Stretching my creativity in new directions is always challenging, and usually not too terribly painful. Sometimes it’s even fun. I’m enjoying my experiments coming out of the flash fiction prompts so far.
I hope you are, too.
Here’s the visual prompt for February…
Write a story inspired by this image in 1000 words or less.
If you’d like to share your story, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Flash Fiction Prompt in the subject line.
I’ll share my story next month. I may post yours, too. If I have enough people participate, I’ll post the best one on the blog!
As promised, here’s my story from January’s prompt for your enjoyment:
PARTY PIGS: A Cautionary Tail
“Why did you invite Thomas and Dylan?” Brandon tugged at his bright polka dot tie. “They’ll ruin everything.”
“Stop fidgeting and go greet your guests,” Mom said.
“Go greet your guests,” Brandon mumbled under his breath. She obviously didn’t understand; she’d invited the scruffy, no-good Riley twins. His world just ended. Memories of the spiky blonde duo tormenting his every lunch period all rushed together. Brandon shuffled his feet towards the menacing pair.
“Happy birthday, Braindead.” Dylan shoved a poorly wrapped box into his chest.
Thomas flipped up his tie. “Nice suit, Grandpa.”
“Shut up, my mom made me.”
“You look like part of the decorations.” Dylan squinted at Brandon like he couldn’t see him in focus or something.
Brandon rolled his eyes. “C’mon, party’s out back.” Brandon trudged through the living room and out the back door to the pool area.
Everyone else got to look normal, but what could he say when his mom held out the suit and said, “ this would’ve made your dad so proud”? And was it his fault she made his tie match the party favors?
Brandon pointed to a decked-out table with the banner ‘Red Versus Blue, Winner Takes All!’ draped along the front. “Grab a water gun and a splash ball, then pick an armband color for your team,” Brandon said. “The epic water battle will start when everyone’s here.”
Dylan and Thomas bellowed like orangutans, then darted over to the table. After disturbing all the neat, organized rows of water guns and toppling the carefully stacked pyramids of splash balls, they each grabbed two water guns, and packed their pockets full of splash balls until they were almost bursting.
“Hey! Can’t you read?” Brandon pointed towards the tactful sign on the table that quietly reminded guests to take ONLY ONE of each item.
“Oh, yeah. Thanks.” Dylan glanced down at the Red Versus Blue banner, then snatched two red armbands out of the basket. He hurled one at Thomas. “We’ll make them bleed their own blood.” They ran off laughing.
“Darling, you have more guests arriving,” his mom called from inside.
“Mom, I hate those guys! Can’t we kick them out?”
“Oh, no. They are the most important guests at your party.” She glided her fingers over his perfectly coifed hair with a feather touch. “It’s not every day a boy as special as you turns thirteen.” Her eyes got all shiny and Brandon turned away before she hugged him in front of anyone.
After a few more trips escorting guests outside, Brandon could see Dylan and Thomas wreaking havoc with their water guns. They were shooting everything (and everyone) in sight.
“You’re not supposed to use those until the battle starts,” Brandon yelled. “You’re ruining everything!”
“Shut up, Braindead. No one wants to follow your stupid party rules.” Thomas nailed him smack in the face with the Icer. Everyone nearby laughed.
Brandon choked on a mouthful of water, then retreated inside. His suit was soaked; everything sloshed when he moved. Why did he have to dress up like an idiot when no one else had to? Why was he the last person allowed to have fun at his own party? “I wanted to play, too.”
Once safe behind the sliding glass doors, he glared at the backyard full of traitors he’d thought were friends. They cannonballed into the pool filled with all the splash balls meant for the water battle, and they played volleyball with the water balloons. Someone had used the cupcake tower for target practice. All that was left of them was a mushy, sprinkle-covered mess plastered around the patio. His epic water battle party he’d dreamed of for months was destroyed.
“I didn’t even get to taste them!” Brandon’s fists clenched tight at his side. “I wish all you pigs were gone!”
A blinding light made Brandon cover his face. A shattering boom rang out and shook the ground under his feet. When the trembling stopped and the bright light faded, Brandon opened his eyes.
Pigs in party hats flailed about in the swimming pool. Pigs half-dressed in wet bathing suits struggled to escape their human clothes. Pigs with red and blue armbands around their fat stomachs squealed in every direction.
“Nice start, son.” Brandon’s mother said. “This time, concentrate on where you want the pigs to go.”
Brandon nodded, then clenched his fists once more to his side. He pictured the abandoned soccer fields just outside of town. The blinding light and ground rumbling returned. Once all was quiet, Brandon saw that the pigs were gone.
Everything was silent.
His mother handed him a perfect cupcake with sprinkles on top – bright polka dots that matched his tie. “Happy birthday, Brandon. Your dad would’ve been so proud.”