Memphis Fast Fiction Home
Vanessa Waites

She took a long, slurping pull on the straw of her massive lemonade.

“God I love the South,” she said with a satisfied sigh. “You people fry everything you eat, and dump sugar in everything you drink.”

The head vet of the Memphis Zoo gave the representative from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums a perplexed look. “Thank you, I think…but I’m still not quite sure as to the point of this visit.”

“I’m here about babies, specifically elephant babies.” She took another pull on the straw.

The head vet’s expression shifted immediately to a scowl. “Asali’s accident was just that – an accident. It’s all in the official report. I’ve got better things to do.” He stood up to go, furious.

The woman across from him continued to drink her lemonade, unfazed by his outburst. “You done now? Got that out of your system? I’m not here about that, well not specifically.”

The vet didn’t sit, but he didn’t leave, either.

“People like babies,” She began. “Especially freakish pink elephant babies for some reason. We know Asali’s fertile and we’d like to knock her up.

“You guys had a crap run. I’m here to give you a second shot.”

Memphis Zoo
When the elephant Asali accidentally killed her calf in 2009, just days after it was born, a pall fell over the city. Hopefully, happiness will replace that lingering memory of that accident when Asali’s herdmate Gina gives birth to her first calf in mid-2012.

Beth Spencer-Taylor

The keys on her phone clicked furiously under her fingers. She let the predictive text do most of the work. They’d get the point of the message, she was sure. Hitting send, she snapped the phone shut and slid down the bathroom wall, ruined.

It just sat on the edge of the basin, taunting her with that perfect blue line.

This didn’t make sense. She’d never let him, you know, inside of her. Sure, maybe things went on for a bit before they put a condom on, but never far enough for stuff to happen…right?

God. What the hell was she going to do? She wasn’t some poor girl out in Frayser. Her parents had money, she was going to go to college, she was going to have a future. But now that stupid blue line had been drawn across her life.

It was a line of demarcation, dividing what was before, and what comes after.

On the floor, her phone started to buzz like a beehive, filling up with messages, and her waiting for the sting. She couldn’t bare to open it. If she did, then all of this would be real, and she would really be pregnant.

Memphis Note
In early 2011, the national press caught wind of the rising pregnancy rate at Frayser High School. They called it an epidemic and a failure of the Memphis School System and Memphis as a whole. I couldn’t help but wonder what a privileged girl finding out that she’s pregnant would think about those 90 girls who were pregnant at the same time. Would she think that she’s better than them? Would she empathize with them? Or would she just be a normal, selfish teenager and not think about anything but herself?

Holly Golightly

“I’m gonna miss seeing you like that.” Taking his eyes off the road for a moment, he gave her a look.

She smirked and waved a hand at him. “Yeah, well, that makes one of us. I know I won’t reminisce about the days of swollen ankles, swollen tits and, well, swollen everything.”

He hooked the car around a corner, not even bothering to obey the stop sign.

“JESUS CHRIST!” She pushed herself back into her seat and punched his shoulder. “This is not the time to out-idiot every driver in Memphis.”

“Hey now, I’ve got my emergencies on.” He said, giving her a grin.

She held her belly, not returning his smile.

“It’s still a little early. What if -”

“I was early. And look at me.” He squeezed her leg in reassurance. “I turned out just fine.”

“Yeah, my big strong man.” She put her hands on his and squeezed back.

They were pulling into the hospital now. Another bolt of pressure shot through her body.

“One last thing.” She was still holding his hand.


“So help me god if you ever knock me up in summer again. I’ll kill you myself.”

He kissed her cheek.


Memphis Note
I know a lot of women who’ve gotten pregnant over summer. I can’t imagine a more inconsiderate thing to do to another human being than get them preggers during the hell that is a Memphis summer.