Jasmine: A Short, Short Story To Be Concerned About

Alert the authorities… you have been warned. You are about to read a short, short story designed for our violent times. A more or less stream-of-consciousness happening on electronic paper. Happy, happy, joy, joy: smother-cluckers. It’s called ‘Jasmine’ and I wrote it in December of 2003. Cheer up. You only die once.

Ripped apart by abysmal smiles over and above the line of their common thread, Jasmine and her counterpart Franklin left the club with the variance smacking of charismatic ineptitude.

I had sat next to them near the evidence reflection, cooled from the tattered ashes of banter and verbage that became more threads of a bitter conversation.

I loved Jasmine.

Franklin loved Jasmine.

And there was never enough evidence to grab a handful of packing trophies inside cardboard boxes with Valentine messages stuffed inside.

We both knew she was the love of Bernard.

So we assumed.

I knew her from grade school, but she knew me from the Soya Cafe (she claims to have forgotten her childhood). With the barrage of earwax melters booming from sound out of the beat-back we rubbed bellies on the smooth floor. Our feet followed the rhythm of magnetic dog howl. Our hearts beat passed the rambling of table fellows and turned on heals, sped towards oblivious wonder, only to fall into calliopetic idiocy.

We were only meant to be amusement park rides for each other, not Mr. and Mrs. Montague. Only no tragedy in this literary museum so there was no need to bark loud tears.

Willy never showed. Back to Bernard who was busy burying his face in another copy of the New York Times Book Review Section that he was reading upside down by virtue of the world turned topsy-turvy from his perspective since his breakup with Jasmine (another one). He left the Soya Cafe quite quickly that night. This I remember.

Jasmine. My Jasmine. Her eyes followed the slightest perspiration on the glass of orange juice that she had ordered just before the explosion. She saw her distorted reflection in ice and she used it as a reference.

Why beat a dead cow?

This was one of the things she did not think as the ‘terrorists’ made their mark on the lives of these few. Meanwhile, the man responsible for tacking the note: ‘Kill the Telemarketers’ on the bulletin board on the first floor front hallway of the Tackett Building in downtown Smithton scratched his back with a wooden back-scratcher made from solid oak. This he did with one hand. With his other hand he signed–“Bernard Towns” on a check for $500 to a hooker named Banshee. This was $500 not in his bank account. This was a hooker that did not take checks. In fact, this was not a hooker. In fact, a vice cop in drag. This was not his apartment. “Bernard Towns” was not his name. He, in fact, was the same man who planted the dynamite at the Soya Cafe, the same dynamite that at this moment is stuck to the underside of your chair as you sit, staring into Jasmine’s dark, unsweetened chocolate brown eyes.

He laughs a low laugh as he watches the hooker put her black dress on. Her real name: Jasmine. His real name: Franklin William Black. Also known as Willy, the owner of the Soya Cafe, soon to be issued far more than $500 dollars in insurance money that will never arrive, due to the postal mistake of a man named Ed in Plainsville who, that fateful day, had no way to expect up to that point the way his mind would roam so helplessly to just days before when he had found the note stuck with generic brand scotch tape to his dirty pillow case that read “Dear Ed, thanks for everything, but I won’t be back. Signed, Jasmine.”


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