The Frog

The Frog

Marina Vista dropped by to visit her sister, Benecia Martinez. “I never get to see you anymore,” she said. “Where is Chilpanchango?”

“You know where he is.”

“In the woods?”

Benecia nodded, setting the fresh guacamole bowl on the dining room table. “If I knew you were coming, I’d have baked you a cake.” She grabbed the tortilla chips, already in a colorful ceramic bowl.

Marina sat down. “This is more than enough. You didn’t have to fix lunch, honey.”

“No problemo, my sister.” Benecia kissed her cheek. “We need to do a little hair removal.” She pointed to a few straggly hairs near Marina’s lip.

“Oh please. Let’s not turn this into a spa day.” She crammed a chip into the guacomole and stuffed it into her mouth. “You look good, been jogging?”

“When I can.” Benecia chugged some Fresca. “Able to hang for a few hours?” She adjusted her bra underneath the fitting black tank top.

Marina nodded, scratching a mosquito bite on her back. “Mmm, these avocados are muy…” She searched for the word as she dipped a lavish amount on another chip.

The back door creaked open.

“Honey?” Benecia called. “Chilpanchango?”

“How can you even tell he’s in here? He’s like the wind, that one.”

Benecia placed her hand over Marina’s. “Shhh, he’ll hear you.”

The boy came to the doorway.

Marina Vista turned around, eyes narrowed. “Chilpanchango, where have you been?”

His huge eyes looked at his feet. “In the woods,” he whispered, his soprano voice wavered.

“And what do you do in those woods, honey?” Marina asked.

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Just play.”

She held her arms out. “Come over here and give your Auntie some sugar.”

He walked slowly toward her.

Benecia let out a scream. “Aye yi yi, Chilpanchango. What’s in your pocket?”

His shorts were stained a strange purplish- red color.

Marina Vista shrunk back horrified. “In the name of Christ Almighty-”

“Sis, shut it.” Benecia moved quickly toward Chilpanchango, escorting him out of the room. “Be right back,” she said over her shoulder.

Marina Vista had almost polished the entire batch of guacamole when Benecia returned.

“What happened?” Marina asked. “What was it?”

“Nothing. Just a frog he collected.” Benecia drank more Fresca.

“A frog he collected? You mean a frog he mangled? There was blood.”

“Don’t pick on him, Marina. He’s just a boy.”

Marina shook her head. “That boy of yours, he’s a piece of work.”

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About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, published author, editor, and workshop leader, his poems and fiction are widely found in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Connotation Press, BlazeVOX, Thrice, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Managing Editor at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing. He is a six times 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 collections 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 The Frog

  1. Andrea says:

    Benecia doesn’t understand…he’s more sensitive than the other boys at school.

  2. Don says:

    Sisters can be so different and I enjoyed the memories of my own, although they are not hispanic. I love the names and the dialogue is fun. What a difference between the boy yesterday who would not shoot a deer, and this one who has mangled a frog. Sometimes we love something so much we smoosh it?

  3. Suzi says:

    I love Chil – this is my own son captured in words; so many frogs in so many pockets. Thanks for the memories. ;o)

  4. Dr. Crunk says:

    The cornucopia of names spill forth like colored tortilla chips into a dancing Latin afternoon. Muy bien !

  5. Shari says:

    Chilly is adorable and these two are amazing characters. I wanted to have some of that guacamole that MArina Vista is unwilling to share! Where do you come up with your names? Love the name Benecia Martinez. Fantastic! All of them are.

  6. Ian says:

    Ok, Chilpanchango. When can I start filming this? I think David Carter and Andrea Falkenstein are kind of ‘between gigs’ right now, so no problems there. Now, do you wear shorts or are they more like knee pants? What exactly is the color scheme for the guacamole? That bowl of dip is the real set piece here- a simile for? Hey, these questions must be answered before production begins.

    Bust out the eyelashes.

  7. Dez says:

    It would be fun to see any of your stories made into short films, and I agree with Ian, why not start with this one? Two sisters, a strange but sweet child, great names- isn’t Benecia and Martinez both names of towns east of San Francisco? Not sure but it seems I recall them when I used to live on the west coast.

  8. Angela says:

    Ready for production!

  9. tomfroehlich says:

    Comfortable conversation of those who have known each other for a long time. Nice job at that. I think you wanted her to polish “off” the guac, right?

    Nice job.

  10. david says:

    Yes she WOULD polish off the Guac, Tom. If you were totally dehydrated from the trip down from Calistoga you would want something, too. Wow Dez… you nailed it. Well, it seems folks really like this.. of course this totally makes me smile.. We know Chil could find the pool boy and climb Mount Diablo until the cows come home.. What can I say?? This is a beautiful piece.. the relationship between the sisters and little Chilly is profound.. in any language.. I mean have you tasted any of Benecia’s food? It’s good.. Marina loves it.. nasty lil’ Chilly… some day he’ll grow up to be an amazing hair dresser, he’s so sensitive.

  11. Andrea says:

    More sensitive than the other boyz at school. I love you Marina Vista…you are da bomb.

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