Flash Club February Flash Club 2021

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Barbara

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Nov 10, 2017
Location
Cambridgeshire
Happy February everyone

This month's Flash Club is now open.

To participate, use the writing prompt as well as the word limit given to write a piece of flash fiction, then post below to make your entry. Please make your entry anonymous by clicking the anonymous button, but if you forget, don't worry, that's okay too. (Note: Guardians can see who posts.) So take a risk and try something new.

To make the Flash Club the special place it is, we need your votes. You can vote by clicking 'like' or 'love'. If a piece grabs you, please hit the 'like' button. If a piece sweeps you off your seat, please hit 'love'. At the end of the month, I will count up the votes. In a tie, 'Love' will trump 'like'. The entry with the most votes will be the winner. Please don't vote for your own. The Flash Club isn't about about winning. It's about trying something new. It's about grabbing readers with words, and gaging the response. Self-votes don't show if the writing works for the reader.

The most generous voter will get a mention. At the end of the month I will announce the most supportive Flash Voter who will get a special shout-out. The prize? Kudos. And please don't just hit every entry to ensure a win. That's not helping the author. The voting is designed to help writers gage the effects of their work.

And please keep to the word count. Writing to a specific brief is good practice. I'll be strict be strict
:face-with-monocle:

when it comes to word count. Those entries which go over the set limit won't be in the running for the top spot. They will be left up, but they can't win. You don't have to use up the full limit. If you want to say something in only 10 words, that's perfectly fine.

The competition is open to all members. Feel free to enter more than one. The main rule here: we ask you not to critique.

This month's wordcount is: 300

Here is this your prompt:

The moment she opened the gift, she knew this was going to be an interesting Valentine's day. Inside the box, tied with a red, silk ribbon, was the very first present she had given him.
 
The moment I opened the gift, I knew this was going to be an interesting Valentine's day. Inside the box, tied with a red, silk ribbon, was the very first present I had given him—a ‘Living Planet’.

I bought it in a lesser-gods flee market from a down-on-his-luck trickster. It did not exist yet — not a concern for an intemporal god — but that was our first Valentine’s Day.

He was so happy.

It didn’t take long — or was it forever? — for a little molten ellipsoid to begin churning.

Then the first hurdle; creating life.

I worried as his mercurial personality manifested violently with each failure to achieve abiogenesis.

(Maybe I should confess that I sprinkled starter culture on it?)

As soon as life was going, he decided to oxygenate and freeze the whole thing; giddy about resetting evolution; creating ever so strange little creatures.

Life kept becoming more abundant and absurd. I thought it was work without objective … as our relationship. But to simply enjoy the process was not in his temper. He would get bored and turn on the heat, or create plagues, earthquakes, or throw a pebble at it.

Then something unexpected came from one of his genocidal moods—talking simians capable of worshipping us. It was so unexpected and fun, yet he became even more controlling and demanding.

I lost him for Eras …

The thing smells now, full of lights and plastic, and there are worshippers of everything and nothing everywhere.

“Why is he gifting it to me now? Is this a metaphor for our relationship?” I ask to no one.

“Perhaps,” he speaks, startling me, “but I hope not. Maybe we can fix it and create unbound love together?”

“No,” I reply despondent. “It’s over.”

I crush the planet as my heart breaks.
 
Through the slim gap in the door, I watch her open the box and peer inside. Her excited face turns to confusion. She pulls off the ribbon and holds up her gift. A shiny 9mm bullet in her hand.

That was the first gift she gave me twelve months ago. She said our relationship was over. She didn't want me. She also didn't want anyone else to have me.

So she put a bullet through my chest.

Then she walked away, leaving me for dead, only turning around once to put a final bullet in my back.

Somehow, I survived.

I've returned her gift today. 2 bullets.

One in the box. The other in the chamber of the gun in my hand.

I walk in through the door. Lift the gun to her head.

Happy Valentine's Day Bitch!
 
The moment she opened the gift, she knew this was going to be an interesting Valentine's day. Inside the box, tied with a red, silk ribbon, was the porcelain mask she had given Tracy.

When she originally gifted it, five months ago, weight lifted off her shoulders. The mask represented everything that had happened between them. Like that fateful encounter in a haunted house, back in Vero’s pickpocketing days.

