Fiction from Eva Schlesinger


Image via Unsplash

The Cha Sisters

THE CHA SISTERS’ hair shone like caramelized brown sugar. Their skin looked like they hung out under sun lamps, when, in fact, they ate five pounds of carrots every week. They drank chai tea, had a chinchilla and a Chow Chow, and liked to ride the choo choo train.

They lived downstairs in the rooming house. There were three of them, and Maria Rodriquez lived in #14, she said.

I forgot our building had 13 units. I moved the 13th day in the year ’13. I moved to the third floor, or was it the second?

Butterflies fluttered in my head. My eyebrows were pale dust. I lugged my typewriter in its metal case, in case I needed it, in case the computer had a power failure. It was perimenopausal. We were in sync that way.

The kitchen sink was a porcelain basin with faucets for cold and hot. I could squat in the basin and wash my hair. The bathtub had not claw feet, but paw feet, like a Sharpei paw. Black and white tiled linoleum, a giant chessboard.

The Cha sisters were talking and laughing. They looked like triplets with their shoulder-length shiny hair, navy pea coats, and stockings.

I wanted to join them. I peered over the banister at them. Maria wanted to know if I wanted to move to the apartment that was available, #3 below. Which surprised me because last I heard the gentleman had it rigged with an alarm system. I felt alarmed hearing he moved out. But maybe he hadn’t. Maybe Maria made a mistake.

Her hair was the color of black oak.

Eva Schlesinger has been a Grand Slam contender on The Moth Stage, where she made the audience of 1,400 laugh nonstop. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks and a contributor to Changing Harm To Harmony: Bullies & Bystanders Project (Marin Poetry Center Press, 2015) and Cooking with The Muse (Tupelo Press, 2016). Eva has received the Literal Latte Food Verse Award, and her blog ( has been nominated for a Liebster Award.

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