Saturday, January 12, 2013

Flash Fiction Challenge The Second: Wendig's Wheel Strikes Again

Okay, so I totally didn't think I had time or energy or creative juice left to enter this again so swiftly on the heals of the first Wendig challenge that I participated in, but I rolled and inspiration struck. Here's what I landed...

Subgenre #4 Bad Girls In Prison

Conflict #3 Someone’s been poisoned

Feature #4 A bottle of rare whiskey

I think I should get a bonus for getting this done at 410 words.

Dear internets, I bring you...

Get In There With The Other Bad Girls

“You know what we do with bad girls, Penelope?” Brad said, wagging his fat, paternal finger in the first grader’s face.

Penelope pouted. She didn’t want to go into the prison again.

“I won’t go,” she said, stamping a foot.

“Do you want me to make you?”

Penelope stared up into Brad’s glowering face. His bushy left eyebrow looked like a startled tumbleweed amid the stress-hewn creases on his forehead. The right eyebrow’s conspicuous absence was baldly accusatory; Penelope had recently shaved it off while Brad slept.

Brad was Penelope’s father, but one day she woke up and just felt like he needed a different name, something other than Dad, Daddy, Pop or Pa. It didn’t matter to her that his real first name was Walter. She wanted to call him Brad and Penelope always did what she wanted, unless she thought she might get caught, or yelled at, or put in prison with the other bad girls.

The other bad girls stared blankly through the bars of their prison, which was actually a vintage aviary. Penelope’s dolls sat in various states of physical distress. Limbs missing, hair shorn, some of them carried the burden of improvised thumb screws pushed through their hands. Others had rectangular strips of cardboard taped to each ankle intended to represent hobbling, though she was uncertain if she had the idea right.

Penelope’s eyes felt dry and she knew soon she would blink, which meant that she was going to lose the contest of wills with Dad/Brad/Walter.

“Okay, fine. I’ll go. But I am telling you, I did not mean to poison the cat.”

“Penelope! What did we say about lying?”

Penelope sighed. She really didn’t mean to poison the cat. All she did was give it some people food, it wasn’t her fault the thing died, but there was no way that Brad was going to believe her, so her only option was to go along with his heifer-poop.

“No lying,” Penelope said.

“That’s right. Now get in there and I want you to think long and hard about what you did and why you shouldn’t do it again.”

“Fine,” Penelope said.

Brad scratched the bald eyebrow patch as he ushered her into the aviary then closed and locked the door behind her. She stared at him as he walked away.

Everything was going be fine. The other bad girls were with her, and they were hiding a nice bottle of Midleton Irish whiskey.

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