Puppy love as fashion statement: Josh LaMore enters our contest


It seems as if our four-legged ones are more forgiving then the ones who hold the leash or toss the stick. Sam takes an opportunity to remind Lindsey that living swell is the best doggone revenge.  Here is

Midwest Romance

by Josh LaMore

He walked the park to remind himself of what it must have been like when the grasses were a wild 6 to 8 feet tall, with forests, beasts, and unknowns abound. That would have been before the cutting, burning, killing, and destruction of the land and its spirit for the eventual profits of farming. What a tragic thing to be proud of, he thought. Not that New York City is much better, but it has culture and revolution. Everybody knows everybody in the Midwest and nothing ever progresses. There’s nowhere you can go without running into someone who knows you.

Jeffrey came tearing out of the prairie grasses with a stick, twice the length of his body, in his mouth. He was the last one Sam expected to run into, but it wasn’t a disappointment. Even though the happy go lucky mutt was no longer a puppy, he remembered Sam well, putting the stick at his feet like he used to.

“Hi Jeffrey! What are you doing out here, you beautiful boy?” Sam broke the stick in half and threw it. Jeffrey hurtled after it. He knew this meant Lindsey wasn’t far behind.

She came around the curve of the sidewalk, holding a leash and one of those trendy plush dog toys that Jeffery never cared about but she always tried to get him to play with. The witch. Boots, designer jeans, and a funny cut top that made her think she was unique and therefore better than everyone else. Aviators propped in her red hair. Another statement.

“Hey Linds.” “Oh my god! What are you doing here?” “Just visiting. How have you been?” “I’m good. Can you believe I’m a teacher and married to Derick? It’s crazy running into you.” “Yeah… crazy. ” His mind plunged into the ride they took to Bloomington through that winter storm to see their new lovers. She was bitter that whole car ride because of how he looked in the clothes she had once picked out and made him buy with the last of his money. She was the one who had cheated on him with Derick, what did she have to be bitter about?

“What are you up to these days? Still in a band? I saw Steven a few nights ago at the Beat Kitchen, his band just got back from Europe. Everybody loves them now, it’s so annoying. I liked them long before they blew up.”

“Cool.” I don’t give a shit, he thought. Eleven years hasn’t been long enough. “No. No band. No music, thank god. I’m a writer now, in New York. I worked for Central Park, saw all the National Parks out west, and recently traveled Europe. I’ll admit, I thought all those things were stupid when we were dating. You were the one who planned to be a fashion writer, move to New York City, and walk Central Park every day. Funny how I ended up living out your dreams and you became a school teacher.”

Sometimes, it's best to stick with your first love
Sometimes, it’s best to stick with your first love



16 thoughts on “Puppy love as fashion statement: Josh LaMore enters our contest

  1. Thornton Sully says:

    Editor’s note (that would me MOI!) We usually correct minor syntax and spelling that an author may have overlooked. In this instance, we believe that crowding dialog into the same paragraph rather than providing a new paragraph with each change of speaker was intentional. It adds to the hurried nature of this encounter, as if Lindsey is not anxious to confront the demise of her relationship to Sam, and her part in it…just sayin.

  2. Salvatore Buttaci says:

    The test of fine writing is the writer’s ability to provide sharp descriptions that allow readers to see the scene in their heads. This piece by LaMore provides it and has me looking forward to lots more La More!

    • Josh LaMore says:

      Thanks, Monica! Life is full of surprises; some very wonderful (if you are Sam) while others not so much (if you are on the receiving end of someone like Sam). Then again, who in the end is deliberately like Sam’s receiving end? And who actually has a conversation like this? Most don’t and the revenge in love gone wrong is sometimes sadly far worse :(. Thanks again!!!

  3. Diane Cresswell says:

    Yes I noticed the crowding of dialog but my mind floated with it – no interruption in the sequencing of thought through the dialog. Glad you left that in and glad Josh you used that format. It really did add something to the dimension of this story which was well done. Liked it a lot.

  4. Tiffany says:

    This smacks of the best revenge by moving on and yet, the petty comeback at the end was quite satisfying. I noticed the “crowding”, but as a poet I appreciated the visual presentation of this woman’s mindset – prattling on. It fulfilled the equation, and made it juicy when the last line was served.

    • Josh LaMore says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Tiffany! The contest presented an opportunity to fantasize, say things we only dream of saying in situations like this … I couldn’t resist!

  5. Mac Eagan says:

    A great tale of natural revenge and I applaud Sam taking advantage of the opportunity to make the situation even more obvious. The kind of thing that too often ends later with, “I should have said….” but, in this case, Sam did say.

    I go against the grain of the crowd and say I was not a fan of the dialog formatting. I followed it, but felt their words were too rushed. I also thought the pronoun usage (“he”), combined with the dog having what is typically a person’s name, muddled the story a little.

    But you did an excellent job of painting Lindsey for us. You didn’t just tell us Lindsey was a witch but showed us through her choices what kind of witch she was. Great work.

    Looking forward to more from you.

    • Josh LaMore says:

      Thanks, Mac. Funny you mention the “he” and dog usage problem. I struggled to figure out how best to word some of those usage situations. What would you suggest? A more dog-like name?

      Also, thanks for the feedback on the dialogue formatting. There are literary situations where a story’s urgency is real and others where it is not. I never noticed until you said something, but this case doesn’t call for urgency. Seems more of a leisure situation. I wasn’t aware that formatting the dialogue in this fashion would crate such a rush. Now that I look back, I see it. – Thank you again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.