The Princess and the Unnecessarily Elaborate Hotdog

She walked into the diner just as I was finishing my dinner. She dragged her feet and popped her gum and wore a frown perfectly.

The place was 50s chic, the counters lined with chrome and the booths with well stuffed red pleather cushions. A Lower East Side remake of a Brooklyn version of a Happy Days or David Lynch ideal of a greasy spoon.

She wore a huge puffy pink parka, pink pajama pants, rain boots, and big movie star sunglasses. She looked both miserable and determined. She was my age, but with a decidedly more youthful fashion sense, to put it mildly.

She stomped up to the counter, pushing past a family of tourists who were looking over the menu, unsure of their order. She didn’t need a menu, she knew exactly what she wanted.

“Sweet potato fries and a peanut butter cup milkshake, to go,” she dead panned to the man behind the counter. He pushed back his little paper hat and nodded.

I swooned at her order and her bratty delivery.

I tried not to stare at her as she waited for her order, but as she unzipped the ridiculously large coat I glimpsed something skin tight, low cut and pink, underneath. I looked away, but she caught my eye and glared.

I went back to my Kindle. The digital revolution making it easier to hide the fact that I mostly read smut. She eyed me and my food and swiveled her head to look at my book, which I agilely moved out of her view.

There seemed to be a bit of an internal debate going on behind her sunglasses. Deciding if I was a creep or not. Frankly I didn’t know the answer to that one myself. Looking me up and down once more I guess she thought I was at least tolerable. She moved my way to make room for the tourists.

“What did you order?” she interrogated.

I looked down at the little nub of what was left of my dinner.

“It was hotdog wrapped in cheese, wrapped in bacon, with avocado and spicy mayonnaise on top.”

She bit her lip and groaned.

“I want that,” she said, seemingly to herself.

I laughed and smiled, but she cut her eyes at me.

“No, I mean I want one now. You should get me one.”

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The Replacement

David didn’t remember turning his alarm clock off, but as he yawned and stretched that Saturday morning he decided it was probably a good idea he hadn’t set it. After the week he had, he needed a little extra rest. Plus, it was the weekend – weren’t you supposed to sleep in?

He turned in his instinctual morning movement to check his phone and found a crisp sheet of white paper folded over it.

He opened the note and saw the neat script of his girlfriend Emily.


I hope this doesn’t come as a shock – and it shouldn’t if you have any awareness at all about our relationship over the last few months – but, I’m leaving you.

I just can’t do this anymore. I love you, but we both have grown and grown apart. Everything has gone sour and I don’t see that changing. You will always be in my heart in some way, but I am getting out before I start hating you.

I took the liberty of getting you a replacement. I know you don’t like to sleep alone and, frankly, I worry about you. You have an important job and I don’t want you to fuck it up because you are depressed about our divorce.

The replacement’s name is Claire.

I’m staying with my parents in Decatur for a while. Don’t call.

– Emily

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The Shaving Lesson

To meet the husband of you lover is a strange thing. To realize he was flirting with you was quite another. Henry, poked at his eggs and smiled nervously as Adam and Kay whispered to each other, both pairs of their pretty eyes sparkling at him as they conspired.

Henry squirmed under their eyes and attention. The whole thing wasn’t going the way he had planned at all. He had expected brunch to be something formal, like meeting your girlfriend’s parents, but he should have known any man who would have the balls to marry Kay would have to be an interesting character himself.

When they asked him back to their apartment, Henry choked on his cold brew. Still, it was put so innocently, he had to say yes.

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Putting Things Together

She promised not to smoke if I just came over. When I got there, she stank of mouthwash and she didn’t know what to do with her hands.

You could always tell the state of Amanda’s life by the state of her lips. As she moved in to kiss my cheek, I saw that that those absurdly plump lips were bitten, chapped, and raw.

“I broke up with him,” she said, walking to the window as I sat on the broken futon.

Him being Jimmy, who was an asshole. But he was tall and crooked and supposedly some fascinatingly morbid musician. I shrugged and asked if she was okay. She didn’t answer.

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Watching Them

From the top of the stairs, Tom watched as they were introduced.

He always knew Katherine would meet Diane at some point. Their circles of friends were far too close for them to stay strangers forever. Diane had been in his life for years and had been his lover once. He remembered those days and nights as he watched Diane kiss Katherine’s cheek and laughed at some joke she made. Katherine had that self deprecating charm that he imagined Diane would like.

Tom was in love with Katherine in a way he had never loved anyone. She took care of him. She was his rock as well as his inspiration. She also owned his body in a way no one had before.

