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Memphis Fast Fiction Selection

Posted by: TGST

Hey all,

I was too busy getting engaged last night to have time to write anything.

Opening Lines will continue next week. Here’s some Memphis Fast Fiction in the meantime.

Wish You Were Here
01.03.2011

Dearest Jerry,

I hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits. I never know where you are these days, but I hope it is safe, beautiful and warm.

Resolving an issue from my previous letter, the neighbor and I have reached a level of amity after her dog destroyed our flower beds last month. She purchased new flowers and helped me plant them. We shared lemonade after, and I think we may yet become friends, or at least lonely wives with their husbands off to war.

I’ve taken a job at the Ford Motor plant, machining engine parts. Before you say anything, it was your mother’s idea. She told me there was no point in me staying home all day fretting. If I wanted to get you home faster, I should help out the war effort. Now she watches the children during the day, and I go to work at the factory. Who’d have thought that I’d be the one filling your shoes?

I don’t know what they’ll edit out of this letter. But whatever they redact, I ask that they leave the last line untouched.

I love you, Jerry. Come home safe to your family.

Yours,
Julia

Memphis Note
The Ford Motor plant closed its doors in 1940, laying off over a thousand employees. Two months later, it re-opened, retooled for the war effort. Instead of making cars, it was manufacturing precision parts for aircraft engines.

“Remind me again what we’re doing here?” Asked David.

They were standing in an open field in the middle of the night. The lights of the city encircled them, a distant glow on the edge of their vision.

“We’re hunting ghosts.” Mitch said as he spread his things out on a patch of dirt.

“Oh, right. So a worthwhile use of my time.”

Mitch shot him a disapproving look.

“David, we’re standing on the grave of one of the grandest structures in Memphis history: the Mall of Memphis.” Mitch was starting into a lecture, David hated when he lectured. “Which, at the time of it’s demolition was the largest mall in American history to die.”

David scrunched up his nose, he had a bad feeling about where all of this was going.

Mitch continued, “If traumatic deaths can make the spirits of mortals linger in a place…why not the spirits of physical things?”

“Like you want to seance a Betamax player or a pair of acid washed jeans or something?” David had a nightmarish vision of haunted children’s toys trying to kill them.

“No, nothing so small,” whispered Mitch. “I want to talk to the ghost of a building.”

Memphis Note
The Mall of Memphis was shuttered on Christmas Eve of 2003, and demolished shortly there after. At the time, it was the largest enclosed mall to fail in US history. There’s little more than an open field between a neighborhood and a Taco Bell to ever mark that it was ever there.

23.02.2011“We’re going to time travel.” She’d said to him.

“We’re going to what?” Had been his response.

“Go back in time a million years.” She explained.

“I don’t believe you.” He said stubbornly.

“You will.” Was her smiled reply.

He thought about that conversation as they paddled through a narrow creek. Him in front, her in back, steering. A maze of ferns, spider webbed bushes and saplings trapped them in the tiny channel.

His manly nature kept rearing its recalcitrant head, whispering in his ear that she had no idea where they were going, that he needed to take control of the situation, save them both before things got too bad.

Then it all fell away. The claustrophobia evaporated into a wide open lake, dotted with lilly pads and dappled with sunlight drifting down through the cypress trees.

“See, time travel.” She said behind him.

“Wow,” was all he could think to say.

She piloted to a sandy shore and beached the canoe. Then she took a blanket and spread it out for them. Finally she helped him from the boat and laid him down on the blanket, where they made love for the first time, a million years ago.

Memphis Note
I’m convinced the Ghost River is a wrinkle in time. You turn a nothing bend in a creek and suddenly you’re seeing the world as it was long, long before human kind ever thought it would be a good idea to come down out of the trees.


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