The Teresa Jusino Experience

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Category: Fiction

(LATE) FRIDAY NIGHT FICTION: The Concordance of the Epic Saga of the Three Bears in Space

I’m sorry my tumultuous week last week prevented me from putting up my Friday Night Fiction. This edition of Friday Night Fiction was inspired by Experience reader, Gryffud. Thanks for commenting on the blog, Gryffud! You will be sent a purdy, signed, handwritten copy of this story! It will be the only handwritten version of it IN EXISTENCE you lucky thing! 🙂 Thanks for helping me exercise my prose muscles.

And now, for the rest of you, here’s the story inspired by Gryffud’s Three Words…

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A Concordance of the Epic Saga of the Three Bears in Space

By Teresa Jusino

Below is a sampling of the first few entries from the concordance of the Epic Saga of the Three Bears in Space, the centuries-old legend written by Bera Klár that was lost to the ages until 2012, when Icelandic archaeologists discovered the tale etched on tablets buried in the Lava Caves in the Hallmundarhraun Lava Flows in Western Iceland. The legend indicates that space travel has existed for centuries on Earth in the Bear Community. The full concordance can be purchased on Amazon.com, as can a full English translation from the Old Icelandic.

Astronaut [as-truh-nawt, -not]
Page 2…..The Astronaut, proud though he stole the technology…
Page 5….. …Astronaut’s routine, which included replicating his oats…
Page 6…..Though the Astronaut was a horse, he didn’t think that bears…
Page 9….. …Astronaut, who always dreamed about space travel, now had a ship all his own…
Page 12….. …when suddenly the Astronaut heard a thumping sound…
Page 14….. …took the Astronaut by surprise, binding his hooves…
Page 56…..She asked if he’d come home to her. the Astronaut said “Neigh…”
The Astronaut’s Wife [th ee as-truh-nawt, -not ‘s wahyf]
Page 51…..It was the Astronaut’s Wife, and she didn’t like what she was seeing…
Page 53….. …the Astronaut’s Wife called her a “cheap, space-exploring whore!”
Page 55…..“I’m the only one allowed to lay hooves on my husband!” the Astronaut’s Wife shouted…
Baby Bear [bey-bee bair]
Page 17….. …and Baby Bear, members all of the Bear Space Program.
Page 21…..“This engineering room is just right,” said Baby Bear.
Page 25….. …which disappointed Baby Bear, even though it was never as good replicated.
Page 31…..Baby Bear was young, but he knew a thing or two about shuttle engines.
Page 54…..Baby Bear didn’t want to admit it, but he had a crush on her.
Page 55…..She put Baby Bear in an escape pod and sent him back to Earth.
bunk [buhngk]
Page 55…..She slinked into his bunk, not caring what his horsey wife thought…
Exodus [ek-suh-duhs]
Page 10….. …he hoped to signal the beginning of the Horse Exodus from Earth…
Page 18…..Though the Bear Exodus had already come and gone, still they wanted more…
Page 19….. …the Exodus led them to several Bear worlds, but they wanted Earth most…
Goldilocks [gohl-dee-loks]
Page 45…..“My name is Goldilocks. I came to kick the shit out of some bears.”
Page 47…..Goldilocks stroked his mane, and immediately felt something stir inside…
Page 48….. …the animal revolution, but Goldilocks was in love, and she couldn’t hurt him…
Page 49….. …quickly dispatched of the mother and father, but Goldilocks couldn’t hurt the child.
Page 50…..He nuzzled Goldilocks, and she responded with a kiss…
Page 56…..Goldilocks would let the animals have this battle, she’d win the war…after making love.
Mama Bear [mah-muh bair]
Page 17….. …Mama Bear…members all of the Bear Space Program.
Page 15…..There was no bigger proponent of defeating the Horse menace than Mama Bear.
Page 16…..If there’s one thing Mama Bear hated more than Horses, it was Humans.
Page 49…..“Get away from him, you bitch!” Mama Bear shouted.
Papa Bear [pah-puh bair]
Page 17…..Papa Bear…members all of the Bear Space Program.
Page 15…was an idealist. His wife would’ve said that Papa Bear’s idealism was weakness.
Page 25…..He hated the stuff. Papa Bear was more an oatmeal kind of Bear.
Page 49…..Papa Bear knew that reconciliation with the Humans was the way…
porridge [pawr-ij]
Page 25…..His mother set the replicator to “porridge”, her son’s favorite…
Page 26…..Papa Bear turned his nose up at the too-hot porridge…
Page 55…..She brought a bowl of porridge in with her, like a trophy.

FRIDAY NIGHT FICTION: Horchata

This edition of Friday Night Fiction was inspired by Ian Johnson. Thanks for commenting on the blog, Ian! Please email your mailing address to me at theteresajusinoexperience[at]gmail[dot]com, and I will send you a purdy, signed, handwritten copy of this story! It will be the only handwritten version of it IN EXISTENCE you lucky thing! 🙂 Thanks for helping me exercise my prose muscles.

And now, for the rest of you, here’s the story inspired by Ian’s Three Words…

Horchata

By Teresa Jusino

Ever since Abuelita died, Adelaida’s parents always made her come straight to the truck from school. Luis and Gabriella, her older brother and sister, both had jobs now, so there was no one to take care of Adelaida at home anymore. She walked two L.A. blocks all by herself every day, and even though some of her friends felt bad for her, because she had to walk alone and couldn’t go home, she was still really proud that her parents treated her like a Big Girl.

