So I’m doing a new series here on the site, gang. It’s essentially a way for me to promote my writer friends by hosting a piece of their flash fiction, but I had to get my grubby little hands all over it, too. So in this new series, FLASH ME FICTION, I read a piece of flash written by one of my friends, then I ask them a series of questions based on their story. They then answer those questions. Simple, right? Let’s get started!
by Danger Slater
Back in 8th grade I had a crush on a girl named June.
This was in the early 90s. There was only one computer for the whole classroom. And we had to take turns using it.
I wore baggy jeans that my mom bought from Sears and a purple tee-shirt that was three sizes too big for me. I had one of those skater boy bowl haircuts all the kids were wearing. I couldn’t skate though. I couldn’t even ride a bike.
June and I were both in the “gifted” program at school. I used to get good grades. I used to be smart.
She would always wear this black skirt with these gray tights. She was really skinny so her knees looked like garlic knots.
One time, we shared a seat because there weren’t enough chairs for everyone. My leg rubbed up against her leg. We sat in the same chair and played The Oregon Trail on the classroom’s only computer. I named the characters in the game after sex stuff. Our homesteaders were called BONER, VULVA, ASSCHEEKS, PUBIC HAIR and FART.
June thought I was funny.
By the time we reached high school I was more into drugs than I was into homework. My grades slipped and no longer justified my place in advanced study. They send me to shop class instead. To be honest, I liked shop class. All my friends were there and I made a birdhouse that my parents hung on a tree in the backyard. Unfortunately, though, it meant I was no longer able to see June every day. Our classrooms were on opposite sides of the school. We tried talking on the phone a few times, but I was never able to reconnect with her in quite the same way we did on that day when we shared a chair.
She faded out of my life.
A few months ago I got a random friend request from her on Facebook. I can now see her whenever I want to. I can look at her pictures and imagine the life we could’ve lead together. She’s married to someone else. They go on vacations. They have two kids. She’s still beautiful. She seems happy.
Maybe I’ll mail her a Ziploc bag full of my sperm.
FLASH ME QUESTIONS
Kevin Strange: Who are you and why did you flash me?
Danger Slater: My name is Danger Slater and I ‘flashed you’ because whenever you want to try something new (i.e. this new Flash Me series on your website) I’m always your guinea pig. I’m like your Mikey from the Life cereal commercials. “Give it to Danger. He’ll eat anything.” But the joke’s really on you because the story I submitted for this nonsense was once rejected from Word Riot. So enjoy their shitty leftovers.
KS: Is June a real person or is this tale a metaphor for your loneliness and inability to connect with people? Does the end of the story really mean that you feel just as lonely hanging out on facebook as you did playing Oregon Trail in 8th grade?
DS: June was actually based off a real person whose name I’m not going to divulge just in case she reads this, which she won’t because she’s too busy going on amazing vacations and raising beautiful children or whatever it is popular girls from my high school are doing now.
This particular story was born after I told my current girlfriend that this girl I liked from middle school friend requested me on Facebook. My GF was like “You should send her a message” to which I responded “I should send her a plastic baggie full of my semen.” I, of course, laughed at my own joke for a good 15 minutes before deciding that it would make an interesting last line for a love story. So I just worked backwards from there.
To craft this nonsense I drew on, as I usually do, the unrelenting existential isolation that haunts my soul (or lack thereof, for one has to believe in souls to have it be haunted) day and night. If there’s any sort of theme that runs through all of my work, it’s isolation and pointlessness and the struggle to find a meaning therein. It’s not so much as simply not being able to connect with people. I connect with people that all the time. On Facebook and in real life. I even connected pretty deeply with you, Kevin Strange, even though you’re one of the surliest motherfuckers I’ve ever met. I wrote this story because it’s like….how am I supposed to deal with the fact that we’re all gonna die after living this short and inherently purposeless existence?
