Well we’re now at week three of the Terribleminds.com flash fiction challenge. The challenge being, to add 200 words to an existing piece of flash fiction, slowly building the story until after the five weeks we have a whole load of 1000 word tales.
First, I’m going to draw your attention to Lynna Landstreet’s continuation of my flash fiction In Too Deep that I think is brilliant. http://lynnalandstreet.com/stories/in-too-deep-parts-1-2
Joe’s Bar (Part One)
“Buy me a drink,” he said, bloodshot eyes meeting mine from further down the bar, “and I’ll tell you how I broke the world.”
I gave a snort, took a long swig of my G&T, and turned my attention back to the game being shown on Joe’s decrepit TV.
“Go on,” he insisted, in a voice ravaged by years of strong alcohol. “It’ll be worth it.”
Glancing around, I looked for help, but none of the other patrons of the grotty bar were paying attention to me being pestered by the old loon, and the bartender was very focused on cleaning a glass. The old man’s eyes bored into me from beneath his dirty mop of hair, and in the dim light of Joe’s Bar I saw the dark red stains on his grey trench coat.
“Alright.” The game was dull anyway. “What’s your poison?”
“Scotch on the rocks.”
I nodded at the barkeep, and the old man watched hungrily as the amber nectar was poured.
“Go on then,” I prompted him. “Tell me how you broke the world.”
He took a sip of his drink, gave a happy sigh, and looked up at me with those bloodshot eyes. “It all started in 1939…”
Rebecca’s (Part 2)
Nineteen thirty-nine? That was an obvious place for a claim like his. “So you were responsible for Hitler?” I guessed, humoring the old man. He might have been alive in 1939, but he certainly wasn’t old enough at the outset of WWII to have played a significant role. To have broken the world.
“Not exactly.” His voice was still coarse, but now seemed somehow stronger. “I was Hitler.”
I laughed. “Yeah, you look it, Old Man. Tell me another. You were Mussolini, too, right?”
He wasn’t laughing. “Yes. And Stalin. They were all aspects of me, and because of my incompetence millions suffered and died.”
I sighed, and bought him another drink. The first one had sort of evaporated, and I wanted to hear what kind of story he’d spin. The game really was dull as dishwater, and this lunatic at least had some imagination, unlike the coaches, who kept trying the same failed moves.
His voice was much clearer now, the ravaging effects of the whiskey fading as he began to tell his story.
“I thought it would be for the best. I started with Stalin, when Russia needed a strong leader. Times really were bad, you know.”
My continuation (Part 3)
“Yes, I’ve read that.” I said pushing my drink away, and turning to face him.
He stared at me intently, happy as if he had done everything he could to enthrall me in his tale. To be fair to him, he had though I wasn’t sure if it was his tale or his mental condition that had grabbed me.
“So you were Stalin and Hitler?” I repeated, with as little disbelief as I could.
“Yep, Errol Flynn too but that was more of a holiday”, he smiled to himself, but stopped when he saw I hadn’t got the joke.
“You once broke the world, and now you feel you need to tell me everything?”
“We can’t do what we have to do, unless you’re brought up to speed” The old man had scarcely touched his drink, and his eyes were now focused on me.
Before my question was answered I felt a hand on my shoulder. A delicate, and intricately tattooed hand, with lime-green fingernails.
I looked up its owner. She was stunning; piercing green eyes, spiked black hair and a ring through her lip. She leaned down and spoke gently into my ear.
“We need your help?”