The Girl with Azure Hair
by Ron McFarland
The azure-haired girl in Professor Laura’s class this term glowers indomitably at the utterly blond boy sitting at the end of the back row. He remains oblivious of her at first, staring out the window as snowflakes drift from January into February. Given the weather, he cannot concentrate on Faulkner. On the fourteenth of February (coincidentally) the azure-haired girl informs the professor she finds the novel “irrevocably unedifying”. The utterly blond boy smiles. “Quentin Compson,” he asserts, “is abjectly esoteric.” Before long the azure-haired girl and the utterly blond boy are sitting side-by-side in the center of the back row and using words like “cryptic” and “ineluctable”. The professor watches as they hold hands from one class session to the next, but she is not invited to the wedding even though she awards both of them A’s they have not deserved. When their daughter is born, predictably green-haired, they name her C. S. Lauren, after the professor, who in gratitude sends them a signed copy of her most recent book of poems that has won a notable prize and has been generously reviewed. The azure-haired girl and the still utterly blond boy do not read the book, but over the years they acquire considerable affection for Faulkner’s fiction. They will read all of it, and then they will read it all again. Their green-haired daughter will become a renowned Hemingway scholar and, under a penname anyone would recognize, a master of every known genre of speculative fiction. At the end of every long, hard day of writing, she will pour herself a shot of vodka.
◊ ◊ ◊
Ron McFarland teaches literature & creative writing at the University of Idaho. Maybe that constitutes a flashbio?