Seduction or Something Else By Vincent Barry

March 21, 2016 Comments Off on Seduction or Something Else By Vincent Barry

I tell myself stories. Today on the subway I told myself such a curious story that I missed my regular stop. My story was about, well, there was a girl in my story . . . and a bandleader with grey, sardonic eyes. The pucker-mouthed girl had pale, flaxen hair and thin, sensitive lips. In my story the bandleader was cleaning a room — a rumpus room or, perhaps, a bathroom, I couldn’t decide. Sweeping and mopping, mopping and sweeping, that’s what the bandleader did in the room in my story. The room was full of party paraphernalia, and the girl stood behind a glass door, showering. The bandleader didn’t notice. Later in my story the girl and the bandleader stood on a road, a distance of, say, twenty feet separating them. A suggestion of a smile played about the corners of the girl’s mouth, but not the bandleader’s. After a while, the girl sashayed down the road, turning now and again to cast sheep-eyes at the bandleader. The bandleader stood quiet and still. Then the girl turned full around, as if to address the bandleader. Suddenly, a cat came out of nowhere and darted about her feet, nearly knocking her down, and making me miss my stop. The girl shooed the cat away. “She did the same thing the last time I was here,” the girl said, of the cat, but she could have meant the bandleader, from whom no word came. The girl drifted off and faded away like a midnight mum behind a picket fence at the end of the road. From out of a yellow fog, the cat slunk toward the bandleader, growing with each silent step until it morphed into a tiger — an immature tiger, to be sure, but a tiger nonetheless.

I may call my story Seduction . . . or  something else. I haven’t  decided.

© 2015 Vincent Barry

Vincent Barry’s affection for creative writing is rooted in the theatre. More years ago than he prefers to remember, his one-act plays caught the attention of the late Arthur Ballet at the University of Minnesota’s Office for Advanced Drama Research and Wynn Handman at New York’s The American Place Theatre. Some productions followed, as well as a residency at The Edward Albee Foundation on Long Island. Meanwhile, Barry was teaching philosophy at Bakersfield College in California and authoring philosophy textbooks. Now retired from teaching, Barry has returned to his first love, fiction. His stories have appeared in Writing Tomorrow Magazine (“Dear Fellow Californian,” June 2014), The Write Room (“When It First Came Out,” Fall 2014), and Blue Lake Review (“The Girl with the Sunflower Yellow Hot Rod Limo,” December 2014). His story “A Lot Like Limbo” appears in the Spring 2015 print anthology of Crack the Spine.

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