Love In A Laundromat
It had been years since I’d been to the Laundromat in town, but as my washer had suddenly turned into a raging piece of junk I had to commit to a forced reunion. But even though it was forced, it wasn’t bad.
As a kid, I’d always loved the Laundromat. It was old, it was dirty, it had the old Pac-man and Galaga machines. It was an antique building. And the moment I walked in, I realized it hadn’t lost any of its charm. If anything, the charm had increased.
I’m a very nostalgic person. I become attached to the old, unwanted things that most other people take for granted. The Laundromat had its charms, yes, and whenever I encounter such a thing it, more often than not, leads to creative inspiration.
There were hardly any people in the Laundromat- just me and one other- and that was just dandy to me. A lot of the time, being around a lot of other people clogs my creative pores, so over the years I’ve adopted a loner’s lifestyle.
I remember sitting at an empty table near the front window, waiting for my load of darks to finish their first cycle. It was winter and the sun was going down, and the view outside of the frosty, darkening city filled me with an intoxicating feeling. I stared outside for a long time, warm and cozy in a pillbox made of light and the smell of fabric softener. The street out front, usually busy, was strangely silent, which added to the feeling.
So the scene I describe in “Love in a Laundromat”, where the two zombie lovers are watching the sunset, is exactly the scene I took in that evening. It truly was beautiful, and maybe that makes me a sap but that’s okay, because I am a sap.
As I sat there, watching the twilight hold the city in fleeting limbo, I imagined what it would be like to stay the night in such a place. To turn the Laundromat into a temporary home, and, because my mind always hovers between a place of horror and a place of romance, I wondered what it would be like to share the Laundromat with a lover.
I liked the title- “Love in a Laundromat”. I thought it was pretty catchy. But the idea was too short; it hadn’t had time to manifest into a real story, and so, for a while, I forgot about it.
A year or so later, I stumbled across a call for submission on Horror Tree.com, one from Angelic Knight Press. The moment I read the theme I knew I had to be involved somehow. Zombie erotica? Now that was my kind of anthology! At this point I’d already been published twice, once in a different zombie anthology, and ever since then zombies have maintained a soft spot in my heart. The only problem was that the stories needed to be short- something that has never been my talent, as this long-winded explanation could probably tell you.
I was running back through all my old quotes- I keep a list of quotes and snippets of ideas so that I can turn back to them in a desperate time of need- when I saw it. Love in a Laundromat. All at once, the idea and the feeling attached to it came rushing back and I knew then that I had something.
I was hard-pressed to keep it under two thousand words- word counts are my natural enemy. But after a lot of weed-wacking I managed it, and with some luck I was chosen to be part of a really great anthology.
Megan Dorei is a recent high school graduate who chose to focus on writing instead of following her friends to college. She has been published in Less Than Three Press’ “Kiss Me at Midnight” collection, Elektrik Milk Bath Press’ “Zombies for a Cure” anthology, and Angelic Knight Press’ “50 Shades of Decay” anthology. She lives in McLouth, Kansas with a spastic puppy and a grumpy blind cat.
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