fiction in a flash



topless trees bent over in the bright light too dry to sweat in the heat. it was 103 degrees. georgia was cursing the air conditioner, long since dead and indifferent to her complaints. charlie looked at her and smiled, a drip of sweat pooling in the dent of his thin top lip. she was not impressed.

georgia was a peach just as long as it was nice out, but anything over 84 or under 63 degrees and she was not easy to be around. she'd make boiling statements like, "you're lucky I haven't left." or "it must be nice being too dumb to realize that the world is shit." and after too much inclement weather, the people around her would prepare their bags for leaving. they couldn't stay in the home that had once been their own, everything smelled of her carolina rose perfume. so they'd lay awake on the stiff couch blinking at the static that played in the dark, restlessly folding their brains around the idea of no more georgia.

but then in the morning, when the sun was all happy and the sky was all blue and the breeze kept everything at a gorgeous 73 degrees, georgia would stroll into the kitchen wearing the thin blue t-shirt that brushed against her thin tan thighs. she'd start making her famous peanut butter apology pancakes. and she'd squeeze the tangerines from her tree and make fresh juice oh so tart but just sweet enough for the drinking. delicious. so they'd stay, unfolding the newspaper in the smooth morning light to see that the week ahead would be a series of 70 degree days. they'd chew on the sticky situation of peanut butter batter and decide they could wait until the next heat wave. until then, georgia was just too comfortable to leave.

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