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A Flash Fiction By Don Kenton Henry




She does not come in a can off a shelf. Her gown has that “slightly worn” look but is not in tatters. She is comfortable with her femininity and not threatened by my masculinity. She is the summation of her mental, physical and spiritual self. She does not favor one to the detriment of the other. She engages me in these ways. She will get my attention with her good looks but will keep it with her sense of humor. She is passionate and playful, seeking merriment and mirth. She wants to learn the Lambada. She inspires me to leave poetry on her pillow. She prefers dogs but has a cat. She can cook but not in the kitchen. She knows I like it spicy. She is not opposed to spending the rest of her life laughing with her best friend. She wants to be my muse. She is ready to ride and can leave her figurative baggage at the train station. She sends a courier.


My armor is a little rusty . . . a few dents here and there but . . . underneath, still the gentleman my grandmother encouraged me to be. I deliver merriment and mirth. Usually accompanied by melody, though not of my own. Unless she considers a poem. In which case I leave it on her pillow. I can wear black tie when not wrestling with her younger brother in the back yard. I long to do the Lambada on the banks of the Llano. Her ex-boyfriend hates me. Her mother loves me. I make her laugh sometimes until she wets herself. Though I prefer dogs, I pretend to like her cat because of her redeeming qualities. I send her love letters written in long hand. I need a muse. I tender a note sealed in wax from the hand of a courier. My horse leaves at 8.


This tale continues in a house on a beach . . . I’m in my study looking out over the water, writing my novel. My old dog is at my feet. She comes home after practicing brain surgery or putting in a long shift at Wal-Mart. Our grown children send us letters in long hand. As night falls, the sea wind blows through the open French doors and windows of our bedroom and the white linen curtains caress her face and back. My hands follow their lead. The moonlight reflects across her breasts. The moon smiles and our breath becomes one with the wind. It is carried across the sea where, somewhere, in a far, far away land, another breathes it in and kisses his lover.


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