Saturday, November 13, 2010

Short Fiction Friday: "Eight Minutes," Part 1

Short Fiction Friday is becoming a theme of convenience, because more and more often I've actually been going out on Friday nights (a problem I did not have the first time I committed to this blog.) Tonight after work I played Guitar Hero with a handful of friends, and then I went out to a post-apocalyptic rave. Yeah, all 1994 and everything. I donned my glowsticks and proceeded to flail delightedly to the O Fortuna techno mix, just as though I hadn't been first too young and then too lame to enjoy the 90s the first time around. The point is I don't really have the energy to update, so I'm going to give you a chunk of a story I once turned in for a creative writing class. If you want to hear more of it, comment here and I'll see about serializing it in coming Fridays.

Eight Minutes

"I thought you might want to know that the world's going to end at approximately noon tomorrow."

"What?" I had been just on the edge of sleep, and I was not at all convinced that the voice I was hearing was real. I hadn't been sleeping well lately. Zillah had moved out last month, and I was still adjusting to sleeping without the comforting warmth of her hip cupped in my palm. Then came the twins' car accident and the test results and lately the best I could hope for was a few snatches of true REM sleep as I drifted in and out of nightmares. I rolled over and fumbled for my glasses, sure I had put them right beside me before drifting off. Apparently not. My hand hit the glass of water on the night table. It fell to the floor and shattered. "SHIT. Shit shit shit." I was as good as blind without the glasses and there was no way I was going to make it to the light switch without cutting my feet up.

"Here, let me get that for you." Someone spoke out of the darkness, and I heard footsteps cross the room. The light snapped on and I winced. I can barely see my hand in front of my face without my glasses on. Across the room, I could only make out a smeary blur of features and what I thought might be dark hair.

"Zillah? That you, baby?" It was farfetched— Zillah had thrown the mate of the water glass now in pieces on the floor at my head on her way out, and when Zillah got mad enough to throw things she generally stayed mad for a good long time—but it wasn't impossible. I finally located the glasses under my pillow and put them on. The mottled blob at the foot of my bed coalesced into a woman, not Zillah. I had never seen her before in my life.

"What the fuck are you doing here, lady?" Oh God. Oh dammit. There was a can of pepper spray in my purse, but both she and the broken glass stood between me and the coathook in my closet where it hung. I grabbed one of the larger shards of glass on the floor and waved it at her in a way I prayed was menacing enough. "Stay away from me or I swear I'll stab you right in the eye with this thing. I mean it. Right in the damn eye."

The woman rolled her eyes. "I forgot how annoyingly paranoid you are. Put that thing down. I'm not going to hurt you."

“Yeah, sure you’re not. Who are you and what are you doing here? And where do you know me from?”

“Hey, hey. Calm down, hotshot. I promise, I mean you no personal harm. Look at me. I’m about as intimidating as a bowl of soup. And no weapons, see? Not even pockets. Now will you please put down the glass and let me explain?”

Posted by Silent Five @ 1:20 AM

Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

Standard Disclaimer

This is all in no way meant to incur copyright-infringement-related wrath. I'm harmless. I promise. Oh, and if you're offended by anything I may post herein, I guarantee I didn't mean to do so (unless, of course, you are a humorless prig. In which case, go right on and be offended, with my blessings.)