Haunted houses were the ideal hunting ground, but she didn't know she was about to steal from Tracy, her first high school girlfriend. She didn’t recognise her, so Vero used her usual trick, feigning fear in order to cling to the backpack in front of her, undoing the bag's zip while cheap background music muted the sound.

Vero pulled out her phone and her wallet, before grabbing a porcelain mask off the wall, and vanished through a staff door.

She hadn’t expected to see her again. But that night, when she went out for a drink, Tracy ran up to her and asked if she remembered her. She saw her backpack, and her reaction almost gave it away. They hooked up that night, and guilt to turn into love. Weeks later she bought Tracy a phone with the money she had taken from her wallet, and got rid of everything else, except the porcelain mask.

Five months ago, she gave Tracy the mask.

She wanted her to recognise it, but the recognition came much later, when Tracy was binge-watching pick-pocketing videos on YouTube, and found the security footage of the haunted house.

Vero put down the mask and looked around the house, letting out a shaky breath. Tracy had gutted her drawers and cabinets, taking with her everything Vero had stolen back in her pickpocketing days.
 
The moment she opened the gift, she knew this was going to be an interesting Valentine's day. Inside the box, tied with a red, silk ribbon, was the very first present she had given him.

She tried to live her life in the moment now and not dwell on past mistakes, after all what's done is done. However, occasionally some errors in judgement can change the future forever.

Daily she'd questioned why she'd bought him that stupid moustache! It was meant as a silly joke between the new love birds, nothing more. How was she to know what it would unleash upon her, the country and eventually the whole world.

For years she'd put up with the abuse, the propaganda but enough was enough. Sure, the financial rewards were an advantage but ultimately not worth the pain and embarrassment. It was time to start a new life. A life where she was free, where neighbours didn't cross the road to avoid her and where no one knew…

For a year now, after a new face, new identity and even moving to a new continent, life had been wonderful. A new relationship, with a 'normal' chap was going well and she'd even, after some intensive counselling, started watching the television again.

Yet, on Valentine's Day morn, as she held the red ribbon in her shaking hand, the moustache swayed ominously in front of her. Strangely, it wasn't a sense of fear, more the intrigue that he'd been able to find her. She knew he'd come to the house. With all she was, she hoped he may've finally accepted the impact of his actions and changed. Maybe, there could even be a reconciliation.

The overly cheery knocking at the door, took her breath away. With foreboding she slowly opened the door, and there he was. Sporting a new, even more stupid moustache for all to see.

'Hello Wynne', she muttered.

'Go compare. Go compare!'

Shaking her head, she closed the door.
 
A Moment's Inspiration

The moment I opened the gift, I knew this was going to be an interesting Valentine's day.

Inside the box, tied with a red silk ribbon, was the very first present I had given Mark on that same day thirty years earlier. My cherished battered old copy of The Hobbit.

Back then he'd looked blankly at it and laughed.

“Are you trying to educate me with fairy stories?”

“No, I just thought you might enjoy it. It's my absolute favourite.”

We hadn’t been going out long, but the book was precious to me, and rather than buy him some meaningless trinket, I wanted my first Valentine’s present to him to be extra special.

A few weeks later, we were out for a meal.

“By the way, I read that fairy story. Not bad,” he said.

“Glad you enjoyed it.”

“Yeah, I’ve bought the follow up. The Lord of the Rings.”

“That’ll keep you out of mischief for a while.”

“It’s even better than The Hobbit, you should read it.”

“I have, but it’s too long-winded for me. All those battles dragging on and on,” I said.

“Nah, they’re the best bits. I love it all,” he said.

~ ~ ~

A noise made me look up. He stood there by the lounge door, suited and booted looking better than ever. He’d worn those thirty years well.

“Come on, taxi’s outside,” he said.

Chiswick to Leicester Square took fifteen minutes. Hundreds of fans were already queuing for the premiere of Midisphere, the second book in Mark's blockbusting fantasy series. Tears threatened to ruin my makeup as we struggled through the crowd.

“Thanks for my Valentine’s present, today,” I said.

He squeezed my hand.

“No, thanks for yours. I could never have done all this without your inspiration.”
 
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