Category Archives: short stories or scenes

The Character.




Sitting, facing the mirror, she watched him in its reflection.

Jet black, the short spike receded his hairline like a halo – he, also short, but broad of shoulder like her grandfather and with the same, thick hands, a complete opposite of the tall, long boned, pony-tailed basso who had proposed to her earlier that winter. His upper lip, soft and reaching, moved asymmetrically across wide, hidden teeth as he chattered away in low, private tones, multi-tasking easily through the cut, the set, the perm application, twinkling eyes darting from the window to the clock and back into the mirror. Unlike most hairdressers, he worked alone, and asked no questions.

She sat and he proceeded, both parlaying whatever the other disclosed into the predicted personalizations of their shared generation. These were the waning days of brass and glass and Cala lilies, of disco dreams and hair bigger than the faces framed by it, when nobody could hear anybody and posture was the performance of the day.

Pulling the processing cap over her rolled up head, he stepped back, disappearing from the mirror.

She’d forgotten all about having asked if there were a restroom in the salon. Rather, turning in the chair she was quietly startled to see him, standing at the back of the room by a small, opened door. Bending in response to her gaze and presenting a courtly bow, he gestured toward the opening as if to offer her invitation.

Thirty years passed.

During the interim, he’d made a few, vivid reappearances. A handful of vignettes, crystallizing over time, first at the credit union with a pixied platinum blonde, looking remote and sad and somehow adorable, the two of them waiting to meet a loan officer neither speaking nor meeting each other’s glance. She was sure he saw her and the Mona Lisa smile likely marking her recognition, but he’d registered none. His mouth had slowed to still, his eyes had softened, and he had stopped talking.

Even now, thirty years apart and ten months in, she would not be able to say what drew her. Perhaps the gesture by the door, and its thousand and one nights of wonder never actualized; perhaps their two ships, having long passed in the night, each sounding its mourning horn like the mating call of the post-menopausal. His hair grey, his eyes tired and their twinkle, refusing the camera, now only alight in the fleeting glance at another woman he, and her characterization of him, had at last collided in the space between reality and imagination. Only during the occasional nights reflecting alone would she find it increasingly hard to choose between them.






© 1/24/18   Ruth Ann Scanzillo         All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. Thank you for staying in your own corner.









Short Stories.

This category, “Short Stories”, contains thirty chapters written by the author of this blog. None of the material contained herein, whether by topic or treatment, is available for use by any trolling thieves or minions of the book publishing or screen writing community, without direct collaboration with myself, the author. Please be advised, accordingly. Thank you.

Yours in authenticity,

Ruth Ann Scanzillo, author




Veronica was one of those women who, not sure if society were the product or the force, had decided to go back to school for her doctorate – only to quit when she couldn’t think up a thesis topic. Not since her piano teacher had left her stranded in the middle of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, by prematurely dying, had she been so pinned against the wall. It hadn’t helped, either, that her brother’s wife, the missionary’s daughter, was giving birth right and left without so much as a high school diploma. Thankfully, with her mother gone now she might hurt the fewest number of people by leading an absolutely purposeless life.

Frank, on the other hand, after being lured into the woods at the age of twenty by a six pack and a fifteen year old, was no pragmatist. The alleged adolescent was clearly in possession of herself at the time, this being neither her first six pack nor her first venture into the verdure, and he had become the exploited, most particularly by the spiritual leadership of his local sect whose decision to place him under stern social discipline had destroyed all hope of truly meaningful intimacy with a woman. Having spent a fortnight of years suspended between employment and trips to the Netherlands, his was an obligation: he would spend what little energy he could direct toward the sublimely unaccountable.

And, so it was that Veronica and Frank were discovered by each other on the receiving end of a free trip for two to Taipei – each already without their accompanying party. As chaos would have it, they reached the boarding gate of the flight departing San Francisco at precisely the same moment.





.© Ruth Ann Scanzillo

sometime in the 90’s. I have no idea. still had the smith-corona typewriter with the disc drive, so it had to be prior to the 21st century.  all rights reserved. Boarding, Zone 1.