Kim Chinquee

Home | The Last Issue | Submissions | Achieve: 2004-2009 | Essays

collection of flash fiction, Oh Baby, was published by Ravenna Press in February 2008, her collection Pretty (tentative title) is forthcoming from White Pine Press, and she is co-editor (with Doug Martin) of the forthcoming anthology Online Writing: Best of the First Ten Years (Snowvigate Press). Kim has been published in journals and anthologies including Noon, Denver Quarterly, Mississippi Review, Conjunctions, Fiction, New York Tyrant, elimae, Willow Springs, Phoebe, Notre Dame Review, New Orleans Review, American Short Fiction, The Chattahoochee Review, North Dakota Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Caketrain, Night Train, The Pushcart Prize anthology, and many others. Needless to say, she is bad-ass.

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There Was Nowhere to Sit 


She watched the games open on the TV, and she packed up all her dishes. There was laughter outside, people slapping their boots into puddles. The napkins fit as a cushion. She taped the box shut. On the screen, people circled waving  flags, standing for their countries. She looked in the fridge at an avocado. She opened the window further, looking out to see another storm on its way. She stacked and sat on boxes, watching a man run into the air. He held the torch. He was a champion.




Where The Girls Were


He asked me to bring soda. When I got there they said, "HEYYYY!" in unison. He got up and then my phone rang and he took the pop while I answered. It was my mom and he dropped the pop. "Hi," he said, "Hello," and "there's the pizza." He pointed, but I was feeling skinny and wanted to keep it that way and I told him "No," and said hi to his business partner and the others. One guy pointed to his neck, showing me the dolphin he had painted. Another guy said: What up, and pointed his chin. The business partner sat on the rocker and chewed, and he, the guy who used to be my boyfriend wore a hat and said thank you for the soda.

He put the movie in and I asked for the blanket. It was losing thread and had holes where the dog had chewed it, though the dog was gone now. It was blue, with balloons, and I used to study patterns. I wasn't sure why I was there. I was invited. 

The movie was about a drunk guy who kept getting arrested. More guys came, and the host, my ex, pointed to the pizza, and they'd get a piece and sit and watch the TV, of the drunk guy. We got to the part where the guy didn't know what day it was and his feet were infected.

A guy was there who used to date my girl-friend. He sat next to me since there was no where else to sit and I looked at my ex-boyfriend and he looked at the TV, and the scene: the drunk guy was in Hawaii now and couldn't remember the day again and he couldn't remember his birthday. His arrests were in the hundreds and I couldn't figure out why I was there then.

My friend's ex leaned over, in me, whispering “What’s up?” and I got up to get some pretzels. I went out to the porch, looking out at the snow that had covered up the yard and I remembered the leaves that I'd raked when I was with my boyfriend. I'd been standing there, rake in hand, feeling tired like a ragdoll. He'd said to me something like I love you.

Now I wondered where the leaves were, how I ended up, and then. I wondered where the girls were. I went back to the room where the drunk guy was even older, his toes were brown, his clothes soiled and he couldn't remember his age, the date, and in the room, in the corner, my friend's guy motioned for me, and in the other corner, the man with the dolphin on his neck, he cried, and the rest of them ate pizza, munched on chips, and some drank the Coke.

My ex-boyfriend smiled at me and I smiled at him, and I sat on the floor and I waited for the climax. I put the pretzels in my mouth and sucked them, and I watched, waiting for the man to come clean.





Some People Were Criminals


When my dad was gone, we didn't have to fold our hands beforehand. He wasn't gone much, but he got assigned to jury duty and when I asked my mom what jury duty was she said some people were criminals. My sister blew at the steam on her spoon, then said some kids cheated at school. My mom said these are bigger cases, and then the news came on, the dairy reports telling us how much calves were being sold for. It wasn’t supposed to be much. My mother went back for another bowl and then heated up some chicken, and a company on TV advertised a bed you could lift your feet in. My sister drank her milk, and then my mother had more chicken. A bag of chips, and dip then. My sister turned the channel, and we watched the lips, together and apart, together and apart again.