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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Money on the Eyes

Story by Ian Kita (Read author interview) October 16, 2004

There were silver dollars on her eyelids and when she woke she thought she had been blinded by God so she lay still as dirty laundry trying to adjust to her handicapped circumstances and wondered, why me? Her head throbbed. She could hear the snake in her closet moving about the heap of her shoes. It was looking for a way out; what creature wouldn’t want to find a way to escape darkness and chaos?—save those that actually find the devil a culinary delight.

Last night the boa belonging to Marvin had found the Achilles’ heel of its terrarium. She had thrown a pillow case over it and chucked it in the closet. She left a voice mail for Marvin telling him she didn’t give a fuck who he was fucking; if he could just come over and get his fucking snake she would never bother him again. She added that she still had his croquet mallets and his S&M DVDs but that these items were of secondary importance to the snake.

Emboldened by the dissipation of sleep paralysis, she sat up in her bed and the silver dollars tumbled off. She blinked at the miracle of sight’s return. She whispered something akin to hallelujah. Then she thought of Marvin and the key to her apartment which he still possessed. He had tortured her for three solid months with his odor and his lies and his cock and his reptile and she had thrown him out. Finally. She had thrown him the fuck out. But he had crept back in to pay her back in the winter of her sleep to treat her like a corpse, money on the eyes.

She rose hurriedly and walked into the living room. The front door was ajar, the croquet mallets and the pile of porn still hunkered down on the floor near the bookshelf. He had taken all the books but left all the dust jackets. He had taken the Kandinsky print from the wall but left the frame hanging there. He had done it all while she slumbered like a drugged princess. But he had not taken the snake. Something tumbled in the bedroom. It was the snake up on the high shelf of her closet upsetting a cardboard box of things of little value.

About the Author

Ian Kita lives with two cats in an apartment in Minneapolis. His work appears in Toasted Cheese.

About the Artist

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison’s work here.

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