Dysfunction Archives

May 13, 2005

Stacy : Dysfunction

"Your shadow's in the shot," she said.

He shoved his hands deeper in his pockets, moved silently to the left.

She glared at him then turned back to the camera.

He eyed her surreptitiously, wishing they'd hurry the hell up before he froze his nuts off.

She heaved a great sigh, stepped dramatically back from the tripod, flipped her hair.

He hunched his shoulders tighter, waiting for the inevitable criticism, surely his very aura was now impinging on her framing of the shot.

She glared at him again, then stepped back to the tripod.

He moved silently to the right.

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May 19, 2005

Stacy - Entrepreneurs

"Three hundred thousand for that?" she squeaked.

He sighed, sweaty from the afternoon sun, tired of trying to convince her. Did she want to be stuck in an office job her entire life, punching a clock, working towards someone else's dream?

This was their chance for something different, to be the masters of their own destiny. To create something lovely and memorable...and charge others exorbitant amounts of money for the privelege of enjoying it.

She turned to face him, breathed deeply, pushed her hair back. "Ok. We'll do it. But there's no way in hell we're calling it Skinoonie Ranch."

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May 24, 2005

Stacy: Fame

She stared in the mirror, amazed at the haggard lines on her still-young face.

"It's those stupid photographers,"
she thought. "Their lights are too bright, and they take pictures of me all the time."

She preened briefly at that thought, then grimaced again as she noticed the bags under her eyes.

"I'm only 20," she mentally whinged, "why do I look like I'm 55?"

She poked experimentally at one sagging cheek with one ragged fingernail, remembered she had both a manicure and facial scheduled for today.

She finished cutting the last line of coke and picked up the rolled hundred.

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May 25, 2005

Stacy: Smile

"Come on, honey, smile for the camera."

She scuffed her feet in the dirt, looked down, didn't feel like smiling.

"Come on," he said again, in that disgusting wheedling voice he always used. The one that made her want to throw up, gave her nightmares.

Katie said she knew where her Pa kept a knife. Katie said she could get it, easy. Katie was her best friend, her only friend.

She would do it. He would dare come to her room again one night, and she would cut him until he died. Screaming, she hoped.

She looked up, and smiled.

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June 19, 2005

Stacy: Waiting

She was ten when she was dragged from her home, screaming, kicking, biting. Her father's merciless hands clamped on her shoulders, holding her still as the preacher mouthed the words, meaningless to her, that bound her to the awful old man.

Money changed hands, and she watched as her parents receded in the distance. Not waving, no. They instead hunched over the small fortune in their hands, and she was already forgotten.

Two years later, he lay in their bed, wracked with fever and dying. She sat nearby, waiting for it to be over. Waiting to get her life back.

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June 20, 2005

Stacy: Tedium Kills

I get up, I wash, I go to work.

I work, I eat, I come home.

Repeat. Endlessly.

The darkness inside threatens to overwhelm me some days. The hatred I feel swells until it feels like my skin will blacken and burst. My rage will be a live thing then, feeding on the lives of those around me.

Some day I know I'll snap. I will finally lose control.

I don't worry much about that day. I just know it will come. Until then, I get up, wash, go to work.

I work, I eat, I come home.

Repeat. Endlessly.

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June 25, 2005

Stacy: Love Hurts

He stared at the picture for a moment, lost in memories of that summer. Trips to the coast, intimate dinners, wild and heartrending sex. He thought she'd be there forever, she apparently had other ideas.

He placed the photo and a lock of her hair on one of her old shirts, wrapped them up tenderly and placed them in the brazier. He poured lighter fluid over the bundle and lit it with a match. It flared briefly then smoldered, filling the area with acrid smoke.

If I can't have you, no one can, he thought bitterly, then began the incantation.

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July 1, 2005

Stacy: Last Exit

She knew that morning, when she saw her toothbrush turned backwards next to the sink, that he meant to kill her. Things had been getting bad for some time now, but she thought she, of all people, was safe from his cleaner.

She gunned the engine on the BMW, pushing it faster than was safe on the wet roads. Snow was forecast for tonight, she sincerely hoped it held off until she reached Albany.

The state trooper surveyed the wreck of her car the next morning, noting the Jersey plates, and radioed the paramedics to bring their tweezers. Fuckin’ tourists.

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July 16, 2005

Stacy: Fall

Arms pinwheeling, mouth agape, the wind whistling in her ears. Every night she falls. Every night she wakes in a cold sweat, gasping for breath.

Her therapist says it’s unresolved anxiety. $300 please. At least he doesn’t blame it on her fucking mother.

Her boyfriend says it’s fear of commitment. He wants to get married. She’d rather…not.

So every night she falls, in her dreams. Tumbles down, twisting, petrified.

She wonders what it would be like. To complete the fall. To land. To break.

Would it finally be quiet? Would she finally rest?

“Let’s find out,” she says. And leaps.

(Tam Lin by Pamela Dean)

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July 20, 2005

Stacy: The End

"How dare you judge me," she hissed, her beautiful face streaked with tears. "You don't know what it's like to be lonely. You don't have any goddamned feelings!!"

His shoulders hunched at her words, and he continued to pack the suitcase. A part of him wondered when they quit talking to each other, and just started talking at each other. How had he missed the signs, the little things that would have told him she was bringing other men into their home... Their bed.

He snapped the suitcase shut and brushed past her without a word.

Without a feeling, indeed.

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