I had an idea for last week’s fiction prompt at Write on Edge, but I couldn’t make the words do what I wanted.
This week, I have an entry, but I’m finding myself really reluctant to post it, partly because it’s the first time I’m working with some characters from a larger story that has been rattling around in my brain. I keep thinking I want to make these flash fiction responses smaller, more self-contained ideas, but when I brainstormed after reading the prompt, this is what stuck in my head.
I also still feel like I’m wearing my underwear on the outside when I post fiction, but that’s another story.
And…I just realized that I’m 100 words over the prompt “limit.” I was sure it was 500, but it turns out it’s 400. Mine is 499 words, and I was pretty proud of hitting the target so closely. Oops. Well, I’m never going to post it if I try to go cut another 100 words, so here it is, as is…
It’s Friday and time to link-up!
For this week’s prompt, you were asked to write a story or memoir which relates to choices and/or consequences. Because of the 400 word limit, you may choose to focus just on the choice, or just on the consequence, if you like.
“We need to go to Vancouver,” Jake said.
I resisted the urge to repeat Vancouver? and settled for the much more intelligent “Uh, why?”
He lifted an eyebrow at me and said “We can’t stay here, and we need your parents.”
“I told you, my parents are dead, and I’m pretty sure they had never been to Vancouver.”
When Jake had called, wanting to talk about my parents for an article, I had been reluctant, but had agreed to meet him at the diner. I’m always happy to have someone buy me a slice of Arlene’s apple pie, but I had been tempted to walk out when his first question was “Why did your parents fake their death?”
I had stayed, figuring that walking out would just confirm his theory. Plus, I still had pie to eat. “No one faked anything. They are dead, end of story.”
He hadn’t gotten a chance to pursue the question because the window two booths away from us had shattered. Jake and I had slid off our seats just as our window had exploded, probably filling my pie and ice cream with shards. There hadn’t been any more shots or explosions, but we had crawled behind the counter where we were having our conversation about Vancouver.
The waitress screamed from the kitchen “Are you OK?”
I yelled back “Yes, but don’t come out here. Call the police.”
“No, no police.” Jake tried to insist.
“Clearly you’ve never been in a small town. With all that racket, they’ve probably already gotten four phone calls and are on their way.”
“All the more reason to get out of here and get to Vancouver.”
“Even if I knew anyone in Vancouver, or cared to go there, how do you plan on getting out of here? I’m thinking you are the one getting shot at, not me. Staying with you doesn’t sound like a good option.”
Jake chuckled. “That may be, but you seem to be awfully calm, given the circumstances. Do you get shot at often?”
In spite of myself, I was beginning to like him, but I wasn’t quite ready to let him in on any of my secrets.
He held out his hand to me. “I know you don’t have any good reasons to trust me, but if you come with me to Vancouver, I can give you information about what happened to Ethan. And I do have a plan to get out of here, but you have to choose to trust me.”
What does he know about Ethan?
Suddenly, a shout came from outside. “Molly, I know you are in there. Do not listen to that dirtbag, come out and I will take care of you. And then I will take care of him.”
Ethan. My brother.
I grabbed Jake’s hand and said “Let’s go. We don’t have much time.”
I didn’t tell him that even if we made it to Vancouver, my parents weren’t likely to speak to me, let alone him.
The beginning exchange was inspired by a post at another site, that talked about how you should avoid having a 2nd character repeat the 1st character, it makes the 2nd character sound stupid. That post actually used a sentence about going to Vancouver as the example, and that really stuck in my head, I decided to use it as a bit of a joke…
I had a little trouble with the tense, and hope I didn’t mess any of that up. I think that if I were to use this as part of a longer work, I would actually expand quite a bit of this, adding in some description, probably some further dialogue.
I am enthralled as usual … you write the kinds of things that I don’t want to end. I want to know more, more more!!
Patricia Royal says
That was very nice and left me wanting more.
Wow! Then what happens? I know you could write a novel. I’d be first in line for an autograph.
I think you did a great job with this post. I know the feeling about struggling with word counts. I do all the time as well. I could definitely see this piece being reworked a little more, minus the word count issue, and turned into a scene from a much longer piece. I’d love to know more. Good job.