Diane was some dark secret he thought of when he was alone. He had told Katherine stories, but then Tom told her all of his secrets. Watching her sip whiskey and stand near Diane, Tom’s heart ached and his cock hardened. He knew both of their bodies. He knew what it was to have Katherine ride him or slap him or fuck him. He knew what it was to push three fingers into Diane and have her beg for more. He knew the taste of them both and there they were, her hand on her arm for a moment as they charmed each other.

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The first page of a story was stapled to the back of a paper on economic reform in post soviet Russia.

Jason wasn’t sure if the story was for him or the professor or simply a mistake. He assumed the students knew that Jason was the one who really marked all the papers. Hell, he gave the lectures for the majority of the semester. Big name professors don’t do very much, teaching assistants do all the real work.

Still, the single page was like nothing Jason had ever seen in the context of Russian history, or more accurately contemporary Russian economic history. This was a snippet of a dirty dream. A little fragment of someone’s fantasy.

Jason carefully opened the staple with his fingernail and pulled the single page from the rest of the paper and then closed the staple back up.

Like most of Sophia’s work, the paper was a solid B. The story on the other hand was far more difficult to quantify.

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His Hall

She missed his wall; his hall. That place he always threw her against when she came into his apartment.

She missed feeling small and afraid. She’d grown up too much, become too jaded, too brave to feel so little.

She missed the anxiety and hunger she felt walking down his block. She missed his pretty cock. She missed the fear that was particular to being in his elevator.

The fear wasn’t about what he’d do to her, she knew he would hurt her and fuck her and use her like a doll. The fear was that she wouldn’t be good enough, tough enough, pretty enough.

All those fears went away when she was against his wall.

She didn’t cover her scars or chubby parts because he would only slap her hands away. She didn’t have time to be embarrassed about her razor burn or that her roots were showing, because she was too busy blushing about the dirty names he called her. She would fall into the whirlpool of humiliation and pleasure and dizzy confusion.

She didn’t have time to apologize because his cock was in her mouth.

She longed for all of it all.

And more than that she knew some other girl was in that hall, against that wall. His thick cock was inside of someone new and his hand was around someone else’s throat.

Perhaps it was strange that the longing could make her come so easily. Remembering that wall in that hall was almost as potent as thinking of another girls face, mascara running down her cheek, pressed against the wall as he fucked her. The humiliation and the jealousy and the heartbreak were poisons and aphrodisiacs.

The sadness kept her wet all day.

Final Meal

He sliced the exotic fruit with a huge knife on the perfect cutting board. Furry greenish gray splitting to show vivid green and neat circles of black seeds.

She sipped her coffee and watched him with annoyance. There was some kind of distracting formality he put into things that should be simple, like cutting up fruit. It was one of the million things that once seemed charming, but now annoyed the shit out of her.

She couldn’t watch any more as he took his oh-so-sharp knife and pealed the fur off of the thing. She went into the bathroom to finish putting on her makeup.

There was something about her silent huffy irritation with everything. She acted like a teenager irked at the fact that her parents existed. That’s what their relationship had become, something akin to parental, maybe sibling, which made the fact that the sex was still so potent something rather awkward to think about.

She came back from the bathroom to find a plate with six neat slices of the fruit fanned out in a half minimalist half elaborate statement on the little white plates they had gotten from her grandmother.

“We need to break up.” she breathed out.

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Something Borrowed

I looked down at my phone for the hundredth time, then up at the train as it chugged back into its underground tunnel. People rushed to leave and in moments I was alone on the platform, turned on and scared.

“Take the L train to Lorimer, get out and walk two blocks west…” the instructions started.

I got out of the subway station, looking around the foreign streets of Williamsburg or Greenpoint, I wasn’t sure which. There seemed to be nothing but bars, pizza places, and trendy little boutiques.

Everyone on the street looked hip and pretty. I looked down at my somewhat fashionable jeans and my high heels and suddenly I felt a little like Sandy at the end of Grease, but I walked on. I took out my phone again, more as something to do than for information.

I knew what the email said, I’d been reading it over and over all day.

“I have this good friend, I want to lend you to him for the evening. Six to midnight, or when ever he’s done with you. You’re not to stay over. He’ll be safe, he’ll stop if you say “red” and he knows the things that you are not to have done to you. I’ve negotiated for you, so all you need to remember is “red” and that I am giving you to him for the evening,” I read and realized I missed my turn because the words made my whole body hot and confused.
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Impeccable Service

There was a peace in the courtyard of the hotel that he thought was gone from the world. A good strong pot of coffee wordlessly placed on his table, fresh fruit and fresh croissants, pristine white tablecloths under wide cerulean umbrellas which were in turn under a wide and cloudless azure sky.

He took his breakfast there every morning and between sips of coffee closed his eyes and listened for the not too distant sounds of the river. Waves lapping ancient stone bridges, the lonely cries of sea birds.

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