A couple years ago I took part in a flash fiction exchange. I have fond feelings for the shorts I wrote during that period and I’ve decided to post some of them. As I was telling my writing group recently, my current novel’s protagonist grew from this series of shorts.
I actually wanted to turn this into a filmed short at one point, with the first half done very b-movie parody, with cardboard sets.
The characters from the second half are the first introduction of Hamish and Chelsea in my writing. They’re relationship was drawn from my relationship with my brother and I found them quite easy to write. During the course of the fiction exchange these characters kept showing up and it grew into a series of shorts I eventually titled Manchester United.
Prompt: A picture of a lighting storm during a volcano eruption
Thunder Cracked and the Seas Roared…
“Really Margaret, thunder doesn’t crack,” He winces at the sound of a pencil shattering. “Lightning cracks, thunder roars”
“Oh I’d like to see you do better, Walter”
“Well, maybe if you hadn’t absolutely desperately needed to go on vacation, I wouldn’t need to try”
“I knew you thought this was my fault” Margaret turns away, curling around her journal and deflating slowly. “I didn’t mean for this to happen, Walter”
“I should bloody well hope not Margaret! We are trapped in this godforsaken hut, on this godforsaken island, next to a godforsaken volcano that has decided to explode during a thunderstorm!!” Walter flails his hands in the air. His legs, being crushed under numerous planks of wood from the now caved in ceiling are slowly oozing blood into the floorboards. Margaret looks at him piteously.
“Mother was right! I never should have married you Walter!” She starts sobbing harder into her dirty disheveled skirts. “You don’t love me anymore!” With a distinct caterwauling wail she collapses into herself, shaking.
“Oh Darling!” Suddenly struck by Margaret’s emotional vulnerability, Walter forgets his physical pain and limitations and drags himself over to her side, a small trail of blood stretching out behind him. “Don’t say that, you know I love you and only you.”
“Don’t lie to me! You were always planning on leaving me!” Despite her words, Margaret curls into Walter’s embrace and clings to him in despair. “Oh to die here, alone! I don’t think I can bare it!”
“You’re not alone Margaret. I am beside you” Walter hugs her close to his chest and looks at the wall stoically. “We shall die together!”
“Oh Margaret” Suddenly the sound of a chopper cuts in….
“Hey! What did you do that for? I was watching that!” Hamish spun to face his sister, looking at her accusingly.
“That stuff is garbage you know. It’s going to rot your brain”
“Yeah maybe, but I wanted to see the end of it.” Getting up he reaches for the controller.
“They get rescued by a helicopter and reuinited with George and Lily, where they all decide never to speak of the horrors of Mount Waillikeyawannadie again”
“…You know I fucking hate you right?” Hamish flopped back on the sofa and sighed. Suddenly thunder crashed and the lights flickered.
“Bad night..” Chelsea got up and peeked out the window, squinting her eyes to make sense of the darkness. “Weird that we’re getting a thunderstorm in the middle of July”
“I suppose we should be glad we don’t live next to an active volcano.” Hamish huffed, glaring at her back.
“I suppose so”
And then the lights went out.