Becky and Spinoza [Flash Fiction]

By Eleanor Levine

Becky Kerr never struck me as member of the North Korean Liberation Army.

All of her friends, including me, stopped talking with her after she deflated the tires on her ex-boyfriend’s car. We said, “It is not good to take aim at your ex-boyfriend’s tires.”

Each time I’d visit her hometown, Hobokenoake, I’d refuse to see her.

She sent several people offering me a ride to her house.

I refused.

Becky also organized great celebrations, which were supposed to delete all memories.

They did not.

One day, while we were drinking decaf lattes in Café Hobokenoake, Becky walked in with her new friends. They were Chinese, though she claimed to be a member of the North Korean Liberation Army. “These people fund us, and you know how it is with the sponsors.”

We were scared, as Becky had given our names to both the Chinese and the North Koreans, and all future attempts to be free would be diminished, should we step beyond the borders of Beijing or Pyongyang.

That she was demented was always apparent, particularly when she kidnapped me on her green farm and asked me love to her again, though I hadn’t felt anything for her since observing her mother eat Pimento cheese sandwiches.

My mom, who was pleased that Becky let me do laundry at her house, wanted me to give her another chance.

It was too late.

The North Koreans had taken over.

We would never watch ambiguously satirical East European films again.

The question of imperialism would always be a closed argument.

The delineation between Pimento cheese sandwiches and her new love of Kimchi would be devoured by her incipient love of Pyongyang.

I would be fearful that a red rocket would kill me from the clouds.

This was much worse than my lack of forgiveness for the flat tires.

But more fearful than North Korea and China was Becky’s own unpredictable personality.

She had literally walked in on me and my boyfriend while we were making out.

“Do you think Spinoza believed in Jesus?”
This was not an appropriate conversation before or after orgasm; even during, yes, I’d have second thoughts bringing this up.

“So about Spinoza,” she persisted, with my boyfriend, shocked, standing naked in the corner.

I told Becky to get back into her Pontiac. We’d discuss this later.

Since her departure for Pyongyang, she has not been seen in Hobokenoake.

We think she is in charge of a North Korean version of the Brownies as “The Dear Leader” is a fan of American culture.

“I was always a great Brownie,” I remember her telling me, whereas I only inherited my cousin’s Brownie metals.

And yet, there she is, Becky, somewhere over the clouds, better friends with The Dear Leader than any of us could have imagined.


Eleanor Levine’s work has appeared in Fiction, The Evergreen Review, The Denver Quarterly, Midway Journal, The Toronto Quarterly, Pank, Dos Passos Review, Knee Jerk Magazine, Hobart, Monkeybicycle, BlazeVOX, Milk Magazine, Chronopolis, Thrice Fiction, Everyday Genius, Barrelhouse,  Fiction Southeast and The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.