Friday, February 20, 2015

The Fellows, flash fiction inspired by "House On A River" - Egon Schiele

House On A River, painting by Egon Schiele.
Oakley and DuBon tossed a coin to see if today might be laundry day.  Heads for yes.  If the answer was yes, they flipped it again to see who had to gather and sort, who had to pin washing to the line.  Since it came up tails, no other answers were needed, once they figured out how to get by for another 24-hours without socks or underwear, or certainly without clean choices.

In their circle where everyone was known and addressed by last names only, Oakley and DuBon were far from the least hygienic members.  That laundry was an issue in their lives marked them as fussy.  They believed it spoke of some higher evolutionary state.  Oakley's room in The Manse was watched over by a poster of Charles Darwin.  All the resident life forms accorded it the status of a sacred object.

Despite what would be called, with some generosity, indifferent habits, all who lived at or hung out around The Manse had collective and individual sartorial conceits.  The hand-worked Sgt. Pepper coat which wondrously appeared atop a neighborhood garbage can one misty morning became community property.  A chart, maintained by Pribble, indicated whose turn it was to wear the coat.  Requests for out-of-sequence special occasion use had to be filed in writing, or what might pass for it, and were pondered with much brow wrinkling.  Pribble put out the word among his associates that a discarded judge's wig would lend appropriate gravitas to his responsible position, but so far none had turned up.

They insisted they were not a gang, this disparate band, collectively known among themselves and around the streets as The Fellows.  Their ways were generally peaceful, little was done in haste, resentments did not fester but flared with a quick yowl and a paw swat.  The group's muttered slogan was, "It's a dogs world, or so they think."  Life was good.  No one expected it to be trouble-free.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

I had a group of friends i college that used to flip a coin about laundry! I was the geek that always did mine once a week.
Is this the start of a new series? What an intriguing glance, more please!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Thank you. There does seem to be more but Gloria and TRM will not let anyone (or anything) jump ahead of them in line. How funny, yet not surprising, about the college coin flipping. It is all out there floating in the ether, isn't it? xo

susan t. landry said...

Pribble! of course, there must be a Pribble. this is so charming...
i think you should illustrate it. a wonderful child's book.

don't you think?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Thank you. Yes, Pribble. As I wrote it, that "something more" feeling crept up on me. The thing about fiction, I want to know what happens as though I were taking dictation. Watch this space. xo