I have been procrastinating writing my book, by instead, writing another flash fiction piece. I have to say these flash fiction challenges are extremely fun, trying to include character development and of course a good twist while keeping the word count down is almost impossible, but like I said… really fun.
This is sort of cheating on my part, I have actually written another story for Haley’s Flash Fiction Challenge , same rules as before (500 word count starting with ‘She had been warned, but now it was too late’). The idea to submit a second story actually came from one Ken Broad, who also posted two stories (both of which I loved if you are reading this Ken). Anyway, his first offering – like mine – was a bit on the dark side, so I decided to lighten it up a little with a second attempt.
By the way if you didn’t catch my first attempt at flash fiction you can access it here – Faithlessness.
Hope you like it.
The Exasperated Novelist.
She had been warned, but now it was too late.
She hated feeling this way – why did she put herself through it? The persistent whirling in her head, the violent lurching of her stomach.
She knew why. Every time she found herself in a situation she knew she was going to regret, he was there.
Cory! The cutest guy in the whole world.
She loved everything about him; the way his cow’s lick caused his chocolate brown hair to stand on end; the way his porcelain skin flushed pink whenever he was nervous or excited; the way his towering height meant he stooped awkwardly whenever he spoke to her.
Of course, he knew nothing of her feelings. They were friends – sure, that was why he had invited her here today. But pretending it was more than that was just fantasy.
“Do you want to come with me?” he had said, not ten minutes earlier.
Without even considering the consequences she had nodded her affirmation – like she had a choice.
“You’re sure?” he had given her one last chance to back out. “It’s pretty full on.”
“I’ll be fine,” she had sealed her fate.
And now here she was, sweating, losing the battle with the nausea that was threatening to overcome her.
‘Focus on your breathing,’ she thought to herself. ‘In, out, in, out, big deep breaths.’
“Are you okay?” Cory asked nervously. “You look kinda pale.”
“Fine,” she even managed a brief smile before falling back into her inhale/exhale mantra.
The breathing wasn’t working. The queasiness was increasing exponentially, it was only a matter of time until… Oh God… the sweat was running in rivulets down her face… the saliva in her mouth building up in preparation for the inevitable.
“Are you sure?” Cory continued. “I mean you look really bad. Like at any minute you could…”
In a single heaving motion the entire contents of her stomach spilled out, centrifugal force ensuring that the vomit never reached the floor, instead splashing all over Cory’s feet.
In a cruel twist of fate the ride was beginning to slow. How was she ever going to look at him again? At least now that her stomach was empty the nausea had all but vanished.
She hung her head in shame and waited out the painful two minutes until the harness released.
“Would you at least look at me?”
She raised her gaze to meet his. Incredibly he didn’t look angry or upset – an amused sparkle lit up his eyes.
“You get motion sick?” he asked.
“Why did you agree to come on the RoundUp with me?”
All hope was gone… what could the truth hurt?
“I just wanted to be near you.”
Cory shook his head and drew her roughly towards him.
As he escorted her from the ride, his arm strung about her shoulders, he leant over and kissed the top of her head.
And in that single moment, her world was perfect.