Flash Fiction - 'Exits'
As set by email to the members, 200 words or less, self-contained story on the theme of 'Exits'. Post your stories below!
Open the boot, switch off the lights and squeeze out the car.
Not in the lines, hmm.
Squeeze back in and park properly. Assemble trolley, haul out the books and trundle down before the madness of the morning run.
A brief sweep of the street and I smirk. In winter, I skid down this icy slope even in my walking boots. Autumn brought sweet chestnuts to spike my fingers. I remembered nearly running over a biker in the spring once during a three-point turn. We had the summer fayre along this street too, with the dodgy maypole that nearly snapped in half.
Don’t bother leaving before 4 pm, pure carnage with the traffic. Upon my return, I see the pigeon crap so helpfully splattered on the roof.
How does that bugger find my car no matter where I park?
Open the boot, it fills, looks like something from the Generation Game: flowers, chocolates and a cuddly toy. On the card they still can’t spell my name right.
“Oh, you must be so sad,” Mr Wilkins said as he locked the side gate. “You’re practically part of the furniture.”
I slammed the boot down.
“Not at all,” I replied. “Good riddance.”
‘Buy a new life for £300,00! Be reborn! You’ll be reversed to the age of 3 months and adopted by loving parents. But beware, we can’t say who or guarantee they’ll be rich.”
“Blimey”, said Anne, heart skittering with excitement and fear. “Drastic, eh?”
“Just imagine you’re born into a better life. Worth a risk?” The salesman simpered.
“Mmm…Why can’t I choose who adopts me?”
“That would be unethical.”
He waved his hands in the air. “This is progress.”
“Do you embrace it or need time to consider? But don’t be long - the offer only stands for 24 hours.”
She hated her life, it was tedious: three jobs, three oven gloves. When she died her gravestone would bear the epitaph ‘Eh well, at least she tried.”
No family were left to object. It was either this or a posh house in Cheshire.
She peered at the Terms and Conditions. The small print mentioned publicity. Her name, as she was the first ever Guinea pig of this weird enterprise, would be splashed all over the news. This was unthinkable. Her exit must be secret.
“I don’t think so”, she murmured, “My husband would know what I’d done.”
@helen-k It was intriguing and a unique idea based on the theme. It made me think about what it would be like to have an opportunity like that. The dialogue between the characters sounded very natural and you get the sense that the main character is struggling with things. Well done!
I enjoyed both of the above. Both were self contained, evocative stories that had all the detail they needed and allowed the reader to fill in the blanks, as well as ask awkward questions. I would gripe though that both were missing certain things: Alison's had minimal context, main character had clues, but was too 'everyman' for my taste. Helen's while with an awesome premise lacked the ring of truth - why would someone even consider untested hokum like this? 😀 Otherwise, both good. Will post mine soon. I got some more via email too, i might post on people's behalf until they sign in, because i think I can reattribute posts?
Thank you Sean. My character is mentally unstable, that's why she considered the thing on offer. Yes, very unbelievable though 🙂
We live like this, knowing there mightn’t be a tomorrow. The world a blur. Clarity in the moment of consumption, ensuring a supply for whatever time remains. What is time, except the shop being open or closed? Yet there is always somewhere open, so time must be irrelevant. Our feet always know the path that must be taken. Why must it? I don’t remember anything else. I wonder if they do. What else could there be? Should I find out?
I stumble out of the house. The world is a blur. Clarity in the form of an intimidating smile. I’m led to an empty seat, waiting just for me. I can’t hear their words, but see tears falling. Is our pain the same? I wake up in bed. I don’t know how I got here. My body’s shaking, yet the room is clear. What time is it? I don’t care. My feet find their way back to the empty chair. I feel a hand on my shoulder, look up to see a smile. ‘I want to help you.’ But it’s too late for that. The world is a blur. I wake up in a hospital bed to the friendly smile.
@becky Wow Becky, when you write something it is always thought provoking and I want to see more! At first, I thought this might be a resident at a care home that has confusion within their own mind. The concept of time for this character is very important - like time is running out. You repeat the world is a blur and compare clarity in different forms. I feel sorry for the character because they don't seem to know what is going on. That can be really scary, and even though they do wake up to a friendly smile, I'm still not reassured that is all well.