Allie Oops

Allie Oops

One evening, Allie worked in her front yard. A couple wandered up and stopped.

Allie saw them out of the corner of her eye, and when they slowed, she grew

suspicious. There wasn’t a reason to be, but there were some sketchy characters

that passed by on occasion. She probably watched too much CNN.

“We’re your new neighbors,” the woman said. She was dressed nicely and had a tan coat on.

“Oh,” Allie said. She’d never met any of her neighbors. She lived in Riverwest, a neighborhood her real estate agent referred to as “transitional.” Like the rest of my life, Allie thought at the time. And it did suit her, the mixed ethnicities, the eclectic coffee shops and dive bars.

“I’m Bart,” the man said. He was pasty white like most folks from Milwaukee, with a slightly protruding beer belly. Allie noticed his groomed beard, reddish with emerging hints of gray.

“And I’m Denise.” The woman smiled, revealing perfect caps on her front teeth.

“I’m Allie,” she said, thinking I should have worn a bra. People never stopped. Or maybe she’d never worked on her lawn. No, she never really paid attention at all.

“Which house is yours?” Allie asked. She assumed it wasn’t the crack house to her immediate left. Or the Asian family who lived to her right. In the heat, the simmering smell of Szechuan cooking hovered between houses.

“We live in that house,” Denise said, pointing down the street at a blue two-story.

The one house on her block Allie never even noticed. Maybe because ever since she’d moved there two years prior, the house remained vacant.  “Well, welcome to the neighborhood,” Allie said. She felt self-conscious, the way she felt around her family. Although familiar, it made her to want to go inside. Hide. “Nice to meet you both,” she forced out. “I’ve got to start dinner.” She turned to go.

“Allie,” Denise said.

She turned slowly around. The woman was holding a gun. It was pointed directly at her.


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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11 Responses to Allie Oops

  1. Andrea says:

    Uh oh spaghetti-o.

  2. Kim Suhr says:

    Love the line about the neighborhood being transitional like her life! 🙂

  3. Dez says:

    She should have worn a bra! How do you do this in just one line- these great visuals. Enjoyed this very much, thanks.

  4. Karen McQ says:

    Love the title and the twist! But excuse me, what’s this all about?–“He was pasty white like most folks from Milwaukee.” You make it sound like a bad thing…

  5. tomfroehlich says:

    The line “She was dressed nicely in a tan coat.” is a bit weak. If your objective is to convey she was not dressed like riff raff or a bag lady, how about: ““We’re your new neighbors, the woman said, burying her hands deep into the pockets of the tan lambs wool coat.” That says “nice” with out saying it.

    I think “dive bar” might be a bit cliche. Could you describe it instead, maybe, “And it did suit her, the mixed ethnicities, the eclectic coffee shops and bars of peeling clapboard and epileptic neon.”

  6. carolyn says:

    this is intriguing..

  7. G says:

    Poor Poor Allie

  8. Rontuaru says:

    The coat line snagged me too. I think: She wore a camel swing coat that gave her a jaunty, but polished look. (Swing coats and capes are great places to hide things!)

    Like it! Great start!

  9. kelton says:

    I’m telling you, you have to trust your instincts in my neighborhood!!!! Riverwest is a lot like Brooklyn, cool but pay attention. LOVE THE STORY!

  10. Shari says:

    Fantastic writing, loved this story. What is going to happen to Allie?

  11. kimberly says:

    i want MORE

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