Tag Archives: Addy Evenson

“A Blond Joke” – Fiction by Addy Evenson

A young woman experiences some dark and stormy times during a Florida hurricane in “A Blond Joke,” Addy Evenson‘s hauntingly surreal short story from our Summer 2018 issue.

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SHELBY, HONEY, YOU’RE THE WORST WAITRESS IN THE WHOLE WORLD, Dad told me. He said, A monkey could do better. So I’m sending you away to visit your Gramma Kay.

That was up in Key Largo. Gramma Kay lived in a three-story blue house under palm trees, and next to a canal. It smelled like seawater, sawdust and stone. I hadn’t been there since I was seven. My mom had taken me out of there one night.

She said, No more drunk-madness.

Gramma Kay, like a lot of stewardesses, loved her margaritas by the pink sunset. When I was little, Gramma Kay used to take me for rides in her convertible car. She was bottled blond, like me.

So I wrote Gramma Kay a letter. It said,

 

Dear Gramma Kay, I know it’s been years, but I’d like to visit. Well, I don’t really have much choice. Dad is sending me there in less than a week because he doesn’t know what to do with me. He says that I’m flighty and a drunk like you. I promise that’s not all there is to me. I think that you’ll find if you take the time to get to know me that I have a lot of your good traits in me.

 

Love,

Shelby

 

So I headed out to see her. I took economy class. I didn’t have enough cash to check both of my bags, so I kept my favorite one. When I got to the curb, the yellow-cab driver looked at the address and said, You’re really going right in it, aren’t you? I said, How do you mean? And he said, The hurricane. He looked at me like he thought I was dumb but truly I didn’t have cable because cable makes people slow. So I just didn’t hear anything about it.

He stopped by the gravel road, and then got in a big hurry to drive off. I guess it was pretty windy there. And empty. I stood there on the cement, with my aquamarine suitcase. I wore flamingo-pink heels. I walked.

I knocked on the door.

Gramma Kay, I called. It’s me. It’s Shelby.

I heard music come down from the kitchen. Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville…

I went upstairs.

A man sliced a lime on the counter.

Oh, I said. Am I in the wrong place?

Are you Shelby, he said.

That’s me!

I’m Keif.

He was kind of handsome, but looked a little bit like leather. He was pale and had pale hair.

I’ll be here, at your service, he said. I’m the housekeeper. I’m here to watch Enchilada while your Gramma and Grampa are out for the hurricane.

What’s that you’re making, I said.

It’s a key lime pie.

A key lime pie! Oh, God, I love it!

Good. It’s for you.

How sweet. So, they knew I was coming?

Yes.

I’ll just put my things down in the guest room.

I came out again.

Oh my god, nothing has changed. Nothing at all, I said.

The lights flickered.

It’s horrible weather, I said.

That’s Maria, Keif said. It’s the worst of its kind.

Are we safe here, I asked.

Well, someone has to babysit Enchilada, he said.

Enchilada, my darling, my darling!

I ran to his cage and opened the door.

Oh, I cried. What is wrong with him? He’s not moving.

Oh, no, Keif said.

Oh no. He’s dead!

Oh no, Keif said. I’m so sorry.

I don’t understand. It looks like you’ve been feeding him.

I have.

But Gramma Kay got him because she said he would live longer than she would, I said.

We ate the key lime pie. It was real good, with home-made whipped cream and graham cracker pie crust. Keif took out the rum then, and I gave him a look that my ex said makes me seem up to no good at all.

Oh, I want some of that, I said.

We drank.  Continue reading “A Blond Joke” – Fiction by Addy Evenson

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