Today’s a whirlwind of activity for me – you may or may not have noticed that I’m, oh, three hours late with the blog post, so if you’ve been inconvenienced let me heartily apologise – and I must dash now, too. The wind is howling outside, I feel like I’m wearing ice-block socks and I am in dire (dire!) need of a cup of coffee.
So, without further ado, I present today’s Flash! Friday entry. This week, contestants were asked to include a telephone call as part of the story, and the prompt image follows (apologies for the poor quality – but you can always visit Flash! Friday’s blog if you’d like to see it more clearly. Nudge nudge, wink wink, why don’t you enter a story this week? Anyway):
‘Jen? Pete. Look, uh –‘
‘Pete? It’s four a.m.! Couldn’t this have waited?’
‘Nah. Listen. Jen, I found our boy.’
‘Chrissakes, Jen! Arlon! I swear it’s him.’
‘I’m – I can’t be hearing this. Arlon? The chronofugitive? The murderer?’
‘Nothin’ wrong with this telephone line. Arlon Nash, big as life.’
‘But – when? He’s been in the vortex so long –‘
‘Got careless, I guess. All I know is, I’m lookin’ at an image, 1920, 21, and it’s him. Laughin’, standin’ near a car wreck. Jen, he’s smirkin’ like he knows somethin’ we don’t.’
‘Pete. Listen, I’m coming over.’
‘God. If we found him, after all these years?’
‘Don’t get your hopes up. And don’t Slip without me, okay?’
Pete hung up and stepped straight into the Slip, leaving the photograph on his screen.
Jen arrived within minutes. The first thing she saw was Pete’s broken face behind the wheel of the car. Arlon was long, long gone.
I really enjoyed writing this story; I loved the apparent mismatch between the prompt image and the prompt element of the telephone call. However, one thing that writing this story taught me is this: titles are important. I apologise for the title of this one. I went through several options, including ‘Timehunters’, ‘Chronokiller’ and ‘Justice, Overdue,’ and – in a fit of desperation – settled on the one you see above. It’s not great, I know. But it’s what you got. Sometimes life is cruel like that.
Happy reading, and happy writing! Why don’t you get involved in a writing challenge, enter a competition, or even just create something that only you will see? It’s the best way I know to put those grey cells to work. Speed-the-pen.
Have a great weekend, everyone.