“Nine More Stories,” by Pat Flynn

Sep 22nd, 2021 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

It’s true: J.D. Salinger did continue to write from 1965, when his work last appeared, to his death in 2010.

Announcing the publishing event of the decade….

Nine More Stories

1. Lara and Tom
Young marrieds Lara and Tom scrape by in a six-room apartment on the Upper West Side. Their love is of the purest sort. There may be no money for Christmas presents, but they don’t much care. On the night before the new moon, Shivratri, Lara shaves her head to focus spiritual energy. Tom sells his watch, time being a Western construct anyway. Plus, if he needs to know it, it’s on his phone.

2. Keep Clear the Sidewalk, Revelers
Salinger’s characters are enthusiastic smokers. In this experiment with form, set at the Sunday dinner of the latest generation of Glasses, most of the dialogue occurs under the building’s front canopy, among family members who have raced downstairs between courses to catch a butt. Pay attention to the commentary of Rollo, a seven-year-old neighbor, who has camped out in the building’s elevator, pushing the buttons. Rollo thinks that operating an elevator, getting people to where they want to be, just might be the noblest vocation there is.

3. The Last Man in Regire
Even in his New Hampshire exile, Salinger was attuned to publishing trends. In this longer piece, Harrington Brill, the spare, white-haired owner of Regire Oats ‘n’ Groats, a health food store in a tiny New England village, undergoes spiritual crises as he battles an army of marauding zombies. The climax involves a surprising property of flaxseed. Salinger takes the trouble to include his favorite recipe for spelt pancakes. Do we hear Netflix streaming series?

4. Franny and Lane
Having suffered through a pair of unsuccessful marriages each, Franny Glass Ansbro Garcia and Lane Coutell reconnect through Facebook and resume where they left off. Franny, still prone to fainting, continues her lifelong battle with an eating disorder. Lane has been diagnosed with adult ADHD. When they reminisce about that last fateful assignation, so long ago, Franny doesn’t even remember carrying The Way of a Pilgrim around with her, and wonders why Lane would concoct such a tale. Franny and Lane relocate to North Carolina, where they seem happy enough. They golf and do Tai Chi and swing with the couple in the condo next door. Franny lives her life by the following koans: “Wine a little, laugh a lot,” “Wine: because it’s not good to keep things bottled up,” and “Today’s forecast: 99% chance of wine.”

5. Sheldon Agonistes
A tour de force in the form of a powerful four-thousand word e-mail sent home from mad scientist summer camp by an ebullient, altogether brilliant pre-teen—perhaps the wisest child ever. Sheldon’s free-form musings enthrall the reader, no matter what the topic: the trade deficit, organic popcorn (a scam, he says), Stephen Hawking, reality television (transparently phony), Ram Dass, Mad vs. Cracked, Brooke Shields, Donkey Kong, Fred Trump, Donkey Kong again, bed-wetting as spiritual purging, and Kurt Cobain (!). We’re fortunate to have this one, as it was tied up for years in litigation with CBS.

6. The Health Food Store Around the Corner
In this prequel to “The Last Man in Regire” and twist on one of the classic Hollywood films Salinger so loved, Danny and Rachel, clerks at Regire Oats ‘n’ Groats, can’t stand each other. Neither is aware that every night, as “Beavis101” and “Carpathia,” they exchange sexually explicit messages in an AOL chatroom. The ending is dark and ironic: Rachel sends hundreds of postcards to Danny, attempting to convince him to commit suicide, while Danny tries to poison Rachel with particles of thallium in her banana bread. Homeopathic healing saves the day.

7. The Water Witch
As unyielding drought grips the Central Valley in California, the avocado farmers grow very afraid. They beg ancient Solomon, long-retired dowser, to show them where to dig wells for irrigation. Solomon hasn’t practiced his art for twenty or more years. “Leave me in peace. I owe you people nothing!” thunders the old man. His desperate neighbors encircle his house with their trucks, blaring their horns and shining headlights into his windows, begging for help. Eventually, Solomon relents. The willow branch twitches in his hand, the drills commence, and a healing torrent of water blasts forth. “They never leave you alone,” mutters Solomon as, unnoticed, he heads home amid the rejoicing.

8. Dust Unto Dust Unto Dust
When Zooey, the last surviving Glass child, passes away, distant relatives Nancy and Ned Trachtman fly in from Arizona to clear out his Miami condo. They discover a treasure trove in the crawlspace: a trunk full of photographs of Seymour Glass, Les and Bessie, Boo Boo, Buddy, the It’s a Wise Child gang, young people on ice skates, children horsing around at the beach, three steely-eyed college girls in skirts posing in the lobby of the Plaza. The Trachtmans can’t place most of the people in the photographs. Nancy sneezes repeatedly, and her eyes start to water from the dust. Ned soon grows fed up with the whole enterprise. Out it all goes, along with everything else, into three dumpsters courtesy of Ahmed Hauls-It-Away.

9. Candy is Dandy
Tom Stoppard would approve. Imagine a novella-length alternate universe Catcher in the Rye from the point of view of one philosophical candy vendor in the Biltmore Theater where the Lunts, those angels, are performing in I Know My Love. Leave it to Salinger to write his own fan fiction. We see Holden Caulfield only briefly, at the interval. He buys Jujubes for himself and Good & Plenty for Sally Hayes. “Isn’t that everything you want from a snack, Sal?” he asks her. “For it to be good and plentiful?” Sally’s mouth is so full of the stuff she cannot reply; she blushes with embarrassment. The vendor turns politely away. “Kids on dates kill me,” he thinks.


Pat Flynn had been waiting years for Salinger’s unpublished work to appear. He could wait no longer.

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