Monster #FlashFictionForay #FFF31

The Flash Fiction Foray is upon us again, and the song The Book Blogger has chosen this week is “Monster” by Imagine Dragons.

In case you don’t know the rules, the challenge is to write a short story of fewer than 100 words based on the song title or lyrics. A challenge indeed! This week I have managed to keep my word count to fewer than 170, which is better than the monster (ha-ha, see what I did there?) offerings of, ooh, nearly 500 words I’ve submitted in the past, but the magic 100 word story still eludes me.

*****

Freddie was sitting on the stairs late at night, listening to Mother gossiping with the neighbours.

“The boy’s father,” exclaimed Mother, “is a real monster!”

“Monster. Monster,” agreed her companions.

Glowing with excitement, Freddie sneaked back to his bedroom to pack his meagre belongings. His dad was a real live monster – just wait till the bullies at school heard about that! Mother never did anything when Freddie came home in tears on a daily basis, other than telling him to grow a pair of balls. How was he supposed to grow balls? Why couldn’t she buy him some from the toy shop?

“Do you remember the awful things he used to do to Freddie?” Mother was saying, deaf to the front door clicking shut behind her small son. “I swear he’d have killed the child…”

Freddie didn’t hear these crucial details about the monster who’d fathered him. He was already on the streets, a bounce in his step as he set out to find his hero.

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Flash Fiction Foray – Jealous #FFF30

This week’s Flash Fiction Foray challenge is to write a short story inspired by the song “Jealous” by Labrinth.

I’m not even going to attempt to capture the raw emotion of Labrinth’s singing in my offering, so instead here’s a light hearted view of jealousy itself. Once again, please accept my apologies for going way over the word count.

*****

Jealous

“Daaaaahling,” trilled Singer, kissing the air above Actress’s shoulder, “I’m sooooo thrilled about you Bafta nomination.”

“Mwah, mwah, Singer, I just know you’re going to sweep the board at the Brits this year.”

Model tottered through the door on impossibly high heels. “I simply adore your new single, Singer daaaaahling. Take no notice of those awful accusations in the Current Bun – we know you sing on all your records. Mwah!”

“Mwah!”

“Mwah!”

“Model, daaaaahling, your hair extensions are divine. No one would ever tell they’re not real.”

“And your Botox treatments are going sooooo well, Actress. Who wants a face that moves anyway?”

Snatching up a plate from her dressing table, Actress would have looked outraged had her over-Botoxed face been capable of expressing emotion.

“Catering!” she screeched. “One lettuce leaf, not two, you moron. How can I maintain my beautiful size zero figure if you double my daily calorie intake?”

Catering stepped out of the shadows where she’d been waiting quietly with Hair-and-Makeup and Wardrobe, grabbed the offending lettuce leaf and stuffed it in her mouth.

“FAT COW!” shrieked Singer, Actress and Model in unison. Dancer pirouetted into the room and burst into tears.

“Daaaaahling, what is it? Have you been sacked from Strictly? We all know you didn’t really sleep with the politician you partnered last year…”

“No!” wailed Dancer. “Far worse than that – you called me fat!”

Singer, Actress and Model giggled prettily behind perfectly manicured fingers.

“Not you, daaaaahling. Caterer. Stuffing her fat face on lettuce.”

Dancer’s crocodile tears vanished in an instant. Smoothing her hands over her Stella McCartney dress, she looked over at Wardrobe and sneered, “What are you looking at, you jealous bitch? This dress cost more than you’ll earn in a lifetime.”

“Mwah, mwah, Dancer, you’re sooooo funny.”

Trademark pouts in place, surrounded by surly bodyguards, Singer, Dancer, Actress and Model sashayed down the hallway, the clack-clack-clack of Jimmy Choos gradually fading into the cheers of a thousand fans and the click of a thousand press cameras. Catering, Hair-and-Makeup and Wardrobe watched as the heavy doors closed behind the four celebrities who currently had the world at their feet, then fell about with helpless laughter.

“Jealous of them? Really, daaaaahling?”

Sooooo thrilled for you – and everyone knows they hate each other.”

“And everyone knows they’re jealous as hell of each other.”

“If that’s fame and fortune, you can stick it.”

Catering looked at her healthy size ten figure in the mirror and smiled approvingly. Turning to her two dearest friends, she draped her arms around them and said, “Come on, ladies, that lettuce leaf’s given me an appetite. I hear the local Italian restaurant’s giving away free garlic bread with every bowl of pasta, and I’ve got a fat cow reputation to maintain.”

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Flash Fiction Foray – The Reaper in Love

Every week, The Book Blogger nominates a song to stir the imaginations of his blog’s followers, and those of us who feel so inclined submit a Flash Fiction story inspired by the song. This week the song is ‘I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’.

However, having reread the rules, I find that the Flash Fiction entry has to be fewer than 100 words. That’s Flash indeed, and rather disqualifies my entry. What the heck, though, I’ve decided to publish and be damned, then work on the word count before next week’s foray.

In the last few days I’ve been saddened to learn that two heroes of mine have died: the immensely talented musician David Bowie and the equally talented actor Alan Rickman, so in a bid to drag myself out of the doldrums, let’s take a little sideswipe at death.

*****

The Reaper in Love

Death arrived on Murderous Maureen’s doorstep, a bunch of withered flowers plucked from a nearby graveyard in one bony hand, an solitaire diamond ring (still attached to a rotting finger) in the other.

“Don’t you ever give up?” asked Murderous Maureen with a sigh, opening her door to a skeletal grin.

“I love you, Maureen,” replied Death. “I can’t help it. You’re the woman of my nightmares – that’s a compliment, by the way.”

Maureen picked up a nearby dagger and started sharpening it, Death’s appreciative eye sockets reflecting in its gleaming blade.

“You’ve already given me so many children…”

“Adults too,” added Maureen with a wicked grin.

“Ahh, plenty of adults, which saves me having to get up in the night to change nappies.” Death’s laugh sounded like nails dragging across a blackboard. The neighbourhood dogs howled.

“Death, please don’t laugh. It doesn’t suit you. And anyway, the dead don’t fill nappies.”

Death had to check himself before he laughed again.

“Murderous Maureen, will you marry me?” he said instead, holding out the diamond ring (and the finger). “I can’t help falling in love with you.”

“Marry you?” Maureen threw back her head and barked with laughter. The neighbourhood dogs ran whimpering behind sofas. “I can just imagine the wedding day. What will happen when we get to the ‘till Death us do part’ bit?”

“I promise I won’t. Part us, I mean. You’ll be with me for eternity, giving me ever more babies. And children. And adolescents…”

“Yes, yes, Death, I get the picture.”

“I’m famous, you know. Who hasn’t heard of Death?”

“Who hasn’t heard of Murderous Maureen?” she replied, waving a machete in Death’s face. “Since that bountiful spree I had last week, I’m all anyone can talk about.”

Death visibly sagged, the flowers drooping by his side and shedding their few remaining petals.

“So the answer’s no?”

“I didn’t say that. Actually, Death, I’ve been dreaming of this moment since my first killing at the age of seven. We’ll make an indomitable pair, won’t we? So although you’re the riskiest bridegroom since Henry VIII, the answer’s yes.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. How can I help falling in love with you too?”

Smiling his skeletal smile, Death took her hand. And took her whole life too.

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