Tienes hambre? her mother asked her when she walked around to the back of the food truck that day. Adelaida shook her head, but her mother knew better, and Adelaida smiled when her mother poured her a cup of horchata and put some warm tortillas on a plate for her. Adelaida’s father had set up a place for her in the corner of the back of the truck, and so she enjoyed her snack surrounded by stuffed animals at a Little Tikes table as the steam from the grill filled the air and her mother began preparing grilled meat for the upcoming dinner rush.

Adelaida was born in California to Mexican parents, so she was just Mexican enough to drink horchata regularly, but just American enough to still think the word “horchata” was kinda funny. She was chuckling to herself about the word, over-pronouncing and elongating it (“hoooorchaaaataaaaa….hoooooorchaaaataaaaa…”) to make her mother laugh (or make her annoyed. One or the other.) when her father poked his head inside the truck.

¡Ven afuera!, he said, smiling. Adelaida was intrigued, and so she did as she was told, and exited the truck. What she saw when she got outside made her squeal with delight.

Tied to a lamppost in the parking lot where they ran their business, was an eight-week-old  dachshund puppy, who immediately began to wag its tail when it saw Adelaida. ¡Ay, que lindo, Papi! Adelaida exclaimed, running over to the dog and kneeling on the ground to play with it. It climbed up on her lap and started licking her nose, which made her squeal.  Adelaida’s mother looked out the back door of the truck, and she didn’t look pleased.

¿Y, qué es eso? she asked, giving Adelaida’s father a pointed look.

Ella necesita algo para entretenerse, he replied. Estar aquí sola con nosotros trabajando…? Eso no es bueno.

Lo que no necesitamos es otra boca para alimentar. Adelaida’s mother frowned and went back into the truck.

Adeleida agreed with her father. It would be good for her to have a puppy so she could have someone to play with. Watching her parents cook food for people was no fun, and she was tired of her stuffed animals. She was glad she could have a real one!

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She called the puppy Horchata, because he was brown like cinnamon and you put cinnamon in horchata and it made perfect sense to her. For weeks, Adelaida ran to the food truck after school to find Horchata laying down by his water bowl waiting for her to walk him around the empty parking lot. When Horchata was 13 weeks old, Adelaida walked him as far as she was allowed to walk in the parking lot before turning back, then let go of his leash and raced him back to the truck the way she always did. And he won, the way he always did.

When Adelaida caught up, kneeling next to Horchata on a patch of grass behind the truck, she heard arguing from inside the truck. Something about money and responsibility and stuff that she couldn’t really understand, because her parents’ Spanish was getting too hard. Then, she heard her mother say,

…después tu compraste ese maldito perro! ¿Y porque? ¿Para que ella te quiere mas que a mi?

And she heard her father say,

¡Lo compre, porque ella necesita alguien que la demuestra afección mejor que tú cuando yo no estoy aquí!

And her heart sank. She didn’t realize Horchata could be so much trouble! But she knew what she had to do. She didn’t want her parents to fight anymore, and if they fought over the dog that much, she shouldn’t have a dog anymore.

Adelaida reached into her school bag for some construction paper and a crayon and made a sign. She picked up Horchata and his bowl and walked to the edge of the parking lot. Her heart breaking, she snuggled the dog one more time, allowing him to lick her nose and cheek, before putting him and the bowl in an old shopping cart. She wheeled the cart to a lamppost next to some parked cars, stuck the sign onto the handle with tape, and ran back to the truck before she could change her mind.

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Mom! Come here! Look! Brian called out as his mother packed their groceries in the trunk of her car.

What is it, honey? I don’t have the energy for games right now…

No, look!

Brian’s mom looked over at the lamppost near her car and saw a puppy in a shopping cart with a sign on it that had “PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THIS DOG. HIS NAME IS HORCHATA” written on it in crayon. It was whimpering. Brian’s mom looked around and didn’t see anything on that side of the parking lot except a food truck.

Can we take him home, Mom? Please?

Who would leave a poor little dog like this in a shopping cart?

24 Hours to “Midnight” – December

As you might have heard via my Twitter feed or my Facebook page, my short story, December, made it to the second and final round of  the NYC Midnight Short Story contest!  At 11:59PM tonight, I’ll be receiving a Genre and an Object, and I’ll have 24 hours to write a 2,500 short story to compete for the grand prize!  EEEK!  Wish me luck!

And in the meantime, please enjoy my short story, December.  The Genre I was given was “A Ghost Story.”  My object?  “A Piano.”  I’m actually rather proud of how this turned out!  I’d never written a ghost story before, but I think this ended up being appropriately creepy!  I’ll let you lot be the judges:

EDIT: “DECEMBER” WAS SELECTED TO BE IN ISSUE #24 OF CROSSED GENRES! IT IS AN EDITED VERSION OF THE STORY THAT WAS FOUND HERE. IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ IT, CHECK OUT THE “CHARACTERS OF COLOR” ISSUE OF CROSSED GENRES, AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 1, 2010! VISIT THE CROSSED GENRES WEBSITE FOR DETAILS ON HOW TO GET YOUR DIGITAL/PRINT COPY!

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