Shelley (story)

Wrote this in half an hour, so be merciful. It was at a prompt by Meg Pokrass (link1, link2, and twitter)

Story challenge! Write a small story (under 400 words) using a real Craig’s List personal ad for inspiration!

I used this ad and wrote this story

I haven’t talked to Shelley in a week. She always used to call and tell me about her nights out, but for a week: nothing. She meets men on the internet and takes them home, telling me everything about it the next day. Sometimes I come and watch. Sometimes I listen in. I used to tell friends: one day I’m going to marry the Queen of Romania. I was little then, but when I saw her on the street, I knew it was her. At first I just followed her. I learned to distinguish her footsteps so I didn’t need to see her while still never losing contact with her. She works in a library, and the books she touches carry her light scent. I noticed that she gets upset when someone dirties one of her books, or rumples a page. She frowns and bites her lip. Small accidents started to happen, people stumbling down stairs, losing their keys. I became petty, stealing toilet paper, drowsing people in sticky fluids. She knew. I know she did, because one day I wrote her and she said: it’s you, isn’t it? The Queen remembered me. Recognized me. We started talking, and after a while, she called me every night. She went out with all kinds of men, but that wasn’t a problem. She’s young, why shouldn’t she have her fun? Whenever she calls, I wear just a touch of perfume, dabbed behind my ears, and a dotted dress, like the one my mother bought for me. The first time I wore it, I think the Queen knew that I was especially pretty. I heard it in her voice. But now I don’t hear her voice at all. I swear, it will never, ever happen again. Last night was different. I wore a cab driver’s outfit, and drove her and her man of the night to a nice restaurant. She suggested it, on my advice. My ex-husband runs the place and for all his flaws, he’s a magnificent cook. Something went awry. The man demanded attention, bellowing, but you don’t speak to a Queen that way. I was happy to see she didn’t answer him. In the restaurant though, he suddenly stood up, left money behind, came out, threw a wad of money on my dashboard and said: Listen, dyke. She will come out any minute now, take the bitch back where you picked her up. I shot him two days later. She called me the night after: it was you, wasn’t it? That’s the last thing I heard from her, but she will call. She has to. It’s fate.


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