My latest piece of flash fiction, as they tend to be is in response to the Flash Fiction Challenge set by Chuck Wendig at Terribleminds.com last Friday. The challenge is to…
Take a fairy tale — any fairy tale at all you want, or a fable, or a Mother Goose story — and rewrite it in a modern context.
Flash Fiction from a fairytale? It sounds easy enough, but which fairy tale was I going to choose? After running my mind through as many fairy tales, nursery rhymes, fables and cautionary tales as I could think of. I finally decided on probably one of the most well-known and well-loved. I chose to The Three Little Pigs, there’s nothing like messing with the classics. This is my of a re-imagining of those little piggies, I hope you enjoy it.
If you love it or hate it, please leave a comment. After all, It’s the only way I’m gonna get any damn good at this writing malarkey.
I bring you…
Flash Fiction: Bringing the house down
Derde sat in the quiet interview room and waited for the sergeant to return. He heard the faint sound of people walking past the room, the air-conditioning was louder but that was being drowned out by the fly that had got trapped in the room with Derde and had become agitated. Derde stared at the cheap plastic cup of coffee in front of him ‘just another example of police budget cuts’ he thought to himself as he brought the cup to his lips. It was too hot to drink but inhaling the coffee smell gave Derde enough energy to put the cup down again. He yawned, what he really needed was a good night’s sleep but even when he slept he had strange dreams, and scarcely felt refreshed when he woke up. That wasn’t to mention this chesty cough, he’d picked up as well.
He peered over the table at the two business cards placed on the table, almost afraid to touch them. He had received one card after the death of each of his brothers. His eldest brother Eerst was the first to be killed. A gas leak had ignited and caused an explosion. He might have believed it was an accident except for the card he had received. It looked quite ordinary, a small looking plain business card with a rhyme printed on it.
“Little pig, little pig, he died for his sin.
so I huffed, and I puffed, and I blew his face in.”
The police only found Derde’s fingerprints on the business card, and as there were no other leads they couldn’t investigate any more. The death of his other brother Sec was too coincidental for them not to be connected. This time, gas had been poured through the letter box of his house and a lit cigarette thrown in. A few days later another card appeared in Derde’s house. There was no sign of anyone breaking in, and the card had certainly not been there earlier.
This time the card read
“One pig, two pig, burnt and blown high
We’re Yin and Yang, and Yang’s gonna die”
The police took the threats more seriously now but there was no new evidence from the second card. Derde’s life had been threatened and it didn’t look like the police were closer to finding the culprit, but at least they could supply free coffee. He brought the cup to his lips burning them slightly and sipped.
Derde loved his brothers dearly but they were pigs, there was no doubt about that. Eerst and Sec would have felt far more comfortable in this police station than perhaps anyone should. They had led a more colourful life, although only the odd charge for petty theft or drug dealing, they weren’t exactly the Krays. In fact it was their womanising and drug use that drove a wedge between the brothers not their criminal activities. Derde’s thoughts returned to the cards on the table ‘died for his sin. I wonder which one’ he smiled to himself with a mix of sadness and misplaced humour.
Where was the sergeant, he was only supposed to have been gone for a few minutes, it felt like fifteen. The clock on the wall was of no use. It had stuck at 03:36 and the second hand juddered as it tried to keep moving.
The door opened and the sergeant entered the room carrying a manila envelope. Derde looked up and smiled up at him, but the sergeant offered no sign of congeniality back.
‘Mr Varken?’ the sergeant leaned back on his chair, his desk-job stomach hanging over his belt ‘It seems that some new evidence has come to light’
‘Yes, it turns out your brother was rather paranoid when it comes to security. He had installed several new and very expensive cameras to protect his property. Judging by his past misdemeanours I suspect we both have some idea of the type of people he was protecting his property from.’
‘Cameras? I had no idea.’ Derde’s eyes lit up a little through the tiredness, lightened by the hope that they would soon know who the killer was and that this would all be over.
‘They did pick up something interesting, yes. I guess if you had spoken to your brothers less than…’ The sergeant referred back through the notes, following the text with his chubby forefinger’ …three weeks ago you might have known.’
‘Yes, I suppose so. What did you find?’
‘I think you’ll find the results quite interesting.’
The sergeant opened the envelope and took out a DVD and pushed it into the DVD player. The TV screen flickered, and crackled before Derde found himself looking at the front door of his brother’s house. The camera had been fitted with a night-vision lens so everything was clear, green but very clear.
Just as Derde was about to ask the sergeant what he should be looking at, he saw someone walk into frame. He was wearing a dark hooded-top, jeans, and carried what looked like a gas canister. The man walked up to the house and poured the contents of the canister through the letter box.
‘Who are you?’ Derde said to the TV under his breath.
The figure tossed the now empty canister away and took out a packet of cigarettes, and with one hand threw back his hood. There was Derde on the screen, smiling wickedly and lighting a cigarette. Derde’s image inhaled deeply and flicked the cigarette towards the door, smiling as the house burst into flames.
‘Any comments?’ said the sergeant purposefully.
Derde watched in disbelief as the house burned. He chewed on his nails, and for the first time smelt the nicotine on his fingers before looking up at the sergeant ‘…bu… but it wasn’t me.’