for this:

Alighting, alighting.

Off, off.


Ask for this hand, a hummingbird.

About the Author

Myfanwy Collins has work published or forthcoming in Kenyon Review, AGNI, Cream City Review, Potomac Review, Saranac Review, Quick Fiction, FRiGG, Mississippi Review, Monkeybicycle, and Jabberwock Review. Please visit her at: http://www.myfanwycollins.com.

About the Artist

Robinson Accola creates artwork for SmokeLong Quarterly as needed.

This story appeared in Issue Twenty-Six of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Six

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SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

Next Date to Join: January 1!

On September 1, SmokeLong launched a workshop environment/community christened SmokeLong Fitness. This asynchronous community workshop is happening right now on our dedicated workshop site. If you choose to join us, you will work in a small group of around 10-12 participants to give and receive feedback. Each Monday, you will receive a new writing task (one writing task each week) designed by the senior editor team of SmokeLong. The core workshop is asynchronous, so you can take part from anywhere at anytime. We are excited about creating a supportive, consistent and structured environment for flash writers to work on their craft in a community.