Friday, 23 July 2021

This month's Moon Prize, the 78th, goes to Alexis Rhone Fancher's intriguing "Larceny: A Story In Eleven Parts."

LARCENY: A Story In Eleven Parts

In Which 18 Year Olds Victoria and Debi Flee Los Angeles In Debis Blue Toyota Camry, and Take the Pacific Coast Highway North With Only a Smattering of Stars to Light Their Way…

by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Into The Dark
The night highway crawls with creatures. Moths headfirst into the windshield, lizards, mice,
besotted by headlights, crush flat beneath their tires. Sheltered. Stupid, the girls pick up a stranger. Thinking this is his lucky day, longhaired Davy tumbles into the back seat.

Back Story
When Victoria moved in with Debis family, junior year, her mom never realized she was missing. Now Victoria surveys her flawless skin, full lips, and thick blond hair in the rearview mirror; sees instead her mothers eyes, her dead daddys smile.

Just Outside Of Pismo Beach: An Adventure!
Their route mirrors the shoreline. They speed to outdistance the past. Victoria tallies roadkill. It makes her think of her dad. When she tosses their purses in the back seat with Davy, he recalls
the first time he snapped a cats neck, but stops short of telling.

Luck Of The Draw
Debis fingers run through her kinky black curls. Shes ironed her hair into submission, endured the dryer, hair rolled large in rinsed, frozen orange juice cans. Jagger struts out of the radio. Debi hums off-key.

If he has a choice, Davyd go for the brunette. The blonde is hotter, but she looks like trouble. Somehow, trouble always finds him. Where you headed? Victoria asks. Davy looks from one girl to the other. Hell in a handbasket, he grins.

The Low Down

Debi wants Victorias beauty. Victoria wants Debis mom. Each dances in the others castoff, each glows in the dark. Davy susses their singular affection. Hes a good observer, an only child. Davy wants only their wallets.

Night Swim
The Lorelei moon lures the trio off-course. Tempted, they exit the highway, strip down to their skivvies, hurl themselves into the sea. Davy revels in the half-naked beauties, cavorting just for him in the moonlight. Out of their depth, Debis fingers accidentally brush Victoria’s left breast. As they come together, breathless, past the breakers, the peace is almost unbearable.

Truth or Dare
Midnight confessions. Davy never finished high school. Victorias afraid of men. Debi takes the dare. Climbs the retaining wall and howls like a lunatic. Better this than her secrets spilled. When the big wave washes over her, Debi stands her ground. When Davy grabs her, anyway, she licks his face.

On The Road Again
Debi tends to dwell. Night driving clears her head. She chews a strand of her hair, sips vodka out of an Evian bottle. She misses Freddys thick cock. Wonders why she ever left him. Approaching Morgan Hill, Debi finds a motel, reckons Davy owes her and Victoria for the ride.

Karma: The Condensed Version
Its the best day of Davys life. In slumber, he looks like baby Jesus, Victoria sighs. Debi rescues their wallets from Davys backpack. His, too. The North Star beckons. Theyll make San Francisco by morning. The motel air conditioners rattle masks their departure.

The Last Leg
Victoria drives while Debi counts Davys money. The Toyota eats up the highway, a rocket to their nascent future. Shell buy souvenirs in the city, maybe a gift for her mom. When Debi sticks her head out the window, even Victorias chatter cant drown out the sound the wind makes.

* * * * *

©Alexis Rhone Fancher. "Larceny: A Story in Eleven Parts was first published in Café Reader, New Zealand (2015), and is part of Alexis Rhone Fancher's 2021 poetry collection Erotic: New and Collected (New York Quarterly Books).

Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, Plume, Cleaver, Diode, Duende, Pirene’s Fountain, Poetry East, Pedestal Magazine and elsewhere. She’s authored five poetry collections, most recently, Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press, 2018), The Dead Kid Poems (KYSO Flash Press, 2019), and EROTIC: New & Selected (New York Quarterly Books, 2021). Another, full-length collection (in Italian) by Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, will be published in 2021. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Daily.

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