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Story by Cheyenne Autry (Read author interview) September 18, 2017

Art by Mr. Wong

Kassandra told me about sending nudes to her boyfriend. We sat on the screened-in porch of her parents’ house overlooking the canal, the bars of the metal chair digging into the back of my legs. Kassandra emptied the bowl we’d been smoking, clear clink of glass on glass. A paddleboarder floated by and water rippled behind him. He waved. We waved back.

“None with my face, of course,” she said, packing a fresh bowl. “Just close ups.”

I sipped my beer, and the sweating can slipped a bit in my hand. “Close ups?” I asked.

Kassandra flicked a lighter and the flame bit the grass. I counted the seconds she inhaled. My eyes dropped when she pulled the bowl from her lips. I didn’t want her to see me staring. She set the bowl and lighter in front of me.

“You know,” she said. “Lying in bed. I had my legs every whichaway.”

A drop of her saliva clung to the mouthpiece. I mimicked her movements, inhaled the same number of seconds, held it till I felt myself lift. I shook my head, pushed the bowl back to her. “Gutsy. I’ve never sent ones like that.”

“Really? What do you send?” She said and inhaled again.

“Topless. In the bathroom mirror.”

“You do have great boobs,” she said. She held her empty beer bottle to her lips and blew, the bottle whistling deep and rich. “I used one of these,” she said and nodded at the bottle.

“A beer bottle?” I said.

Bowl in my hand again, I looked past her down the canal, focused on the paddleboarder coming ashore, tried not to imagine her blue bedspread beneath her, the yellow of her walls, the open empty mouth of a beer bottle.

“You done?” she asked.

“Just give me a second. Please,” I said.

About the Author

Cheyenne Autry is a fourth-year fiction student in the MFA program at the University of Arkansas, and Director of Development for The Arkansas International. Her work has been published in Eckleburg Review and Forge Journal.

About the Artist

Mr. Wong is a photographer in Paris.

This story appeared in Issue Fifty-Seven of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Fifty-Seven

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