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I liked the smoke. It stayed in a room even after she left.

She was down on her hands and knees, cleaning out my closet one time. I was standing behind her, watching her. She had on a summer dress, belted at the waist, her hair was up in combs. She was throwing away all my old shoes and yelling at my Nana ‘bout how they all had holes in them and I couldn’t walk around with holes in my shoes. When she talked, she gestured with the cigarette hand, the other one was diggin’ around launching high tops.

It looked pretty, that orange glow. Like somethin’. I reached out, and I pressed my finger to it.

It startled me that it burned and I think it startled her that I was there. She slapped me upside the head and sent me off to bed.

I woke up and she was sitting beside me. She wasn't looking at me, but she was there. She was crying. I wanted to apologize for the cigarette. I would buy her another. But I was afraid she might sock me again. I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep. When I woke up again she was gone.

Date Written: May 02, 2005
Author: cuntry
Average Vote: 3.3333

05/9/2005 Will Disney: Explanation!
05/9/2005 The Rid: This is like my childhood, only without the cigarette.
05/9/2005 John Slocum: This is most definitely not an Acme short. This is something for a different site. My reflex, which I've restrained, is to one-star this, not because it's poorly written, but because it has no place here. Unless author, or anyone else, explains this by this evening, I will follow my reflex. Deal?
05/9/2005 Will Disney: Thoughts on this one, anyone?
05/9/2005 Will Disney: Wow we are really in sync, slocum!
05/9/2005 Mr. Pony (3): I think there's room for stuff like this here. That said, there's something I like about the way this is played, but I feel like this piece of writing needs to give itself more of a reason to exist. There's something unambitious about it. I will continue the dialogue with a three-star rating.
05/9/2005 Klause Muppet: I thought this was an Amce Short when I read "She was down on her hands and knees" but then it stayed all serious and shit. I think giving this 1 star is insulting. It's well written and provides good imagery. If this isn't the right site for this, perhaps we shouldn't vote - but I don't think it deserves a low vote. Nice work Author.
05/9/2005 The Rid: Klause, very even handed. Nice comment.
05/9/2005 Litcube: I kinda liked this. Will comment/vote later.
05/9/2005 TheBuyer (4): Poor pathetic little shit.
05/9/2005 Jon Matza: Hang on, how does the narrator intend to buy his/her mummy another ciggy? He/she's supposed to be about four years old, right? Along w/earlier comments I agree this is too "literary" for the sensibilities of most acme readers. Myself included.
05/9/2005 The Rid (3): Ah, it's not Acme, but it's not bad.
05/10/2005 cuntry: you know, I wrote this outside of acme land of course, and in pasting it into the little window, there were countless ways to acme-fy it... "she was down on her hands and knees..." "i pressed my finger to it..." both conjure up images rife with possibility. i thought of adding, "and i thought i could see the pink fleshy part that i wash 'three times to make sure i get the soap out' every time we take a bath together." after, "she was down on her hands and knees." and then i thought, fuck it, it's guest month, and maybe everybody doesn't need to read the same exact shit they read every day. and i'm not using shit to mean that the shits bad because i enjoy the shit quite a bit. i'm sure you'll find that my next post returns us to more comfortable
05/10/2005 qualcomm: i think "acmefying" this would have been too obvious. i didn't like this that much, but i disagree that it's inherently non-acme. i'm sure it's possible to write a "serious" short-short that doesn't feel too literary and that'd fit in fine here. in fact, several of brad evans' shorts do just that; there are jokes in them, but the intent of the shorts is still pretty sincere.
05/10/2005 Mr. Pony: I've always found the charge that a work is "UnAcme-like" (and therefore less good) to be more than a little irritating. Sure, there are many great works written with the same aesthetic as, say, the first hundred shorts posted to the site, but some of the best works on Acme transcend (both with and without the conscious intention to transcend) this "National Style". Couple this with the fact that some of the greatest disasters on the site have happened when the author (myself included) couldn't resist the perceived pressure to give something an "Acme Twist Ending" or an "Acme Incest Bomb". I like to think that most of the citizens of Acme are intelligent and flexible enough to appreciate and evaluate all different sorts of material.
05/10/2005 Mr. Pony: Also, I think we should explain what we mean by "literary" for the benefit of certain authors, like, say, me.
05/10/2005 qualcomm: sorry, i meant "phony millions"
05/10/2005 Mr. Pony: (I revise my parenthetical "(and therefore less good)" to the more accurate "(and therefore less worthy of consideration)".)
05/10/2005 qualcomm: by literary, i mean trying to live up to what's expected in "serious" fiction. there are countless paths leading to this error: misuse or overuse (subjective) of fancy words, affectedly simple prose (trying to be carveresque/new yorkery), affectedly serious tone, etc. i guess affectation is the key to it. pretension. i'm sure others can add more to this. also, see my groundbreaking expose on the subject here.
05/10/2005 qualcomm: and of course, by extension, trying to live up to what's expected of "acme" fiction would also be erroneous.
05/10/2005 Mr. Pony: word
05/10/2005 Jon Matza: On the same subject, I'd like to share one of my prejudices for the edification of all. A lot of present tense prose has that 'literary' quality that raises my hackles (e.g., The doorbell rings. Could that be Unibeth already? I thought the film didn't get out till 4:30. I check my watch and realize it's 4:31. How did the time pass so quickly? I can hear my neighbor's faucet running as I walk to the door. Why doesn't he get it fixed? My cock itches. Etc. ) This doesn't apply to the above short of course, and I admit there can be exceptions; I could see someone using this style profitably by doing an ace parody of it, in fact. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to educate you.