Here are the wee stories I’ve written for the first five days of Writers Victoria’s Flash Fiction comp. Initially, my intention was to use it as an exercise to pull together some juicy sentences that I could expand on down the track. Then the working week started, reality hit and despite only needed to come up with 30 words, I’ve actually been scrambling to pull something together. So, my motivation has shifted from writing nice sentences to being able something on cue to a prompt — something I struggle with. If this sounds like you too, the comp goes through until 30 April, so it’s not to late to join in and practice along with me.
She flipped the envelope over in her hands. She needed to end this. Grabbing a pen, she scrawled Return to Sender across the front. That should give him the hint.
Metronomic chanting rang out as the arena doors opened. Stepping inside, Gemma grasped the jagged rock hidden in her pocket. ‘Sweet pyrite, mirror bright, grant me your protection tonight.’
‘Okay, spill it.’
‘C’mon Roxy, you’re absolutely glowing. What’d you have done?’
‘I didn’t have anything done. I just, well, I just stopped trying to write a masterpiece.’
‘Tell me, child. What troubles you?’
‘I fear I carry the curse, Knowing One. The curse of ill fortune.’
‘Do not fear, child, for fear itself is the curse.
Not that one.
Not that one either.
Lido ran his finger down the page until he found it. Across 26: Rocker Billy (4).
Dignity intact, he pencilled in ‘idol’.
Day 1 Prompt – Hint. The idea for the protagonist to reject the advances of an admirer came quickly, so it was just a matter of putting it into a setting.
Day 2 Prompt – Pyrite. Although I’d heard of ‘fool’s gold’, I didn’t know what pyrite was. Cue lots of research. The supposed protective qualities of pyrite spawned the idea of a gladiator calling on the rock before going into battle. The reference to the mirror links to the Incan’s use of polished pyrite for mirrored surfaces. The name Gemma was a bit of fun.
Day 3 Prompt – Glow. After pyrite, this should have been easy. It wasn’t. Not for lack of ideas, but for lack of something unique that offered a clever play on words. In the end I decided on a cheeky stab at my own inability to come up with something good. It’s not completely devoid of creativity though — according to my baby names book, Roxy (short for Roxanne) means ‘brilliant’, which I figured is sort of similar to glow ...
Day 4 Prompt – Fortune. I don’t read any of the other entries until I have posted mine, so it was interesting to see how many of them picked up on the fortune teller theme. I’ve gone a bit the other way, speaking of ‘ill’ fortune rather than ‘good’ fortune. There was also a hidden message in there for me, reminding me to now let fear (of failure) stop my trying things (like 30 day flash fiction competitions!).
Day 5 Prompt – Idol. When faced with the option of including Billy Idol in a story, what else could one do, right? I did have a bit of fun with my protagonist’s name though.