Short Story of the Day, Flash Fiction, Girls In Space Be Wary by Meghan Phillips

“Not just beautiful, though–the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Mural Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

From my old journal, The Daily Epiphany, Friday, October 4, 2002:

Dallas is an easy place to hate

Dallas is an easy place to hate. It’s ugly – there is no natural beauty here; the city was plopped down in an expanse of muddy mesquite-covered scrubland. No mountains, no forests, no crashing surf, no sparkling gurgling streams. A modern city, sprawled out, no history, no monuments – all brick veneer, concrete, tarmac, and reflective glass. The summers are almost unbearable – with the deadly sticky sweltering heat and burning broiling sun making life a dash from one antiseptic air-conditioned space to another.

It’s an easy place to hate.

And then you have an afternoon like today.

It would ordinarily be my flex day off – but there’s a huge project due in one month and I’ve resigned myself to lots of extra hours and decided to go in so I wouldn’t fall further behind. That’s fine, it was quiet in there and I was able to get a lot of papers and electrons properly shuffled.

I walked out of work to catch my shuttle to the train and realized that some sort of cool front (maybe pulled around on the back side of the hurricane, Lili, now moving north from Louisiana?) had moved silently through while I sat in my cubicle.

The sun was still perched in a cornflower sky but the air was cool. It was wonderful. Weather like that is so rare – it makes my skin feel like it is jumping out – off the bone.

Wonder of wonders… there is no soccer practice tonight, no children to tote, so I was in no hurry to get home (I called Nick and asked if he wanted me home soon, he said he didn’t care – Candy and Lee were out, he’s getting his hair tinted) and decided to take the train down to Mockingbird station. I’d rent some movies at Premiere video, get some coffee at Starbucks, sit outside, and write for awhile – watch the sun set on the beautiful people before catching the blue line train out east to the redneck suburbs.

The selection at Premier Video is so astounding I have to carry a list in my Ipaq PDA to help me chose what I want to watch. This time, I chose a documentary, Salesman – one of the Maysles’ early works. I’m interested in their stuff again after seeing LaLee’s Kin earlier this week. I also picked up a DVD of an Almodóvar film, Live Flesh, for some light entertainment.

I loaded the videos into my backpack and crossed Mockingbird to grab a coffee at the Starbucks in the base of the lofts. If I wasn’t a redneck-suburb soccer dad (and wasn’t poor as dirt) this is where I would live. The condos are perched over the train platforms, where the tracks fall down into the tunnel for their run downtown. With a DART pass you can reach any part of the city, from the zoo to downtown, north to Plano or east to white rock in a flash with a roar of steel wheels and a whiff of ozone. At ground level the place is lousy with tony stores and trendy restaurants. The Angelika Theater anchors one end of the complex and across Mockingbird is another clot of useful and overpriced stores. All the men there are fashionable and all the women walking around have long legs.

And today’s flash fiction:

Girls In Space Be Wary by Meghan Phillips

from Cheap Pop

Meghan Phillips Twitter

Meghan Phillips Homepage

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