Also, I hated that Oregon Trail game. Fuckin’ educational video games. Gross.
KS: Did this story really take place in 8th grade? Cause you don’t seem like the kind of person who went to 8th grade if you get what I’m saying….
DS: Honestly, I don’t know what you mean by that, but I’m going to take it as that I seem soooooooooooooooooo intelligent that you think it would’ve been a waste of both mine and my teachers times to force me to go to 8th grade and so you figure they just skipped me right to senior year where I threw the game winning pass at homecoming after I banged the prom queen. Because that’s what happened in real life.
KS: Why couldn’t you ride a bike? Who doesn’t know how to ride bikes? You just get on one and go. Did your parents just not buy you bikes? What dicks. My grandparents bought me a total of one bike in my life. I rode it down to the park and put it in the rack without locking it then played for a while and walked home because I forgot I owned a bike. When I realized I left it I ran back. It was gone. This is my life.
DS: Hey man, I’m 32 years old now. I’ve since learned how to ride a bike. My folks didn’t buy me one until after 8th grade though. In fact, they gave me my first bicycle as a reward for banging that prom queen from the last question so good.
I actually had my bike stolen once too. I had just left my then-girlfriend’s house after an afternoon of awkward and uncomfortable experimentation with our fingers, and I almost immediately wiped out going down a hill. I walked back to her place to clean the gravel out of my wounds. When I went back outside, my bike was gone. I started walking home. I was super pissed-off. I was kicking everything I saw. Someone in a van saw me kicking things and pulled over and was like “Hey, something wrong?” and I was like “Yeah, some dickface stole my new bike.” This stranger was then like, “Why don’t you come in my minivan and we can go look for it together?” And I was like “Um….okay I guess.” And that’s what we did. We drove around until we found my bike in a nearby park. And guess what? I WASN’T EVEN MOLESTED. Not even a little bit. Let this be a lesson to you kids: not everyone with a van who offers you a ride is a pedophile.
I still have that bike to this day. Came in real handy after my first DUI.
KS: Why didn’t you just hang out with June before school and after school like normal kids with girlfriends. Do you think everybody had class with their girlfriend and boyfriend? Do you really think life is that easy? I don’t think you were really as into June as you think you were, bro…
DS: Before school? Where did you go to school, man? That shit started at like 7:30 in the morning.
And don’t you DARE question my love for June! I was totally in love with her. For like a month. You know how those middle school romances go. After June came Jordan, Sylvia, Svetlana, Bette, Jill, Jenna, Brenna, Hannah, Molly, Gretchen, and Dee.
(Those are all fake names, by the way)
KS: Is June a metaphor for all the drugs you did in high school? The day you shared a chair with June, was that really the first time you tried drugs?
DS: It wasn’t until a little AFTER high school that I first tried drugs, and once I did, I quickly realized it wasn’t really my thing. But saying I (and to be clear, this is the fictional ‘I’ of the story you just read) was ‘more into drugs than homework’ just makes more sense in the context of that character than saying I was ‘more into taking naps and making jokes and masturbation than homework’.
KS: What if the bag of sperm at the end of the story is really marijuana? What if you’re still on the drugs you tried in 8th grade and your whole life is one big marijuana hallucination and I’m a doctor trying an experimental procedure on you to wake you up from the catatonic state the marijuana put you in? What if I’m trying to wake you up? WAKE UP DANGER! WAKE UP FOR JUNE! WAKE UP FOR YOUR MOTHER!
DS: OMG! That makes total sense! I must’ve OD’d on the marijuana! And now I’m a ghost like Bruce Willis at the end of The Jackal. (You thought I was gonna say The Sixth Sense, didn’t you?)
So now that I’m dead, I guess that makes you my guardian angel, Kevin Strange. Please tell me where we’re going next, O Guiding Light of Mine?
Danger_Slater is the world’s most flammable writer! He likes to use a lot of exclamation points when he writes!
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