I have finally managed to drag my motivation out of its ditch and write some Flash Fiction. Specifically, I’ve written a piece of Fiction for the Terribleminds.com Friday Flash Fiction Challenge. In Chuck’s own words…
“I love the concept of the “War on Christmas.” I don’t mean that I like the actual faux-bullshit “war,” I mean, I like that term.
I want you to use that term literally.
I want you to write a war about – or even against — Christmas.”
So here it is, my tale of a Christmas war.
Flash Fiction: Where Elf’s Dare
Pinksy looked at his pocket watch. It still kept perfect time even though the screen was cracked and covered in smudges. Three minutes past six, it was Christmas Day. The attack would start any minute now, just as it had every Christmas morning for the past six years since Father Christmas had been murdered. The culprit had been found and put to trial, consisting of twelve good elf’s and true and been found guilty, but that was just the start of the trouble. Shortly afterwards a power struggle began between the elves , and what started as simple diplomatic rivalry soon turned into obsession and murder.
Six years down the line here was Pinksy, who came from a long line of present wrappers bunkered down behind a wall with a combat pistol, about to kill people because they think presents shouldn’t be wrapped with ribbon. A flash of animosity burned in Pinksy’s eyes. How could they be so stupid? Ribbon makes the gifts look better and god damn it, why else do we wrap them at all if not to make them look pretty?
He took a deep breath. He needed his mind clear, soon the air would be filled with the sound of gunfire and it would be up to him to infiltrate the enemy headquarters. Pinksy stared down at the blue felt enemy uniform he was wearing, as a sneer unintentionally crossed his lips. Every assignment had its difficulties and he was sure he wasn’t going to like the next part, though it wasn’t to be the hardest part of his mission. Without thinking Pinksy took out his revolver, pointed it at his own arm and pulled the trigger, mere seconds afterwards gunfire started all over the battlefield. He had never started a battle before, but then again he had never ended a war before either and that swell of pride was enough for him to forget the immense pain in his arm for a few seconds, before he cried out in genuine agony. Pinksy crawled out from behind the wall towards the headquarters.
‘Who are you? What happened?’ asked the guards as they approached him, with their assault rifles pointing at him.
‘Lieutenant Rootsy, from Candy division’ Pinksy lied ‘I’ve been hit, I need medical attention.’
‘This is a military headquarters, we do not let rank and file in here.’
Fortunately for Pinksy the pain was too much for him to bear, he had been refused the option of taking drugs to lessen his pain as he needed his pain to look authentic and it was. Pinksy swayed and staggered, his arm soaked in his own blood before his weak legs couldn’t hold him up any longer and he dropped to the ground like a tiny blue felt bag of potatoes.
The two guards looked at the semi-conscious Pinksy on the ground. ‘What do we do know?’ said the taller of the two guards. ‘We can’t just leave him there.’
‘Well we can’t take him inside there either, we don’t know who he is?’
‘So you’re suggesting we just leave him there and watch him bleed to death in front of us?’
‘We could move him out of sight?’
‘That’s not what I meant. Look, I’m taking him inside. We’ll disarm him, take him to Med and keep him imprisoned there until we’re sure he is safe. He’s one of us and what harm can he do there?’
The other guard was clearly dubious.
‘If we let our own people die out of paranoia and suspicion, then we are no better than those damn Ribboners.’
The taller guard nodded and they both picked up Pinksy and took him inside the headquarters.
Pinksy was struggling to stay conscious, the guard’s voices throbbed inside his head, and colours flashed before his eyes, swirling and speckling his vision. But everything was OK, his job was nearly done.
‘Who do we have here?’ asked the doctor, the cigarette stuck to his bottom lip bouncing with every word.
‘First injury of the battle, Doc. Treat him but restrain him.’
‘What? Why? Is he a psycho?’
The guards smiled. ‘We don’t really know who he is, Doc, but we couldn’t let him die in front of us.’
‘Oh I see, well I’m more than happy for anyone to die in front of me.’ He said fixing the wrist and ankle restraints.
Nobody was sure if he was being sarcastic or eerily truthful, not even the Doc knew to be honest. The guards nodded their head and retreated out of the Med bay and resumed their post.
The Doc leaned towards Pinksy’s face and smiled. ‘You’re not going to like me much after this.’ He said before plunging a pair of tweezers into Pinksy’s arm to retrieve the bullet. The pain was brutal and the lights flashed even more vigorously in front of his eyes. Still he was glad the bullet had been removed even if it wouldn’t mean much for long.
‘Best check we got it all out’ said the Doc.
‘Thanks Doc’ said Pinksy weakly ‘and… I’m sorry.’
‘Pfff you don’t have to apologise to me, you guys are always getting shot up and it’s my job to fix you up so you can go and get yourselves killed.’
The Doc took out the metal detector and waved it over Pinksy’s arm. The machine screamed. There was definitely more metal in there somewhere, a lot of it.’
The doc continued to wave the metal detector over Pinksy, and it continued to blare its warning. The metal wasn’t in his arm, it was in his stomach. The Doc tore open Pinky’s uniform and saw a crude and freshly stitched wound in his chest.
‘Sorry Doc’ said Pinksy.
Nobody had chance to react before the explosives in Pinksy’s stomach went off. The headquarters was completely destroyed in the blast, as was the general and the surrender papers he was signing at the time.