Flash Fiction Live 3/26/2022
Updated: Mar 28
Today was Flash Fiction Live on Chandra Arthur's YouTube channel. We had a blast writing to two prompts incorporating 10 specified words into each. Time limit was 30 minutes for each piece. The second story had to be a romance. Let's see how I did!
If you want to catch the replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6o_WuwbgsoQ
FLASH FICTION LIVE
March 26, 2022
PROMPT 1: A coastal town in New England is full of crazy characters
Lobsterman, infantile, bicycle, weave, light bulb, leopard, yoga, balding, fireworks, sunset
I always loved the costal town I was born in. Never wanted to leave. New Shore was the light bulb made of jewels in my imagination, a prism, shattering my thoughts into new colors and ideas as vast and wonderful as fireworks at sunset.
Many strange characters live in New Shore. The lobsterman was one of my favorites. He had the legs of a man, while the rest was lobster. His claws would clack as he hauled traps up to the surface with vast catches of normal lobsters. He would name them all, weave outfits for them out of kelp, yarn and bits of shiny things, then release them back into the murky depths revitalized.
Mr. Leopard was another outstanding local. He sold ice-cream in between his yoga classes. His teaching style was very feline, what with his four legs and tail being able to stretch farther than a human’s. I never asked why he ended up in New Shore, but he seemed content to be here, far away from the jungles. He loved the local catches of fish, so I suppose that may have been a factor.
The librarian, a balding owl-lady Mrs. Hoot, was also a delight. She guided me from my infantile choice in books, to the great literary masterpieces. Opened my minds eye to sentences structured so finely, I would have thought they lace. Her human eyes would follow along the pages with me while her talons clutched to the arm rest of the squashy armchair. I loved her.
There was one character who was always up to no good. He would ride a bicycle through the town yelling “everyone run” at the top of his lungs while his tentacles trailed in the wind behind him. He meant no harm, but would have to swerve constantly to avoid accidents with the rest of us locals. We dubbed him “The Bicycle Man” because he never stopped long enough to give us his name, and would disappear into the mist at sun down, along with his bike. The tire tracks would stop in the soft sand leading to nowhere.
I tell you all this so I can tell you about the being who came from space and destroyed it all. A streak of light at midnight tore through the stars, crashing into the well in the town square. Maria and I saw it because we were skinny dipping in the ocean until 2 am.
The water in the well seemed undisturbed from the impact when we finally got there to check it out. No splash zone around the brickwork, bucket still intact. But, a gurgling sound could be heard deep down. A gurgling unlike anything we had ever encountered. It sounded like eyes blinking in gelatin. The cats slunk away, hissing at us, leaving us alone to discover what had arrived.
Technicolor ooze rose out of the depths, shlurping and guzzling for something. Eyes formed out of swirling bubbles rising and sinking deep inside the creature, ever changing in number. Tendrils reached skyward. In the midst of my terror, I wondered if it was trying to go back to where it came from.
Maria and I screamed, the sound echoing off the quaint buildings surrounding the new, monstrous sight. Watched as it lurped out of the large well onto the cobblestone plaza. Advanced towards us. Maria’s nails scratched down my arms, reassuring me that this was real. The pain grounding. I gazed into the multicolored eyes.
My mind fractured with the prism in my imagination. The lobsterman wasn’t half lobster. Mr. Leopard was actually a refugee from South America. Mrs. Hoot was just a kind old human woman who liked to read and had sharp nails. All my characters were just that. Characters. My world was mundane.
PROMPT 2: A midlife career change.
chef, team, upgrade, harden, monkey, noon, turkey, elevator, fashion, baste
My heart was racing like a monkey chasing a basted turkey in the summer sun at noon. My old life as a sous chef as over. My life as a fashion designer was about to begin.
Ding! The elevator doors slid open to reveal the most handsome man I’d ever seen. Now my monkey heart was slamming into the wall of my eardrums repeatedly, giving itself a concussion. The doors started to close before my mind kicked in gear. My arm shot out to hold the door and I slunked out into the lobby. I could feel the dark eyes of the pristinely dressed man on me, evaluating me. I did not recognise the suit, must be a design not yet released. It cinched in at the waist sinfully.
I had to work to drag my eyes away from him to the check in desk where a woman immaculately put together was awaiting my arrival. Her hair was slicked up in a French braid bun, not a single fly away to be seen. Carefully I tottered my way over to her, trying to keep my balance in my barely used pumps.
"Ami Winters here for the interview.”
The receptionist looked to my face. Is my eye liner smudged? Oh no. Did I get all the ketchup off my mouth from lunch? “I see. Unfortunately Mr. Harden has been called away for urgent business and cannot conduct the interview.”
My heart sank past my heels and through the ten stories of the building to fall in pieces in a shallow grave. “Oh. Alright. May I reschedule then?”
“It’s alright, Ms. Benson, I’ll take it from here,” the dashing man from earlier said as he slid up next to me. “Ms. Winters, please follow me.”
He swept from the room, his coifed hair looking so soft I want to run my fingers through it. Keep it together Ami!
I followed him through the double frosted glass doors into the inner sanctum. Teams of people were working tirelessly in the open floorplan. Miles of fabric was being cut into wistful shapes and being pinned into place with hopes and dreams. My dreams soon, hopefully. Across the white floor we went, up a small winding open staircase to an office made entirely of windows.
“Sorry for that litter charade in there, Ms. Winters. I’m Harden Graves. The owner.”
My throat went dry, all the moisture going straight to my palms. Crap.
He continued. “I like to see if people are courteous and do this little game to test their character. I hope you’ll forgive me.”
“Not at all.” My voice cracked. Of course it did. “Though, I do expect you to not lie in the future. Relationships are best built with good communications.”
His eyes crinkled, laugh lines forming. “And what type of relationship are you expecting, Ms. Winters?”
I paused. Damn my word choice. “A profession one of course Mr. Harden.” Although we could upgrade to a romantic one later, if you prefer. As soon as I thought those words I knew I’m sunk. Smitten. Deceased and gone straight to hell with all pretenses of professionalism. Keep it together!
“I was hoping we could discuss this over tea. What is your preference, and how do you take it?” He moved to the dark wood cabinet filled with crystal carafes of various alcohols but reached instead for a small electric kettle.
My mind went into overdrive at his words, spinning lower into the depths of hell. I’m so doomed. Tea! He was talking about tea! “Earl grey, straight.”
He nods. “Nothing frilly, just function. I like it. I prefer mine with a touch of sugar though. What’s life without a little fun?”
I felt my face heating up. Why was he still talking about tea like this?!
He handed me my warm cup of earl grey, waiting until I took a sip to start speaking again. “Anyways, you’ve got the job.”
I sputtered, tea all over my face. “What?”
“Congratulations. We are now business partners.”