So the challenge I set you on Friday Fantastic Flash last time was all about…
Conflict: you’ve had a row. Harsh words were spoken, which can’t be unsaid. Do you fall apart, or kiss and make up?
First up it’s the Geoffle with a masterclass in dialogue and a very unexpected ending…
‘You used the f-word.’
‘Yes, but I…’
‘Dawn says if you are getting so angry, maybe I should worry about what might happen next…’
‘You’re not serious…’
‘I’m just saying, Dawn thought…’
‘But what do you think? Do you really think I could, what? Hit you?’
‘It’s in the paper ever week.’
‘Sure it’s in the Express. Hardly the home of accurate reporting.’
‘I don’t think I deserved to be treated like that. I was only asking…’
‘You said I don’t want you here.’
‘No, that’s what you wanted me to say.’
‘You’ve never wanted me here.’
‘That’s what you said to me.’
‘What did I say?’
‘I really doesn’t matter.’
‘That I didn’t want you? I would never say that.’
‘It doesn’t matter.’
‘No, if I’ve said something wrong tell me.’
‘There’s no point.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You’re my mother. I can’t divorce you or send you home can I? Shall I make some tea.’
Geoff has just completed a gruelling blog tour to promote his new book, My Father and Other Liars. You can read an excerpt from it here, when he stopped by my blog last week. His first book is called Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, and you can buy them both here. You can catch up with him on his blog.
Next, it’s Sacha Black with a piece entitled Verisimilitude, which also has a sting in the tail of the last line. Mind you, I love the very first line, too…
“I like my nails long, Paul. French polish, because it makes them tidy yet elegant.”
I walked round the chair he was tied to and stopped at his back. I leant into his neck and drew a nail up his skin digging as hard as I could. A trickle of blood oozed down his throat. How far was he willing to go for this?
“After what you did, Paul, I willingly sacrificed them. Can you feel their razor sharp point?”
“You’re a psycho, Shona, untie me.”
“You have to be joking, you’re never getting untied. In fact, you’re never doing anything again.”
I picked the hunting knife off the table and tapped the point.
“Excellent,” I breathed. It was just as serrated as my nails.
“Shona, this isn’t funny. I said I was sorry. Now, let me the fuck out.”
I slammed the knife down into the chair right between his bare legs. The point punctured the wooden base and stood erect like a soldier at attention. Sweat trickled from his forehead and splashed onto his thighs. I bent down and licked it off.
“Scared are we?” tingles of excitement raced through my body. I wasn’t even sure what I would do, what I could do. What was allowed?
“Shona, sweetie. Please.”
“Shh, now.” I said, placing an index finger onto his lips.
I drew level with his face, tension narrowing my glare to a cold slit.
“Are you ready?” I said, curving my hand round the knife and pulling it out of the seat.
I slammed the blade into the chair. His scream echoed around the theatre as applause erupted from our audience.
I turned and bowed. Paul gave a nod, still tied to the seat. The judges stood. My shoulders relaxed, tears spilled down my face as I breathed relief. We had smashed the audition.
Sacha currently has her first novel, Keepers, in the editing phase, and is also busy writing her second novel, Adultland, as we speak. You can find out more on her blog.
And now, I am honoured to welcome a new writer to Friday Fantastic Flash… welcome, Rachele Baker! Rachele is not new to writing, however, as you’ll see. Her piece is entitled The Courage to Love.
Marissa stared out at the grey sky. Rivulets of raindrops made their way down the window. “Perfect,” she mused. “Perfect weather for the mood I’m in.” Her mind was suddenly filled with an image of Jeff’s face. His intense blue eyes, his thick dark hair that was always a little unruly, his chiseled features that softened when he laughed.
“Why now?,” she thought. “Now, when everything was so perfect. Now, when, after all these years of carefully guarding my heart, I finally got up the courage to take a chance on love. And look where it got me,” she thought bitterly. “Brokenhearted. Just like I feared.”
She replayed the events of the previous night in her mind again. How excited and happy she had been that Jeff was finally back from his overseas assignment in Germany. He had been gone for months and she had missed him terribly. Everyone had told her that it was difficult to maintain a successful long distance relationship. But she had hoped that their Facetime chats, their frequent emails, and the little gifts she sent him to surprise him would keep their romance alive.
Reflecting on the last several months, Marissa realized that she had noticed a subtle change in their relationship that she had been unwilling to acknowledge. Jeff had seemed distracted when they chatted on Facetime like he was not fully engaged in their conversations. His laughter had not come as easily as it used to when she made little jokes. He did not seem as enthusiastic as she expected him to be when they had discussed what they would do when he finally came home.
Last night was a disaster. She had been so excited to see him. She had purchased a sexy new dress that she thought Jeff would love. She had left her long brown hair loose and flowing – just the way he liked it. She was wearing an exotic new perfume that she was sure would drive him crazy.
When she heard his knock on the door, she rushed to open it – slightly breathless and smiling happily. One look at him and she knew. The smile disappeared from her face. Her legs suddenly felt like they might not support her. A slew of emotions raged through her body. Disbelief, pain, anger.
Marissa stared at the man that she had been falling in love with. He stood silently on the doorstep and made no move to come in. When his gaze met hers, his eyes were no longer full of light and love. They were blank and devoid of feeling. It all seemed a little unreal.
She waited for Jeff to speak. Finally, in a voice she did not recognize, he spoke. “Hi, Marissa. How are you?” he said mechanically. They were only standing a couple of feet apart from each other but the distance felt cavernous.
Rachele is a veterinarian by day, and a writer at all other times. You can find her on her blog, where she dispenses great tips about looking after your pet, as well as information on various pet complaints and treatments. She has also published a very moving account of her mother’s final months with malignant pleural mesothelioma, Eighteen Months to Live. I have read this book; you can see my review here. You can buy Eighteen Months to Live on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
So, a mixed bag of wonderful stories for your delectation, and thank you very much to all this weeks participants for gracing the Friday Fantastic Flash.
And now to this weeks challenge, inspired by something Sacha Black said recently.
I want your purple prose. Give me all the adjectives, adverbs, zombie nouns, and metaphors you can. Forget the rules, they’re made to be broken. Lay them on me, but make them classy, not trashy. No dialogue, just description. I want original, not cliché. So lean and mean is the fashion du jour in the writing world, who cares? We make our own fashion. You can describe a scene, a person, an incident, anything you like. Go for it.
You can submit here, I will include links to your blog and books. Entries must be under 500 words, but please remember that I write YA, so there may be young people on this site… please keep it family friendly. I really hope you will join me and take part in the craic!