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Image by Budgeron Bach
‘All She Wants to Do is Dance’
Penny sits, when all she wants to do is dance. Her wheelchair zooms and spins, pops fake wheelies in front of the Pacific Care Center to the delight of the after dinner smokers. Killer playlist cued up, Penny cranks up the speakers and Gloria Gaynor shouts her survival from the mountain top. Tonight the kids sleeping in the park across the street come out to watch the old people partying like it’s 1999. Fucking boomers. Leaving us this shithole world. Penny twirls, showing off a new “One Cent” license plate dangling on the back of her wheelchair. Turn it up, the kids call, dropping their roaches into empty 40-ouncers. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Penny crows, just in time for the bass to lay down the backbone to “I Wish.” Here we go. Back in the day, the party only started when Penny hit the club. She’s singing with Stevie now, letting those knuckleheads understand that the feeling never leaves you, that music is the fifth dimension somewhere between time and space. When Penny does a 360 to the last “doo doo doo doo doo doo” her wheel catches in a crack in the sidewalk. She swivels too late, and the chair tips her forward. Not again. Not tonight. Sure she’s busting a new move, the kids jump higher, returning to earth grounded by the sight of the skinny old lady face down on the sidewalk as the music shuffles, moving on to Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”
Phebe Jewell’s flash appears in numerous journals, including MoonPark Review, XRAY, Pithead Chapel, Milk Candy Review, Flash Boulevard, and elsewhere. A Seattle teacher, when she’s not writing she can be found walking her stubborn dog in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, laughing with her wife, or hitting a heavy bag at her boxing gym. Read her at phebejewellwrites.com.