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Story by Kim Chinquee (Read author interview) September 30, 2010

art by Robinson Accola

She gave me her hips. Mine did their sway and we knew how to be sexy. Her hair was always red and I was blonde, the fake kind. We danced like we were equal, partly for my boyfriend. He was a bouncer.

We’d gotten matching tattoos the night before, had taken off the bandage. We figured it was dumb, but you’re allowed to be dumb once, and it’s good to be reminded. We liked to have fun.

In the bar, my boyfriend wasn’t really a boyfriend, though he was the closest thing to a boyfriend. She was indifferent about him. I’d slept with him enough to know he was worth spending time with.

There was the music, and oh, up there, here was my friend. I loved her like my sister. I wanted to lie in bed with her like I used to with my sister. I wanted to smell her hair. We’d told each other secrets. We used to wake up tangled.

The music was unsteady. She pulled me in, then kissed me. I looked down on my boyfriend. He seemed to admire us.

We were there, on the floor, doing it. The music was boom-boom-booming into the heart of me.

About the Author

Kim Chinquee grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, served in the medical field in the Air Force, and is often referred to as the “queen” of flash fiction. She’s published hundreds of pieces of fiction and nonfiction in journals and magazines including The Nation, Ploughshares, NOON, Storyquarterly, Denver Quarterly, Fiction, Story, Notre Dame Review, Conjunctions, and others. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes and a Henfield Prize. She is Senior Editor of New World Writing, co-director of Buffalo State’s Writing Major, and serves as the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Northeast Regional Council Chair. She can be reached at kimchinquee at gmail dot com.

About the Artist

Robinson Accola creates artwork for SmokeLong Quarterly as needed.

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

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