This week we are excited to share this brand new flash fiction story from Tara Isabel Zambrano, author of the fantastic Death, Desire and Other Destinations from Okay Donkey Press. We were fortunate enough to review Zambrano’s debut collection in September, which you can read here.
Manhattan is a showgirl at this hour. In the Devil’s apartment, the skinny boy opens the Devil’s closet, runs his fingers on the black and gray suits, sees his face on the surface of the shoes.
The skinny boy meets the Devil in the elevator. Woolen jacket and corporate smile, deceit between his crow feet. He asks the skinny boy about his day. The skinny boy clears his throat, says he has been running errands for his boss. Outside, the day is cold like truth.
Back in his studio, the Devil’s voice sings in the skinny boy’s head. It tugs at a part of him: the desire, the adventure. “Pay attention to your food,” his mother says as she serves him dinner, her face ashen as ever since his dad left her.
Manhattan is a showgirl at this hour. In the Devil’s apartment, the skinny boy opens the Devil’s closet, runs his fingers on the black and gray suits, sees his face on the surface of the shoes. The Devil is on the phone, his eyes on the boy, his voice low, firm. That night, the skinny boy feels the thrust of a grown man. A burning takes root, but he likes the torture. In the middle of the night, he sees the Devil standing next to the window, his back scaled like a reptile. A pair of wings below his blades. As the Devil flies out of the window, the skinny boy closes his eyes, imagines what his mother might say: “Sing me a happy song.”