I know a double post on a Friday is not usual for me however I couldn’t get it together to finish this up yesterday and if I wait and post it tomorrow, I’ll miss the deadline. LOL
Dan Alattore , fellow writer and fountain of writing advice (seriously people I bookmark at least half his posts for future reference), puts out a weekly Flash Fiction Challenge. Two weeks ago I said I would participate in a 1000 word random number generator/random plot generator chosen bit of flash. I got Adventure and writing an obituary. Sadly that was the week my hubby was on call and I just never got it done. Eh, being honest, I never even got it started. But my goal for this year it to do a flash a month and January is only going to get crazier so it was on for this week.
This time the word limit was 500. A character generator gave a description, I got : a courageous 39 year-old woman, who comes from a wealthy background, lives in a fisherman’s cottage and tends to be a bit forgetful. And a number generator gave an emotion (more or less, let’s not get technical). I got guilt.
So in my infinite wisdom I said I would merge the two challenges into an adventure tale with a courageous 39 year-old woman, who comes from a wealthy background, lives in a fisherman’s cottage and tends to be a bit forgetful, who feels guilty, in the adventure genre, and is writing an obituary.
Slaps own head. I wasn’t thinking. I’m not sure it worked at all but this is what happened…
“Causing death and destruction at every turn of her life, death has lately come to the 39 year old daughter of Roland Grantham, the billionaire bio-tech entrepreneur. If ever one deserved to die penniless and alone in a smelly fisherman’s cottage, this woman does.”
Damn, I couldn’t use present tense in an obituary, even if I was writing my own. I crossed the room to box of random garbage I brought with me when I came, god knows why I thought I would use anything in here. I suppose I had been right in just this one instance as I dug for a liquid correction pen. I gave the pen a quick shake and in one smooth swipe I erased the word does and replaced it with did.
But the error broke the flow, and I had to take a moment to regroup and think about what should really be said. I removed my hand from where it had subconsciously traveled to cover my mouth so I could take a long sip of tea with honey. There was little comfort to be had these days, but tea with honey warmed my bones. Why I was bothering to warm them when they would soon be eternally cold I didn’t know.
Time was growing short, how much I had I was uncertain but I needed to finish this obit. It took effort to force myself to stop delaying, but I put pen back to paper.
“At the end of the world on the Cornwall coast, Sonia Grantham faced the horror of what she had done at the behest of her father and in the chase of the almighty Euro. It was her research, her medical trials, her dangerous and deadly work that has brought the world to the brink of destruction.”
I was such a liar, even on the precipice of death. Brink of destruction my ass. The world was beyond destruction. It was a hopeless case or I would never have abandoned my search for a cure. And we needed a cure. I was just not as bright as I thought.
“Sonia Grantham deserves to die the gruesome painful death she has caused others but as a coward she takes the easy way out.”
Damn, I’d used present tense again. My eyes flitted to the correction pen. Instead I chose tea. I couldn’t really be bothered. What was the chance that whatever found it would read the Queens English anyway? I drained my cup, rinsed it and placed it on the drying rack next to the sink. Using a large decorative safety pin that used to hold my wool pashmina closed back in the days of Bergdorfs, I attached the letter to the front of my shirt.
I picked up the 38 special my father had bought me when things began to go pear shaped and loaded one single bullet into the chamber round. I gave it a little spin into alignment and placed the barrel under my chin.