Yes that’s right, it’s flash fiction time again. I know, I know… it’s been awhile. But that isn’t because I haven’t been writing any flash pieces, in fact, I have written quite a few (and a couple of short stories too) but all of those have been sumitted to various contests around the globe. I promise I will publish them here once the results are announced.
One thing I noticed when I read back over some of the stories I have written is that I seem to have this unwaranted requirement to kill off my protagonists. I’m not sure why, perhaps when your limited to only 500 words (or 250 words for some of my more recent attempts) the untimely demise of the main character provides a finite conclusion to the story.
So, here in this months submission to Haley Whitehall’s flash fiction challenge I decided I should try to write a story with no death!
•You must start your story with the body language cue: She drummed her fingers on her thigh and shot the kind of look that would would start a fire.
•The story must be 500 words or less
•Your story needs to have a clear beginning, middle and end.
Also I should quickly make mention of last night’s episode of Glee which provided me with the inspiration for this story… so thanks Glee!
As always, enjoy, and don’t forget to leave me a comment.
The Exasperated Novelist
She drummed her fingers on her thigh and shot the kind of look that would start a fire. I offered her my most insincere smile in reply – she was going to have to wait. I’d been planning this for weeks, there was no way I was going to miss my opportunity.
With an open palm I signalled for her to wait where she was. The glare she offered me in return suggested she was less than impressed with the arrangement.
Very unsubtly I uncapped the bottle in my hand and poured the mellow brown liquid into the punch bowl before me.
The ten students standing closest watched, their mouths agape. Then as one they turned, whispering to the people beside them – good news spreads like wildfire.
“Come on,” I grinned, removing my notebook from my bag and finding a seat with a perfect outlook.
“What are you doing?” she sounded unimpressed by my actions and more than a little confused about my requirement to take notes.
“We’re chaperones, so I guess we’re chaperoning,” I rolled my eyes. I assumed that when I asked her to come along and help me supervise a bunch of high school students at their Prom that she would’ve had some idea what that would entail.
Words failed her as she shook her head in complete frustration. I sat back and continued taking notes, waiting for the steam venting from her ears to dissipate.
The punch was starting to take effect. I fervently recorded every detail of what was happening before me: the girl that was table dancing; the boy that was using his girlfriend’s lethargy to feel up her breasts; the couple that were circling the room in a confused stupor.
“I thought better of you, you know?” she said eventually, her voice was flat, disappointment tainting every word.
“And how exactly have I lost your respect?” I couldn’t keep the amusement out of my voice.
“Are you kidding? You just spiked the punch at a high school Prom. You’re their teacher. You’re supposed to be responsible.”
“Do you really think that little of me?”
“I saw you do it!” her voice quavered, forcing the confession from my lips.
“I didn’t really spike it,” I looked directly into her eyes imploring her to believe me. “Here, taste it.”
She took a quick swig, her face set into a preparatory grimace.
“What is it?” her furrowed brow released, revealing a smiling face.
“Rum extract dissolved into flat ginger ale.”
One of her eyebrows was raised inquisitively, prompting me to continue.
“Two reasons,” I answered the unasked question. “It stops them from spiking it themselves. And… I needed some test subjects for a psychology assignment; we’re looking at placebo effects in teenagers.”
I shrugged innocently, my morals still mostly intact.
She placed a quick kiss on my cheek as she reached over and removed a sheet of paper from my book. Then she grinned and rapidly began taking notes of her own.