It’s time for another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge. He’s chosen our title; he’s chosen our key words, this time he’s choosing our setting.
He gave all us willing participants a list of 5 settings.
- Lunar Brothel
- Abandoned Amusement Park
- The Bottom of the Ocean
- Penthouse Apartment during the Apocalypse
- Fairy Tale Forest
All we need to do is choose one of those five settings and write a piece of 1000 word flash fiction. He also stipulated that…
“The key is, when writing, to never abandon the setting — do not go outside of it. Further, make sure that the setting helps to drive the story. The setting should almost be a character in its own right.”
I chose Lunar Brothel for my setting, and I hope I achieved everything I was supposed to. If not well that’s what the comment’s bit is for. If you loved it, hated it or had a weird ambivalence towards it, let me know below.
Oh, and the flash fiction itself could be considered a bit on the rude side to those with a sensitive disposition. So if you are don’t read it, eh?
Flash Fiction: A Man’s Gotta do…
Tanzania stood and looked up at the outside of the impressive false-stone building. The red lights pulsed and shone as if the building’s eyes were attempting to seduce him. Maybe they were. He’d heard tales about these off-world brothels. Some of them hypnotising people to enter. Of course those rumours were mostly spread by politicians so he was a little dubious. His heart was thumping and his forehead was beaded with sweat. Why was he so scared? Men had being doing this for millions of years it shouldn’t be this scary, not to any man. Tanzania pushed open the metal faux-cowboy saloon doors, and walked through.
The room looked more like a dentist’s waiting room than the ‘Palace of Pleasure’ that the flashing red neon signs outside had advertised it as being. It was the first time he’d been to a place like this and he didn’t know what to expect, but a surgical steel waiting room with copies of ‘Universal Geographic’ dotted around wasn’t it. Tanzania cautiously sat down in one of the leather chairs and waited. The occasional fizzing sound of the bug-zapper was the only thing distracting him from the enthusiastic noises pulsing from the other side of the walls. Whoever they were, they were either really happy or really pissed off, and he knew what he’d put his money on.
His mind snapped back to the task at hand. He was over thirty now and he still hadn’t done it. All his friends had of course, years ago. They mocked him about it now, and he’d put it off as much as he could out of fear or out of stupidity, he wasn’t sure. Today was the day though, today he was gonna do it.’
‘Hey there sweetie. What can I do for you?’ A tall woman wearing a tightly fitting nurses uniform, stockings and sucking on a lollipop entered the room from behind the counter. She sat down behind the desk and smiled provocatively at him, leaning forward over the desk.
Tanzania looked away slightly embarrassed, she certainly had all the qualities that man are supposed to admire, and if it was any other day maybe he’d feel different. He stood up and approached the counter, taking his hat off and wringing it in his hands like a Dickensian orphan. His eyes wanted to stare at her cleavage and his hands wanted to do a hell of a lot more, but not his heart. Plus ‘Busty Nurse’ was not technically ‘up for sale’, she was the promotional model put there to entice people to buy something. Once they had paid they would be introduced to the ‘working girls’ that tended to be much less splendid.
‘Hello, I… erm.’ his throat started to close. Maybe it was the dry air or the smell of antiseptic, maybe he was just plain scared. He cleared his throat and tried to continue. ‘I would very much like to…’
‘Of course, cutie.’ The nurse said with a seductive smile ’We have a whole list of services that are guaranteed to excite and pleasure you. What about our special the Floating Burrito?’
‘No, I… what’s a Floating Burrito?’
The nurse smiled at him ‘Well we both get naked, bring in a donkey, and a zero-gravity machine and…’
‘No, no, no. That’s fine.’ Tanzania interrupted, keen to never hear the end of that sentence. ‘I’m here to see…’
‘See? See what? Oh, something a little kinkier eh, stud? Well, we have nipple-digglers, rump-spanglers, carnal-callisthenics. We have a whole wing dedicated to group activities. What about water-sports?’
‘You mean like sailing or windsurfing?’
The overly busty nurse smiled pityingly at him ‘Not quite honey.’
Her pitying expression shook him a little but it wasn’t going to stop him, he felt as if his manhood had been shaken, which he realised would have been a funny sentence at any other time. ‘Miss please. I’d like to speak to Geneva, is she here…?’
‘Geneva? Sure sweetie, she’s at the back’ the nurse’s brow furrowed slightly in confusion. ‘I’ll go get her’. She shrugged, then stood up, straightened her white PVC uniform and tottered out of the waiting room.
Tanzania could hear the sound of muffled female voices, he couldn’t make out what they were saying but he could recognise the voice. It was her, it was Geneva. The butterflies already in his stomach grew to the size of owls, very angry owls that really wanted him to suffer. He could feel his hands shake, and his throat got dry and sticky.
The voices stopped, and seconds later a young brunette with navy blue overalls, walked through the door carrying a mop and bucket. Her hair had been hastily put in a ponytail, and her boots were dirty and scuffed. She didn’t wear make-up but as far as Tanzania was concerned she never needed to, her piercing amber eyes radiated through him, warming him up.
‘Tan, baby. What are you doing here? I didn’t expect to see you in a place like this.’ Geneva’s voice was high-pitched, and a little squeaky.
Tanzania looked at Geneva. She smiled back at him with a smile that calmed and soothed him. Soon all of his tension and anxiety had gone. He was no longer nervous; he knew that this was something he wanted more than anything in the world.
‘Geneva?’ Tan said, taking a small felt-covered box out of his pocket and lowering himself to one knee in front of her. Tanzania opened the box, showing her the ring that must have cost him a year’s salary.
‘Geneva?’ he said ‘Will you marry me?’