Home > Flash Fiction, Horror, Writing > Available Soon – Under the Bed Magazine

Available Soon – Under the Bed Magazine

I am happy to tell everyone that you should head over to’ Under the Bed Magazine’ and purchase the next issue, which includes my story, “Stick Figures.” I just received the cover art and I like this.

UtB Jan Cover

I really liked this story too. I submitted this to more places than any other story I have written and I am so happy to see that it will soon be available. Head on over and help support a great magazine.

On a different note, I found a submission call for Noir fiction. There was one very serious problem with that. I don’t know what Noir really means?

Sure, I get that a lot of the old detective novels fit the genre. I understand that there seems to be a gritty sort of feel to the stories. That doesn’t mean I understand it.

So, as with every other lapse in my education, I headed to Google for the answer. This lead me to Wikipedia and then down a rabbit hole of short stories that fit the genre.

Man, is this stuff depressing.

A lot of Noir seems to thrive on a dark, sad ending. You might or might not see it, but you feel it. I may be reading this incorrectly, but it seems like Noir is suffering. I didn’t read a single happy ending.

Lately, there have been some things like that in my life. Things that push you down and you just don’t see how you are going to get out from under them. Even if the way to do so is right there, you don’t feel like it fixed anything.

So, I decided to try and write to the genre. This story is my first attempt. If you are a fan of Noir, please take a moment and let me know if this is on the right track. If not, fine. I don’t see this as a common style for me, but I still wanted to try it.

I think that is the important thing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story.

L. E. White

Coverage

Meredith ran her hand down the leg of her slacks, smoothing the fabric over and over in an unconscious, nervous gesture. She refused to make eye contact with the two women on the other side of the room, afraid that either one of them might want to start a conversation. Neither one had ever seen her to know who she was, but she was sure they would recognize her voice.

“I am sorry,” she had said to Mrs. Martin. “But that is considered an elective surgery by your provider. It isn’t covered.”

Mrs. Martin had been sobbing on the other end of the phone. “How can it be considered an elective surgery if I am in so much pain that I can’t stand up long enough to take care of my family?”

Pleading and blubbering, the woman had refused to get off the phone. Meredith wasn’t allowed to hang up on a customer, that would have been rude, but she wasn’t allowed to do anything to help them either.

“Your job is to listen to their complaint, record it in the system, and then tell them whatever response comes up in the prompt box.” Mr. Franklin had said. “No more and no less.”

So she had done her job despite hating every minute of it. She had sat through the cursing fits and through the torrents of blubbering to keep putting food on the table.  “We need the insurance.” She kept telling her husband. “You might make enough money but we need insurance.”

He rubbed her shoulders when she would sit at the table, starring out the window.  He would sit quietly and wait while she ranted about someone who had yelled and cursed at her. He would hold her against him when she broke down and cried over what someone had blamed her for.

Now, he was in front of an x-ray machine while a short, balding man took pictures of his guts. He was smiling when he walked away, to make her feel better, but she had watched his coffee cup tremble when he lifted it to his lips.

When Tom stepped out, he smiled, but only with his mouth. She forced a smile in return, despite the fact that she couldn’t stand up yet. His eyes stole her strength and she blinked as fast as she could too keep from smearing her mascara.

She had typed in the complaint yesterday, even though there hadn’t been a call. She had typed it in and sat staring at the screen until her boss had asked if she was ok. She had nodded her answer to the question before walking into the bathroom to lean against the stall and sob.

Meredith already knew what the prompt would say.

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Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror, Writing
  1. January 3, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    wow that was a powerful story – I feel deeply for her – she is in all of this the innocent bystander. You did well, I like Noir, well anything dark, and you really did the genre a service there. Like it – blessings!

    • January 5, 2014 at 10:53 AM

      Thank you for reading and I am glad to hear that you like it.

      I saw your blog and will be reading through. It looks good.

  2. January 4, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    That’s a great story, very strong. I felt for her.

    As as hard as noir might be to define, I am not sure I would call this noir. Not sure what I would call it though.

    • January 5, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Thanks.

      So without trying to define what this is can you tell me where you think it falls out of the genre? What is it that makes you think this isn’t Noir?

      If you don’t have an answer that is fine. I am just hoping there is something specific that knocks this story out of the genre for you.

      • January 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM

        Not really sure. There is little hope in noir – and there isn’t in this story, insurance being what it is. There is no crime, though I suppose you could argue corruption, again insurance being what it is.

  3. January 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    A powerfully written story – so apropos for the times we live in.
    I would say that this, if you had to categorize it, as a genre is a “drama.”

    • January 23, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it.

  1. January 4, 2014 at 7:08 AM

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