Short literary fiction is one of my areas of writing interests, so I dabble in composing short stories and flash fiction from time to time.
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Introductory Word from Graveyard Whistler
The late owner, Stoney, of the literary site. Stone Gulch, was quite a prolific writer in many different genres. He has a grand total of ten one act plays. I don't know if I'll feature all of them here, but I just might.
Just to refresh memories: "Stoney,"—my nickname for him because he requested anonymity—the owner of the Stone Gulch lit site, gave me permission to use any of his essays and original fiction and poetry anyway I choose. So as I base the pieces on the selections I make, I tinker a bit with them, for example, I always change names. I have no idea if Stoney used names of real people or not, but for my purposes, I intend to keep these entries pure fiction, so my tinkering is geared to mask as much as possible any telling details that someone who knew Stoney might recognize. The last thing I need is someone from Stoney's circle of folks to suspect he sees himself and feel he's being targeted.
The following play features two characters who are engaging in a conversation through letters. It is sparse, but it tells a story about two very different characters revealing their various qualities, strengths, and weakness. It's funny in some ways but mostly pathetic as it pulls the veil off of a decaying, dying, and possibly dead relationship between the two characters involved.
Its original title was "Two Pathetic Women." I changed it, alluding to Bob Dylan's song, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" because I felt that allusion summed up the tenor of the letters the two women have offered.
I'll Just Say, "Fare Thee Well"
A one act play by Stoney
The stage setting features two writing desks, a woman at each with pen and paper. The curtain opens as one is writing, speaking as she writes. The curtain closes then opens as the other woman, writes speaking as writes. This toggling continues until the final curtain closes.
Two pathetic women are exchanging correspondences.
Pathetic Woman 1: It occurred to me that we could easily lose each other. And if that is what you want, I am willing to accept it and respect it and will not bother you again. But I suspect that deep down you do not want that and deep down I do not want that either. We have a lovely and deeply inspirational childhood that we shared, and that we both cherish. I know that it has seemed to me that when we reminisce about our common past we are most in sync. If any of this rings true with you, please let me know, because I have an idea that may keep us in a relationship that we can both accept. If not, just ignore and continue on, I won't bother you again, and blessings to you.
Pathetic Woman 2: You think you are such a smartass intellectual with you fancy-ass ways of trying to look down on me. I get it. This just another way of saying I am at fault for our lousy relationship. You are the one who left home and left me to take care of our family while they got old and died off. Where were you when meemaw was dying, when pawpaw was dying, and all the others I had take care of all by my lonesume. You are a selfish fuckhead. You never come to visit even when you are in town. You never call me. Most people who love each at least stay in touch. As far as I am concerned you can take a flying leap and kiss my ass.
Pathetic Woman 1: I think I understand. As I said, I won't bother you again. And blessings to you.
Pathetic Woman 2: You think your such a fucking saint with all you "blessing this" and "blessing that." Your just a hypocrit and fraude who think of no one but your own godam self. You always try to make me look like I'm wrong when you know down deep I the one who has the common sense—pawpaw even said that. He said you had the book learning but I had the real smarts. That what alway pisses you off. You know I right about politics and shit like that. But just because you have choosen the wrong side you think you can bully me and make me think you are the smart and right one. You don't know shit. As far as I'm concerned to can rot in hell with all the other crapheads.
Pathetic Woman 1: OK. You've convinced me. I'm not worth having relationship with. I annoy you, and I promise from now on I will simply leave you alone. At the risk of flaunting sainthood, I'll again wish you many blessings and a joyous life. But before I go, one last thing: because you did not yet ask about the idea I had for keeping in touch, I'll just mention it now. Every week or so we could offer a "blast from the past." Here is my first one: I was playing my guitar this morning and realized that I have this particular brand of guitar because of Uncle Adelbart.
I asked him on one occasion what the best brand of guitar was, and he said, "Martin." So that's the brand of guitar I have." I thought it would be interesting and helpful for us if we could share such info from time to time, since we both think lovingly upon our past and our family.
However, I can see now that that thought was silly. You would be much better off not keeping up a relationship with someone who is so repugnant to you. So, as Bob Dylan once quipped, "I'll just say fare thee well."
Pathetic Woman 2: You know I love you more than anything, but I just wish you were different. I wish you understood how unsafe and stupid I feel every time I have to read what you write. I used to like to read you stories and shit, but now all I see is stupid shit that makes me feel like a looser. I AM NOT A LOOSER - NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU TRY TO MAKE ME OUT ONE.
Pathetic Woman 1: All right then. I think I've got your answer. Won't bother you again: "I'll just say fare thee well."
Pathetic Woman 2: No response.
The curtain closes. One woman lets out a blood curdling scream: the audience is left to wonder who screamed.
Afterword from Graveyard Whistler
Just a quick note to thank my readers, especially those who offer useful suggestions. I could do without the insults, smears, and ghastly stupidity that gets slung my way, but what the hey!, that's to be expected by anyone who goes public in anyway. And I do treasure the kind words and helpful comments. Keep them coming, please!
Back to the drawing board, as the old saw goes . . .
(aka Graveyard Whistler)
Whistling Past the Cemetery
Some good whistlin' goin' on!! Enjoy
© 2019 Linda Sue Grimes