This weeks Flash Fiction Challenge ‘The Unexplainable Photo Challenge‘ from the oft visited Terribleminds.com asked us to look at these 50 bizarre thought-provoking images, choose one of them and then write a piece of Flash-Fiction about it in no more than 1000 words.
I chose this photo because it said something to me. Well technically it ran up to me, screamed profanities at me and then beat me about the face with the ‘What?-brick’. In any case, it grabbed my attention.
Always interested in hearing other people’s comments, so please feel free…
Now I bring you…
Food for Thought
The Feeders watched the pupils of St Boggetts. Their lack of education was almost tangible to the Feeders. It exuded from them like a wave and they fed off it, drinking in their ignorance as if it was banana milkshake.
Each Feeder thrived on ignorance of a given subject. The Feeders for Maths and English were the strongest in St Boggetts by a long way. Each day they were fed an endless supply of wrong answers and misunderstood equations. In a matter of just a few terms they had grown from scarcely an inch tall to the size of an adult human.
Ironically, the feeders for Sport and Athletics would often just sit; too anaemic and weak from malnutrition to do anything else. The children of St Boggetts were known for their fighting so the Sports Feeders ate very little.
The teachers of St Boggetts had provided more than the odd meal for the Feeders. With badly thought out lessons and a slavish trust in their out-of-date textbooks they had done nothing to promote the education of themselves let alone their pupils.
The Feeders glided through the playground observing their meal tickets, the school was so abysmal and the pupils were perfect battery-hens. The Feeders knew they had food for life.
When the Council saw the school was failing in nearly every league table they knew that something had to be done. The first step was to appoint a new Headmaster, Mr Deutier. He had taken the worst schools and through creative teaching techniques had made them the best in the country. He would always hire new teachers, the best he could find. Within a month exam results had improved. The kids were learning and the Feeders’ large appetites were starting to go unfulfilled.
‘We must do something now. Soon we will be too weak.’ The Geometry Feeder ran a clawed finger through the air. Her nail caught on reality itself, as it caught it stretched and warped like cling-film.
The Maths Feeder nodded once in agreement ‘We are becoming weaker every day. We have 83.78 days before we are trapped here, and then that will be our future.’ She gestured towards the tiny Sports Feeder who had managed to stand-up before becoming dizzy and sitting down again.
The Language Feeder leaned forward ‘The window of opportunity provided to us is not the best but I fear we do not have any other choice. We must pursue it, though at a more appropriate time.’ He scratched his hooded chin with one finger ‘We should feed as much as we can. When the final child has left the school gates, which should be in around an hour we will break through this reality and secure the food-chain.’
The Feeders smiled and nodded in agreement. They silently stalked the classrooms of St Boggetts devouring as much of the children’s ignorance as they could. Their food supply was becoming tainted with good ideas and ingenuity but there was still a good meal to be had.
The ‘end-of-day’ bell rang and the kids charged out the building, exhilarated by another day of learning and discovery.
‘Its time.’ The Geometry Feeder waited for the approving nods of his comrades ‘Remember, once we break through we will be vulnerable. Strike when the time is right. Don’t let them group together, they will be too strong. Now, all of you go. Find those teachers. The Feeders nodded once more before gliding towards the school.
The Feeders found Mrs Deffear and Miss Nolan first. They were both teachers who kept their jobs at the school, by way of ‘who’ they knew and not ‘what’. They were easily over powered by five Feeders who tore into their reality and leapt upon them. The Feeders opened their mouths and sucked out the contents of the Teachers minds. Every thought, wish, dream and nightmare was drained from them. The Feeders burped in satisfaction as the teachers fell to the floor in a heap, their eyes emotionless and their heart not beating. The Feeders cheered, sensing their victory was close but their celebration as short-lived.
A Feeder strolled through the hallway looking into each classroom. She couldn’t find anyone, where had they all gone. She turned a corner and saw them; Feeders or at least that’s what they had been. Their headless corpses lay on the ground; blood and gore dripped down the walls.
‘What could have done… No, it couldn’t be…’ She sensed she was being watched and turned round. They were there, all the teachers were stood watching her. They wore golden robes and shone with a golden ethereal glow.
‘Did you think we could be so easily defeated, Feeder?’ The Headmaster asked.
‘Erudites? But how…’ said the last Feeder.
‘How? You honestly think you can just feed off this level of ignorance forever without being found out? Also, my surname is an anagram of ‘Erudite’. I would have thought it would have been obvious to at least one of you.’
The Feeder lowered her head in submission. ‘What are you going to do to me?’
‘Well, we’ve been thinking long and hard about it and the general feeling is… we want you to die. Sorry and all that but I have to side with popular opinion.’
‘No please!’ the Feeder dropped to its knees.
‘Oh for heaven’s sake have a little dignity.’ The teachers opened their mouths and golden beams of light shot towards the Feeder. As the light disappeared into the Feeder, her head started to swell. Her face warped and mutated as the knowledge expanded within her mind. With one satisfying pop, the Feeders head exploded and her body dropped to the floor.
The headmaster took out his handkerchief and wiped the blood from his glasses. Looking around at the other teachers, he said ‘Excellent work everyone. Now who wants tea.’