August 2014 Flashes
Barbara Harroun is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Illinois University where she teaches creative writing and composition. Her work has previously appeared in the Sycamore Review, issues of Another Chicago Magazine, Buffalo Carp, Friends Journal, In Quire, Bird's Thumb, Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland, and Requited Journal. Harroun's work is forthcoming in i70 Review, Sugared Water, Per Contra, The Riveter Review, Catch and Release, Bird's Thumb, Pea River Journal, and Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal. She lives in Macomb, Illinois with her favorite creative endeavors, Annaleigh and Jack, and her awesome husband, Bill.
On an August day so hot the sweat crawled out from behind her knees and slid between her breasts, Aundine found herself writhing around on a tarp of chocolate pudding, her best church friend Eve coiled around her, slick and warm and smelling of cocoa. The "Pudding Shenanigans" were the highlight of church camp, and only 14-16 year olds were allowed to participate. Even Eve's long braid was coated. Aundine grabbed the thick plait in her hand and tickled her own cheek with the end, then dipped it in pudding and painted a thick, lopsided heart on her forearm. Eve and Aundine only got to see each other at camp, every August since they were 11. This was their last year. They were both 16, although they could come back as counselors when they were 17 and 18. Eve would, but Aundine wouldn't. She tried to tell Eve how wild and prickly the spirit made her, but she wasn't Catholic. There was pudding on Eve's high cheek and Aundine licked it. Because she wanted to and because she loved Eve. When Eve pushed Aundine hard, she slid, her body leaving a slug trail. Aundine's feet couldn't find purchase to run.