a dash of femme fatale

There’s a piece of me in an anthology of short-shorts that recently came out from Ooligan Press called You Have Time For This, edited by the highly talented Mark Budman.

A reviewer in The Brooklyn Rail gave my own small thing a nice mention:

… standing out is Justine Musk’s “The Story of You”, LA noir that occupies less time than smoking a cigarette…

The story — published in The Vestal Review under my maiden name Wilson — is so short I’ll just hang it up here:


You were lean and dark-haired in your open-air Jeep. You made your left turn and I followed, all the way to the cafe on South Beverly Drive. I took a corner table, drank a mocha latte, watched you flirt with the redhead. Guys came up, asked for a seat and a chance. I licked foam off my lips. I only wanted you.

Weeks passed, and I learned you so well. You approached me in the club, said, How come we don’t know each other? We squeezed onto the dance floor. I put my mouth to the warm salty hollow between neck and shoulder, moved my tongue along your skin until I found your pulse.

That was my first taste of you.

You never learned me at all. She’s a sweet girl, I heard you say on the phone. She would never do anything like that. That was your version, which begins, We met in a club, and ends, I’m in love with Lucinda. I’m sorry. I hope we’ll be friends.

But it began at the corner of Wilshire and Beverly Glen, your wild swing into a reckless left.

The heft of the gun in my purse. The way to your house through this maze of sun-slammed streets.

I am the one telling the story, my love.

I will be your ending.

Pick up the book if you can; these are stories you can toss into your mouth like bon-bons, while sauteing chicken or standing in line or waiting out a traffic jam.

The flashdance of fiction.

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