corinne delmonico

twelve feet tall

it was a nice day. cassie and candy met for lunch at mcdonald’s, as they did every wednesday.

“look at this.” cassie handed her phone to candy.

there was a news story on the screen. history gets a rewrite, read the headline.

“local resident amy marker has had a book published in the fall by the university of a———— press,” candy read aloud. the story was illustrated of a photo of a tall, thin young woman with an uncertain smile.

the book is entitled the other side of the shadow and describes all of human history entirely from the point of view of women. i decided to write this book, amy told our correspondent, blah, blah, blah…”

candy handed the phone back to cassie with a shrug. “why are you showing me this?”

“don’t you recognize her? amy marker! from high school!”

“high school - that was a long time ago.” candy shook up her strawberry smoothie and took a sip of it through a straw,

“you must remember her! the one who was about eight feet tall but wouldn’t go out for the basketball team. don’t you remember now?”


“she was a total geek. we were real mean to her.”

“we were real mean to everybody.”

“so you do remember her. “

“no, i don’t remember her. i don’t remember the geeks. actually i don’t remember any girls, i only remember the cute guys, ha ha.”

cassie would not give up. “it just isn’t right. she is going to be rich and famous and make a zillion dollars and go on jimmy kimmel and here we are sitting here sipping smoothies in mcdonalds. it’s not fair.”

“i didn’t see anything about making a zillion dollars.”

“she wrote a book, didn’t she? it will get made into a movie and win an oscar and she will be rich and famous forever. like harry potter.”

“everybody who writes a book doesn’t get famous.”

“i bet most of them do.”

“my cousin wrote a book and put it on amazon. she’s not famous. go on amazon sometime, there’s more books in the world than people. they don’t all become famous.“

“i bet amy marker does. i can just feel it. and she wouldn’t go out for the basketball team even though she was ten feet tall. we would have won the state championship.”

“let me see that again.” candy picked cassie’s phone up off the table. she brought the story about amy markham back up, and scrolled through it.

“according to this, she is still working at a bookstore over on fifth street. so i guess she hasn’t made her million dollars yet. “

“she will,” cassie insisted.

“we should go over and see her,” said candy. “talk about old times.”

“yeah, right. we don’t have time, i have to get back to work.”

“we can go next wednesday. or maybe friday or monday. why not? it will be something to do, break the monotony.”

“you knew what we should do? we should kidnap her, hold her for ransom, make her give us some of the money she makes.”

candy laughed. “that sounds like a great idea, very practical.”

“why not? i bet the book is about us.”

“no, it said the book is about the history of women.”

“we’re women, aren’t we? i bet the book is about us. she owes us. and she owes us because she wouldn’t go out for the basketball team even though she was twelve feet tall and cost us the state championship.”

“let’s go see her then. you can have a nice conversation with her about not winning the state championship.”


amy marker was the tallest girl in the world, and ever since she was eleven years old, people had been telling her two things - that she should play basketball and that she should be a porn star.

but she had chosen to avoid both these activities, had gone to state college, and despite getting no encouragement from her teachers, who had advised addressing a less grandiose theme - like her own life - had written her history of the human race from the point of view of women, and to her own amazement had had it accepted and published by the university of a—————— press.

now she was trying to get a job as an instructor at a college, so that she could quit the bookstore. although she actually enjoyed working at the bookstore well enough.

amy had been a little disappointed at how few people coming into the bookstore had seemed to have seen the little piece in the local paper about her and the book. and how few had bought the book, especially at the reading and signing that sandy, the manager of the store, had been nice enough to arrange.

musing on these things as she sat at the cash register, amy was suddenly presented with the shocking sight of candy zimmer and cassie robbins, two of her tormentors from middle school and high school.

cassie looked around the store uncertainly, but candy gave amy a big smile.

“hello, amy,” candy said. “remember us?”

“oh, yes, of course.”

“we read about your book in the paper,” candy said. i thought that was just great. congratulations. you must be so proud,”

“uh - thank you.”

“i bet your mom and dad are proud too.”

“yes, they are.”

“it’s great to see you again”, candy continued.

“it’s nice to see you guys too.”

cassie had still not spoken. finally she stopped looking around the store, and looked at amy.

“did you go to college?” cassie asked amy.

“yes, i did.”

“did you play basketball?”

amy smiled. “no, i did not.”

“we would have won the state championship if you played.”

corinne delmonico is another member of the Pessoan ensemble that is the horace p. sternwall stable of writers. They have a number of books available on lulu as by the 'total dissatisfaction press' and now also on Amazon.
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