The gist of this week’s flash fiction is to take something from my own life and re-tell it by pushing it through the Magic Fictionising Machine. The first thing that occurred to me was that nothing at all interesting or in any way noteworthy has happened to me in my entire life. I quickly shook away this rather absurd thought. I’ve been alive for over 32 years something interesting will most certainly have happened. I just needed to think what it was.
I struggled over this for hours, until my brain got bored with stressing about it. So instead, I did my usual trick…
‘Just think of something; anything that I can write about and go from there. Maybe it will turn out OK once that writing machine has had its literary way with it.’
My brain whirred and clicked into action, it was too soon after brushing my teeth to consider having another coffee so I was on my own with this one. Then it came to me, there’s a rite of passage that everyone goes through; something that not only defines you as an adult but also dictates most of your teenage life. Today I’m going to re-tell the story of the first time I drank a little more than any normal person should.
So here we go. Hope you enjoy it, if not… well it’s keeping me busy. Oh and in lieu of the comments for the previous flash fiction I will be taking my sweet time and checking it through thoroughly.
Flash Fiction: Devil’s Advocaat
Jim lay on his back on his apartment floor blowing cigarette smoke towards the dust-laden cobwebs on the ceiling as he watched them waft slowly. Another night of boredom and loneliness awaited him only this time he was a lot less inclined to just accept it. Everyone else had things to do on a Friday night, so why the hell doesn’t he? Jim sat up and stubbed out his cigarette into the overflowing ashtray, knocking a few of the more precariously balanced stubs onto the floor.
Well, if he wasn’t going to do anything, at least he was going to do it drunk. What’s the worst that could happen? Jim winced as he remembered that the worst had probably happened last time. Not that he could remember anything of course but the photos of his naked rear-end that his friends had great pleasure in showing him were more than enough proof that he had drank too much. Well it wasn’t going to happen this time, he knew his limits and more importantly he knew not to drink anything that was the colour of Windolene.
Jim opened the drinks cupboard and peered inside. He groaned as he saw just how little alcohol he had left. Most of the bottles in the cupboard scarcely had a drink left in them. Jim sighed and grabbed the contents of the cupboard; the bottles clinked loudly in his arms.
He took the largest glass he could find and emptied the bottles into the glass. His mind flashed to the Roald Dahl book, ‘Georges Marvellous Medicine’, as he mixed his cocktail. Except this time any giant chickens he saw would be nothing more than a symptom of his alcohol poisoning. Jim cautiously examined his mixture, parts of it had started to curdle and lumps were forming on the surface. Any sensible person would have thrown the liquid down the toilet, assuming they didn’t own the toilet in question of course, but Jim shrugged away his conscience and drank the concoction anyway.
Rather surprisingly the drink was quite nice, if you could ignore the lumps of congealed Advocaat and the sense that your taste buds may never be the same again. Soon the concoction had disappeared with a gassy burp that stung Jim’s nose and swirled around in his stomach, a sensation so powerful Jim was forced to sit down in his office chair, and stare at the pattern on the carpet fade in and out of focus for a few minutes.
Jim heard something, and when he looked up he saw a small figure dressed in red standing in the middle of his floor. He was no taller than a child but his body was that of an adult male with a thin black wispy beard.
‘Hello’ the red-suited man said with a slightly startled expression.
‘Who are you? How did you get in here?’ said Jim
‘It’s not important, my good fellow ‘ said the man in a squeaky voice as he peered at the orange scum encrusted pint glass in Jim’s hand. ‘Well, you’ve summoned me here, so what can I do for you?’
‘I summoned…? What?’
‘That’s right. I’m not gonna bore you with the details but that unholy mess you decided to destroy your liver with, was a powerful alchemical potion. You drink that god-awful stuff, and it summons me.’
‘…and you are?’
‘Yes, Michael. I’m the Sprite of Drinking Consequences.’
Jim stared blankly at the tiny figure standing in his room. ‘You’re a sprite of drinking consequences?’
‘No not a sprite, the Sprite of Drunken Consequences.’ Michael corrected but he gave no more away.
‘Well what do you do then? Do I get three wishes or something?’
Michael laughed ‘Good god, no. Whenever anyone is stupid enough to either drink way too much or something way too strong, I appear and make sure that all those little unexplained and weird things happen before the drinker wakes up in the morning.’
‘I don’t get it.’
Michael sighed. ‘OK, have you ever woke up after a night out and wondered how you spent so much money? Or you just couldn’t remember where that massive bruise on your forearm came from?’
‘Well it was me. I set all those little things up. ‘
‘Oh, so when I woke up next to that girl, that was you as well?’
Michael burst out laughing again ‘Oh no my friend, that was all you. I had nothing to do with that’.
Jim took another look at the glass.
‘I know what you’re thinking, and no you’re not imagining things.’
Jim opened his mouth to speak.
‘…and amnesia is all part of the process, there’s no way I’ll let anyone remember me or what I do. Any other questions?’
Jim snapped his mouth shut.
‘Good, then if you don’t mind I’ve got a lot of work to do.’ Michael straightened his red suit and walked over to where Jim was sitting, and put his tiny hand into his pocket. Before Jim could react Michael had taken a rag out of his pocket, and leapt onto him and placed a rag over his mouth. Jim dropped to the floor unconscious as a small dribble of drool ran down his chin and soaked into the carpet.
‘What an idiot?’ said Michael.
The door slowly opened and two large men dressed in dark clothes stood blocking the doorway. ‘Gotta love students’ one of the men said ‘all those student loans and so fuckin’ gullible’.
‘Shut up and help me empty this place’ said the red-suited man as he lit a cigarette and took the wallet out of Jim’s back pocket.