2014 – March 25 – Morganna Malone and the Mystery of the Opium Den

Bosomy bride


Hey, it’s March 25 and we’re reading “Morgana Malone and the Mystery of the Opium Den” by Matt Potter.


Mary Agnes flicks crust from the edge of her mouth with her finger and sits back into the armchair. Tucking in her triple chin, she looks at me and says, “Doesn’t she, Morgana?”

In the mirror, I see tears welling in Zebadie’s eyes.

(Zebadie’s ex-co-star Virginella Vox pulled out last week, due to a Botox overdose, so I’m the lone bridesmaid now.)

Last month was about penis extenders and re-birthing. This month is more sedate… sort of. It’s all about balance.

There’s no denying it, with her three and a half boob jobs, Zebadie’s right side certainly creates a larger impression.

Turns out Zebadie’s mom wouldn’t lend* Zebadie the money to do the other half of a boob job. This, of course, is inconvenient for a wedding in which appearance is everything. I mean, what happens if the groom’s best side is also the right?

How will he kiss the bride? When I married Grigor thirteen years ago we had the ceremony in my mother’s garden and he kissed me on the mouth afterwards and no one cared about profiles but if they both have the same best side, what will he do after the ‘You may now kiss the bride’ speech? Kiss her on the back of her head?

So, yeah, it’s like that. The absurdity of these stories nicely contrasts the concreteness of their telling. It’s a bit like watching the Three Stooges perform Hamlet.

I turn to look at the rush hour traffic. I don’t know how we’ll all fit in Grigor’s Porsche. I remember from the time I mistakenly fucked Grigor inside it, there’s not a lot of room in the back seat of a Porsche. The jaws of life would have a hard time extracting anyone from that thing.

It’s also difficult to figure how the author squeezes so much zaniness into these very short stories without turning them into slapstick. That’s an admirable skill. This is another March story that delivers on all counts. The foreground is basically hilarious, while the overall story moves forward one lively step as well. Half-breasted Zebadie is about to marry nose-job Grigor. I can’t wait to see what the honeymoon brings.

* ‘lend’ is used here in the Judge Judy sense, i.e. ‘give’ or ‘fork over’


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About Stephen

I live in beautiful New Castle, Pennsylvania with fellow writer, Susan Urbanek Linville, and a herd of reformed feral cats.

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One Response to 2014 – March 25 – Morganna Malone and the Mystery of the Opium Den

  1. susan tepper says:

    Now I’ve ‘seen’ and heard it all. I was reading the story in a café and cracking up out loud. The patrons were looking over. I couldn’t help myself. This story is hysterical, the characters insane, the dialogue insane, the whole thing borderline commitable. But I loved it!!! Can’t wait for the next installment!

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