Flash Fiction by Julie Smith


There is a room with dark wood paneling and a damp smell. There is a green couch with too many pillows. There is a girl, naked, on the floor in front of the couch. She grabs a blanket left crumpled in one corner of the sofa. She covers herself and begins to cry. She looks young, this girl. Fourteen? Fifteen? She is pale, a bit plump, with an abundance of corkscrew curls on her head. Dark brown hair. Blue eyes. A dimple in her left cheek when she smiles.


The sound of a toilet flushing. A door opens. A boy enters the room. Tall. Hefty. Football, perhaps? His neck is thick. He is older than the girl. Eighteen? Looking at the girl huddled in the blanket he chuckles. He says You’re not dressed yet? The girl is lying on her side, facing the couch. The boy does not see her face. She does not respond to his question.


Hey he says. The response is a muffled cry. Oh shit he mutters. Are you crying? Again, the girl does not answer him. Under his breath he mutters Jesus Christ! He pauses before speaking again. You said you wanted to. Another pause. You said it didn’t hurt, that you were having fun. Now the girl is silent. She makes no sound but shakes underneath the blanket.


The boy again, louder. Come on, stop crying! She sits up, wrapping the blanket tightly around her so that he cannot see her body. She grabs her clothes and runs to the bathroom. The boy slumps onto the green couch. Grabs his jeans off the floor and finds his cellphone. DUDE! he yells, then switches to a whisper. Dude, you said she was into it, that she was totally good and now she’s in my fucking bathroom crying and she won’t say anything. He listens to the voice on the other end of the phone. Paces the floor. I don’t know man, she seems really upset. Like, beyond upset. If she runs off and tells her dad, or, like, I don’t know, a teacher or some shit? Then I’m fucked.


Twenty-eight minutes pass.


The bathroom door opens. The girl is fully dressed. She has dried her tears, wiped away the streaked mascara. With false confidence she tosses her curls. She smiles and the dimple in her left cheek appears. Sorry about that. I mean, like, freaking out like that she says. I’m totally fine. Sometimes girls get emotional, you know? Her voice is full of forced cheer. The boy lets out a loud sigh of relief. Oh, man, he says, you scared the shit out of me. He laughs. You sure you’re okay he asks. She nods her head, the smile still pasted to her face. He offers to drive her home but she says she’d rather walk. It’s not far. 


Outside it is twilight. The girl is home, in her bedroom with the door locked, tears once again blanketing her face. She hits her leg with her fist over and over and over. She practices what she will tell her friend, who has already had sex with two boys and told her it was no big deal. The girl practices sounding nonchalant; it will be important to sound that way. Yeah, it hurt but only a little, she says. I'm so glad I did it, she says. Glad I got it out of the way and she chuckles for good measure. 


The girl looks at herself in the mirror and spits at her reflection. 

Published 20th April, 2023.

Julie Evan Smith holds an MFA from the Old Globe Theatre/University of San Diego graduate theatre program. She has performed at regional theatres around the country and with illustrious directors such as Jon Jory, Stan Wojewodski, Jack O’Brien, and the late Roger Rees. Her poem The Miraculous Ordinary was featured on PoetryNation.comJulie has been invited to perform her original essays at storytelling shows in Los Angeles and NYC including Taboo Tales, Pinata, The Writing Pad, and Q.E.D. Astoria. She is the author of two solo plays, Salome of the South and Alone with Everest, the latter of which she is expanding into a novel.

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