Saturday, February 6, 2016
Flash Fiction: Ready to Fly?
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Well folks, I'm back! And here is my contribution to Rachelle's Flash Fiction event!
I was given a prompt by S.M.B, who directed me to this pinterest post. I've actually seen this one before and have been quite interested to try it. When I got down to actually writing the story, however, I was confronted with the difficult question of how to convey the atmosphere of this situation. How could I make my readers understand the extreme weirdness that I would feel if this happened to me? I could do it with a fictional character, but then I wouldn't feel the weirdness, and it would seem forced.
I finally decided to write the story from first person, from the perspective of a fictional character that is basically a stand in for myself. Names are changed, but the places are basically the same as what I have actually experienced. (This is weird. I've never tried something like this before.)
As for the person who barges, in- he doesn't actually exist, but I've known people like him. Hopefully, you'll feel like you might know him too. :)
Let me know what you think! I want to give a big thanks to S.M.B for giving me this most interesting prompt. :D
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READY TO FLY?
Tapping a pen against my chin, I watched the clock intently. 8:51... Nine minutes, then you're free... I thought. Eight minutes now...
I started pulling on my coat. Though I enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere of the little hotel I looked after, there were days when the emptiness annoyed me. Especially when I had hot cocoa, cookies, book-writing and piano-playing waiting for me at home.
I grabbed my purse and headed for the door, waving to the rather substantial goldfish swimming lethargically in his tank.
“G'night, Cedric! 'Til tomorrow,” I said cheerfully. Good grief, talking to a fish. That's how you really know someone is lonely. Or just pathetic. Still, I took comfort in that I was looking quite sharp today as I glanced at my reflection in the glass door. A vain thought, perhaps, but on a day like today, I felt justified in taking such simple pleasures as a little vanity.
Shutting of the last light, I pulled the door shut with my heel and set out toward my car, reaching into my pocket for the key.
Suddenly, I felt a hand on my arm. My heart lurching, I whirled around, twisting my arm away and swinging my hand with the keys up defensively.
“Hey- woah!” throwing his hands up, my target stepped backward, narrowly avoiding the sharp edge of the keys.
I stopped short, recognizing his face.
“Troy?” I dropped my defensive stance. A laugh bubbled up in my throat.
“For heaven's sake, you scared me half to death,” I giggled nervously and shook my head.
Troy put his hands in his pockets and shuffled. “Yeah, sorry about that,” he said, grinning sheepishly. But something still seemed off. A frown creasing my brow, I studied him briefly.
Troy Davis- a tall, handsome young man who couldn't be more than twenty- had been a classmate of mine back when I attended a public high school part-time. Being a homeschooler, I found the other students strangely reluctant to socialize with me- but not Troy. He was flamboyant and charismatic: the kind of guy people flocked to because he oozed with good humor and fun times. Maybe it was that innate sense of confidence that gave him the courage to be the first student to initiate contact with me, inviting me to join the group.
Incidentally, he was also one of the few real-life people I'd ever had a crush on.
He didn't know that. At least, I didn't think he did.
But now, he seemed very different. Tense, nervous, jittery even. I'd never seen him like that before.
“What's up?” I tried, keeping my tone casual. “What brings you here, of all places?”
Troy cast a quick glance over his shoulder. “Uh... I was in town, heard you worked here now. Thought I'd drop by...”
He swallowed. “Say, my feet are actually frozen. Don't s'pose we could step inside for a minute? I know it's closing time.”
“No! No, its fine. Come on in,” I smiled. I opened the door and stepped into the foyer. My mind raced. This was so strange... sure we knew each other, but not that well, that he would specifically come to visit while he was in town. Unless he thought more of our friendship than I'd realized.
Once inside, I turned around to offer him a seat. But before I knew it, he grabbed my shoulders, and his eyes looked more desperate than I'd ever seen them look.
“Leah, listen-” he whispered, “Whatever happens, whoever comes through that door, I've been here for at least an hour. Okay?”
I gaped, searching for the right words. What is this? Why is he touching my shoulders? Why is he using my name? He's never actually used my name...
“Got it?” he prodded.
Coming back to myself, I frowned and shrugged his hands off. “What the heck is going on here?”
“Complicated. I-” Troy cut himself off as the lights from several cars rolling in moved across the walls. He froze, and I felt my heart race.
“It's them. I've been here for an hour- please!”
“Yeah.... okay...” I nodded distantly.
Suddenly, there was a sharp crack, and the glass on the door shattered as I felt a rush of air whiz by my cheek.
Before I had a chance to scream, Troy grabbed me and pulled me toward the back room, shielding me with his body as we went. We just moved out of view when several more cracks followed, sending feathers from the sofa flying.
Gunshots, I realized as my paralyzed brain finally started working.
“I'm sorry! I didn't realize. They're not asking questions at all, I guess,” Troy murmured as he dragged me along.
“I didn't mean to pull you into this. But there's no choice now, you're coming with me.”
We were in the back room now. Releasing me, he closed the thick wooden door and barricaded it with one of the many heavy boxes of supplies we kept on the shelves. Dimly I wondered how he could be so calm.
Noticing me standing like an idiot, Troy crossed the room and took my hands.
“Leah, I know this is a lot to take in. But trust me- I won't let them hurt you. But if we're gonna live, you need to come with me now. My car is parked in that field right behind the hotel. Right through this door, okay? Okay?”
Suddenly, something clicked in my brain. “ 'Kay.”
Troy nodded. “Good. Come on.”
Bursting through the back exit, we sprinted across the lawn toward the wheat field. Wheat is a lot taller than you think- it came all the way up to my hips. But still, I should have at least been able to see the top of his car.
“Where is it?”
“Here,” he replied. And suddenly, with a high electronic whirring, a sleek, black, almost-flat vehicle rose up out of the grass, hovering in the air like a spaceship.
My eyes bulged. Troy patted my back.
“Ready to fly?”
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