Flash Fiction

Siamese Dream

By October 21, 2016 14 Comments
CN Tower Honest Eds Millie Ho "Siamese Dream" Flash Fiction Story

View of the CN Tower from Honest Ed’s.

Laura and I went to the freeway after school because we both didn’t like going home.

We sat on the cool sidewalk and swung our legs through the guard rails, sharing one iPod that blasted The Smashing Pumpkins on repeat.

Sometimes we’d make plans for an important event, like the egging of the house of Dwayne, this popular kid we both hated, or maybe secretly liked, because that was the only way we knew how to get his attention. Or we’d arch our backs, raise our straws, and shoot tapioca bullets into the cars below, into the blurs and the streaks, the things we couldn’t reach.

But mostly we just sat there and doodled things, trinkets and cartoon characters and the things we wanted, like a new skateboard or book or an apartment in the city.

“Someday we’ll move out of this town,” I said once, “and be extraordinary.”

Laura grinned, showing the hunger in her eyes that only I got to see.

Four years later, I would read about her on the news. I was a senior in college by then, buried in the back of the library, cramming for exams.

We hadn’t spoken in a while.

I reread the article to make sure it was her. When I was certain, my hands flew to my mouth.

Then I closed the article, turned up my iPod, and went back to work.

Millie’s Note: I was obsessed with The Smashing Pumpkins during high school and spent the money I earned writing for a local newspaper (my first ever job!) acquiring the entire discography. I went to random used CD shops to find the compilation albums and box sets I couldn’t find in stores, and once sat on a waiting list for ~7 weeks to buy a used version of Pisces Iscariot. I wrote this flash fiction story when I found Siamese Dream while moving my stuff. Good times!

Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • I did really enjoy reading this story, now I can let my imagination work 🙂

  • It brings back a lot of memories in a different light as I am a couple generations before you I’m sure but growing up in Scarborough we had moments where in the 80’s you would have albums that were played to death and having two older sisters I was influenced by two very different ends of the musical spectrum but recall doing things with friends just listening to albums like The Doors 13 or Black Sabbath’s We Sold Our Soul for Rock and Roll for hours on end. Great flashback blog. Cheers from not far away in Scarborough!

    • Millie Ho says:

      Yeah, finding that one album that turns your lights on is one of the greatest joys in life. I had friends who were more into music than I was (they were also good musicians) and they’d drag me to concerts, and I discovered a lot of new bands that way. Now we have websites like Soundcloud or 8tracks where people share original music or curate playlists, but there’s something special about listening to an actual album and going to a live show. Thanks for reading and dropping by!

      • My teenage life was largely filled with concerts. We used to win tickets on Ryerson Radio’s Aggressive Rock Show on Saturday nights then I just went to every show for who i liked after. Now since playing live it makes it a whole new experience altogether now! Cheers!

  • chrisbkm says:

    … and be extraordinary. As usual.

  • K castlez says:

    What did you read about Laura in the news paper?

  • sanberdooboy says:

    i say good choice to let the reader figure out what had happened to Laura, although it appears that she probably met a terrible fate. yes, the band’s name, smashing pumpkins, creates images of violence. this sentence, though a proper bit of prose, reads like poetry, a bit of lyricism in this urban setting: “Or we’d arch our backs, raise our straws, and shoot tapioca bullets into the cars below, into the blurs and the streaks, the things we couldn’t reach.” yes!

    • Millie Ho says:

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Michael! I had poetry on my mind when I was writing this, so it’s no wonder that a few rhymes slipped in. Good catch about The Smashing Pumpkins and the image of violence. My subconscious mind must’ve put two and two together.

  • I love a story that is so close to reality I can’t tell whether it’s fiction or not. I enjoyed the style of the writing and those more complex elements mixed into it (things out of reach, dreams yet realized, untapped potentials, lost friendships).

    The idea of lost friendships really spoke to me. I’ve had so many friends over the years who I thought would be with me forever. Life has a funny way of getting in the way. Brilliant work, Millie, as always.

    • Millie Ho says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Corey! Yeah, I think we often mine inspiration from our adolescence/childhoods because we’re able to see the truth of what happened now that enough time has passed. It seems like lost friendships are a fact of life, though we can always reconnect. I’m sure those friends will live on in our stories, in any case. 🙂

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