Flash Fiction: Inspiration

abandoned factory industrial building ruin Ok, so it has been way too long since I have posted anything, especially flash fiction. This is due to two things. Firstly, I have been having some major concentration issues with the release of Simcity. I’ve been finding it difficult to focus on anything except increasing the efficiency of my mass transport network in my gambling town. Secondly, whenever I have dragged my ass out of the pit I’m in to write, I have been trying to write bits of my novel instead.

So, I sit here in a well-known coffee shop franchise far away from my computer so I have no excuse not to get some writing done, and hoorah I’ve done it. It may be a little rough around the edges but I don’t think it is too bad. I’m trying to work on that whole description thing which I’ve heard is quite important for telling tales and writing fiction.

Any who, this week’s flash fiction from Terribleminds.com is to randomly generate a sentence (from here) and use it in your flash fiction entry of no more than 1000 words. Well, I clicked a few times (I was allowed up to 10 clicks) and I got this…

“The researcher burns the rabid musician?”

I have to be honest I kinda side-stepped the use of the sentence because I didn’t want to write something about rabid musicians being burned.

Well, here it is. Hope you enjoy and you feel the need to comment. Hopefully good, but bad’s welcome too just keep it constructive.

Flash Fiction: Inspiration

‘So Ben? Let me get this straight.  The researcher burns the rabid musician?’ Leo leaned over the table, almost dipping his badly shaven chin into his tall frothy coffee ‘…and why would he do that?’

Ben, who had quickly leaned back in his own chair to avoid being accidentally head-butted by the publisher took a long sip of his chocolate milkshake.

‘It turns out, right… that he’s been bitten by an alien or werewolf or a vampire, you know something that don’t like fire and this whole time it’s this alien vampire that’s been sending the top-secret messages to the Nazis.’

Leo always met his clients at ‘Le Coin Tranquille’. It was a small ramshackle café set in the middle of the industrial district, the name printed on the tattered canopy above the window failed to give the place any more elegance and style than it deserved.

Leo nodded slowly at Ben, waiting for the punch line.

‘It’s the story that has everything’ continued Ben ‘Nazis, vampires, aliens, government conspiracies’

Leo sighed and leaned back, placing his arms behind his head, and revealing the large sweat patches staining his brown suede suit. ‘The trouble is… and you know I think you’re great…’

Ben slurped through the thick chocolatey sludge at the bottom of his glass and smiled expectantly.

‘The trouble is… its shit.’

Ben’s expression dropped ‘eh?’

‘Well ok, not shit but it does need a hell of a lot of work. It just makes no sense. It’s like you chewed on the worst bits from a handful of straight-to-DVD movies and vomited them into a typewriter.’

‘Well it was a work in progress anyway’ said Ben dismissively but his reddening eyes failed to hide how hurt he was.

‘I think you need to find some real inspiration’ said Leo ‘…another milkshake.’

Ben nodded, and Leo gestured to the waitress who promptly disappeared and returned with another frothy chocolate milkshake.

‘Inspiration huh?’ said Ben, lost once more into the mounds of chocolate froth.

A loud boom pounded the air. Tables shook and the more precarious table decorations fell on to the floor. Ben and Leo turned to face the sound of the explosion and where a proud but dirty building had stood empty for decades there was nothing left except for burning rubble, and billowing clouds of dust and smoke.

The patrons and staff of the café stood watching the devastation. No-one said anything for several seconds. Then the low nervous murmurs began, some customers suspected a gas leak, while others stated quite adamantly that it was an insurance scam. The waitress took out her mobile phone and rang the fire service and police on her phone; she sounded so calm and placid as if this was a regular day-to-day event for her. The loud noises of the explosion gave way to the more gentle sound of fire crackling  that everyone took as a sign of safety and so started to slowly walk closer to the debris, forming a cordon of their own and watching morbidly for any further developments and trying to get a good photo on their mobile phones for their Facebook status.

Leo who had remained ducked under one of the white iron tables stood up, with the sound of both of his knees cracking. Ben was still holding his milkshake occasionally slurping noisily, and watching the crumbled building reveal itself as the plume of dust blew down the street.

Loud sirens signalled the arrival of the fire service and the police, whose first priority was stopping the spectators from getting too close as they tried to take memento of the carnage.

Leo as if spellbound slowly walked over to the police cordon and stared. He just watched; taking it all in. It was one of those times when Leo wasn’t sure whether Ben was just extremely calm and centred or simply away with the fairies. There was that certain far-away look in his eyes. Maybe he was shell-shocked.

‘Ben? Ben? You ok?’ said Leo walking over to join Ben.

Leo snapped back to reality at least for a few seconds.  ‘Ummm yeah, sure’ and then he was gone again, back slurping at his milkshake and staring at the building and the jets of water fighting with the intense orange flames.

The fire service quickly brought the fire under control and entered the building, within a few seconds one of the fire fighters ran out of the building carrying a woman, a women wearing a bright yellow dress. The crowd gasped with surprise when they saw her. Despite the devastation to the building that she was in, she looked fine. Her dress was still bright yellow without a trace of soot, or smoke. Her hair was still perfect, looking as if it had experienced nothing more than a mild gust of wind.

‘My god, look at her. She’s gorgeous.’ said Leo ’…that fire fighter’s a lucky bastard. I imagine she’ll be pretty grateful to him, if you know what I mean.’

Ben looked up from his milkshake. ‘This is it. This is my inspiration.’

‘What?’ asked Leo without thinking ‘Oh, right. Yeah, well this is what I was talking about, real inspiration’

‘Oh yeah, I got it now. I’m gonna write about chocolate milkshakes that include crushed up humans, which are made by the Taliban and only a kid with a scar in a wizard school can stop them.’

Leo took out his mobile phone and tapped a few buttons as he walked away ‘Beatrice? Hi, yeah I’m gonna need a new client.’


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