Archive for August, 2012

Listen to the Evil Twin by Samantha Memi

Aug 23 2012 Published by under Stories

Good Samantha was on her way to the church hall to help distribute food to the poor. Bad Samantha saw a dress in a shop window and said to Good Samantha,

“Get off the bus and try on the dress.”

Good Samantha replied, “No, I’ve got to help people, and not think of myself all the time.”

Bad Samantha said, “If you don’t think of yourself occasionally you won’t be happy and if you’re not happy you can’t be a role model. because the people you help won’t want to be miserable like you, but if you’re happy then others will want to join you and the work you do will expand and you will be able to help more people.”

Good Samantha thought about this, then she got off the bus and went into the shop. She tried on the dress but thought it too revealing, too sexy, not her at all, but Bad Samantha said, “Don’t just think what you like all the time, think what your husband will like, think of the pleasure he will get from your soft body in the silky smooth dress.” But Good Samantha was sure Bad Samantha had once told her to buy a dress and all that had happened was that she’d had a one night stand with a stranger.

“What about the little black dress over there,” said Bad Samantha.

“I’ve got a little black dress.”

“Not as nice as that one.”

Good Samantha tried on the dress. It felt good against her skin. Showed off her curves, didn’t make her look a tart, just sexy. She bought the dress. But then realised she needed shoes to go with it. So she went shoe shopping. By the time she’d found the shoes she liked it was too late to go to the church hall. She phoned and apologised, said she was ill. They said, Don’t worry, get well soon, and she felt guilty for lying. She went home and Bad Samantha put on the dress and shoes and lazed on the sofa with a magazine. Good Samantha, full of remorse, didn’t object.

Her husband came home, liked what his wife was wearing, said, “Ooh, that’s sexy,” and husband and wife did what husbands and wives have always done, right there on the sofa, and then on the floor.

Bad Samantha was happy and smiled inside and said, I’ve won.

Good Samantha thought about the nice conversations she could have had with the other helpers, and the sense of satisfaction she always got from helping others. Her husband looked at her and asked, “What’s wrong?” She smiled and kissed him.

“Nothing,” she said, “Are you happy?”

He smiled.

At least she’d done someone some good, and that pleased her.

Samantha Memi is a patisserie chef in London. Her recipes for a happy life can be found at

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So Lucky by Roland Goity

Aug 09 2012 Published by under Stories

You’re so lucky you’re not here right now. It’s worse than I could have imagined. Remember what happened to the clubhouse after the hillside flooded? We always said they should just tear the place down. There’s mold along the wall and ceiling corners the same size and color as the pâté over on the buffet table. Maybe something airborne, too; with each passing second I feel I’m acquiring some sort of respiratory disease. Especially when sandwiched among such a crowd. I mean really, everyone’s here but you: family from near and far; every neighbor we ever knew. We used to joke about Grandpa Syd going a bit nuts but now it’s no laughing matter. I saw him pour his Scotch and soda all over his checkered slacks while lecturing to a framed wall photo of a golf trophy presentation from generations ago. And Granny Phyllis is scarier than ever, a genuine bag of bones with liver spots grown big enough for a game of Twister. When I shook her hand she didn’t slip me a bill like she used to, just a cold creepy chill and her deepest condolences. At least she cares. I get the sense that most here are feigning grief and are actually enjoying the impromptu reunion, the free drinks and abundant hors d’oeuvres. Dad never should have invited them. The Coburns, the Salazars, the Diekroegers; old neighbors wherever I look. Even today Mr. Diekroeger glared at me through the shadows below those bushy eyebrows. That bastard will never forgive me for the night I crashed the Camaro through his hedgerow and tore up his lawn. This isn’t fun. I’m having a hard time dealing with this, of engaging in conversation and answering questions. Particularly the ones about you: inquiries about where you are and what you’re doing and why you’re not here. I explain that, unlike me, you were always driven by wanderlust and you’re ascending to new heights in Tibet or Nepal or maybe the Andes by now. They ask if you know about Melanie, about what happened. I tell them it’s been nearly two years since anyone’s heard from you and there’s no way to get in touch. As far as you know, nothing’s changed. Everything is as it was when you left. You’re so lucky. Wish I were you.

Roland Goity lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he writes in the shadows of planes coming and going from SFO. His stories can be found in Fiction International, The Raleigh Review, Word Riot, Compass Rose, PANK, and more recently in The MacGuffin, Bluestem, and Underground Voices.

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