Gillian Flynn – “What Do You Do?”

In the Summer of 2012 Gillian Flynn released a novel called Gone Girl. It (Gone Girl) went on to not only be one of the best selling and most read books of the last two years, but undoubtedly her most popular book. Gone Girl, like her other novels, are self-described by Flynn as psychological thrillers, filled with a fast paced story containing twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Flynn, who was an under the radar author prior to the explosion of Gone Girl, is now one of the most popular modern thriller authors; her other two books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places reprinted at the height of her popularity. This summer a collective of short stories will be released on June 17th called Rogues. Primarily made up of stories by fantasy authors and edited by George R.R. Martin himself (and Gardner Dozios), Flynn will appear published in her first ever short story and first published fiction since the summer of Gone Girl.

Although Flynn doesn’t write anything close to the fantasy that will be published in Rogues, the story she wrote for the collection called “What Do You Do”, is actually rather phantasmagoric than magical fantasy. The story is narrated by a woman who is initially unnamed, but then later revealed to have been nicknamed by her boss as “Nerdy” because of her glasses and love of literature. Nerdy self professes that she had a rather hard upbringing, begging for any money she could get with her mother, living in dirty apartments, sleeping on stained mattresses. This makes for her segue into working at a fortune tellers shop that doubles as a handjob emporium. But I guess you can tell already which side she works on. Nerdy has been very successful at her chosen career until carpal tunnel starts to get the best of her god given gift. She then moves to the front of the store and shows off her talent to read customer wants and wishes, preying on their vulnerabilities. Until one day when she meets a customer named Susan, who seems desperate for Nerdy’s help and continues returning, pleading the handjob queen to help her put her life back together.

Flynn writes this story, which even at it’s length of 30 pages, delves into an incredible amount of detail and backstory. Those who are rampant fans of this her writing, be assured that you will find plenty of the same themes of dark, twisted, eyebrow raising horror in this story. And worry not: if this bit of Gillian Flynn doesn’t hold you off for long, the Dark Places film is slated for release on September 1st and Gone Girl for the 3rd of October. Let’s just hope Ms. Flynn is working on more written word, hopefully more dark and twisted than her previous works.

Want to read this and other great short stories? Buy Rogues here.


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