Sunday, July 06, 2014

Excerpt from my short story Band of Flesh--1997

Excerpt from my short story Band of Flesh, first published in The Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine in 1997.
I was paid $700 for this story, so--it was also my first story published in America.
The first story I published in my life was in Burma when I was 13.
I was paid kyats 40 for it by The Guardian.

Band of Flesh will be available soon:

If we let the band stretch almost to the breaking point, until it hurt so much I could stand it no longer, we could almost turn our backs on each other. 
But I always begged Yang not to tug so hard, for it was very uncomfortable. 
Sometimes I thought Yang smelled bad, especially when she woke up in the mornings.

When we went to the bine sa koke (bioscope), we had special plush velvet chairs made to order to sit on. 
Mother personally supervised what we saw so that our morals would not be corrupted.
When we went by train to Rangoon, to Rowe and Company to buy cloth, or to Smart and Mookerdum where I wanted books, we always had a special carriage all to ourselves, and for Mother and the maid who accompanied us everywhere. 
As we grew up and brought wealth to our family and community, people no longer told my mother we were an affront to nature, and that it would have been better if we both had died, we were such monsters. 
Instead, they said we were little good-luck princesses, look how pretty we were getting, especially the pale thin one. 
The other, of course, it would have been better if she were a man, she was so rough and tomboyish.

Copyright KMKaung