Last year I entered ‘Thomas’ into the 2015 Flash Fiction Contest hosted by Spider Road Press. The piece won an honorable mention and will be printed later this year from the amazing Spider Road Press. They’ve also published my poems ‘Darkness’ and ‘Snowfall’ (the latter under the pen name Elizabeth Harris) in the collection ‘IN THE QUESTIONS’. Not only do they publish exceptional works in many forms, but a portion of their proceeds go to charity. I hight recommend checking them out because they only publish the best.
This year I had two pieces of flash fiction that I’d prepared for their contest-you can find out more about the details for submitting your own work by clicking here for the requirements. After much consideration by myself, other writers, and friends one piece was better than the other. While I’ve been told that both pieces are great, and I believe they are, one is more likely to get me that first place prize. Thus I had a piece that might never see the light of day…thankfully I have a blog.
‘The Girl Who Walked In The Dark’ consists of 745 words. It is not only intended to send a message about women and their role in society, but to reflect a moment in time and all the thoughts one might be thinking in a particular situation. It does contain some ‘adult’ language, and violence, but it isn’t graphic thus I’ve deemed this particular piece a PG-13 rating. Therefore I must ask that you proceed with caution, and understand that it is only fiction after all.
Enjoy-and keep your fingers crossed that my other flash fiction piece is a winner.
The Girl Who Walked In The Dark
I’m not the kind of girl you mess with.
I’m Lisbeth Salander, Arya Stark, and Michonne all in one. Sure you’ll try to break me; maybe you’ll even think you won. Better men have tried, and failed. I’ll wait for my moment, the briefest instant when you have your guard down; that moment will be mine.
You’ll go to your local coffee shop, ask my accomplice: the preppy, twenty-something, blonde barista for the usual. Your eyes will glide across her body, leaving a layer of slime in their wake. Daybreak will blind you on your way out. You’ll take a sip of your double caramel espresso latte. It won’t hit you at first, the stale aftertaste that lingers on your tongue. Instead of requesting it to be remade, you’ll head to your car. Don’t want to be late to work. By the time you reach the car door, your vision is blurry. You’ll dig in your pocket, but you’ll drop the keys when your balance is off.
A small, fair-skinned hand will pick them up for you.
“Thanks,” you’ll say.
“Remember me?” I’ll respond.
Trying to recall the face in front of you. It doesn’t matter though, because I’ll break your nose with my elbow before you can complete a coherent thought.
I’ll drag you to the back of your car, toss you in your own trunk, and silently thank you for the new car. Bands of sunlight shine on the blistering black asphalt, they’ll absorb your poisoned coffee.
You’ll wake up in the warehouse district.
You’ll run the gambit of human emotion thinking you’re alone, but I’ll sit in a dark corner giggling to myself, because no one can hear you over the sounds of downtown.
It will only take a few hours.
For you, it will seem lifetimes of agony.
For me, not nearly long enough.
In reality, military style boots, a skull t-shirt, and skinny jeans don’t make me tough. Besides I’m closer to Elinor Dashwood, Hermonie Granger, or Sansa Stark.
My favorite color is pink, my phone is filled with pictures of unicorns, and if adult women were allowed to wear a tutu to go grocery shopping, I would.
I scream when I see a spider. And I’ll make my boyfriend kill it.
“Real tough, babe,” he’ll chuckle. “Thought you were a badass, but you can’t step on a bug with those big ole boots.”
On a hot, sticky, Texas summer night I’ll acknowledge the truth about myself: I’m a girl living in modern American society, not a comic book hero. All of this is going through my head when my guy friend says; “I’ll walk you to your car.”
Half of me wants to scoff and retort. “I’ll kill any asshole that tries to mess with me. Besides we’re in Bellaire, who’s going to attack me? A middle-aged, affluent engineer?”
But then I’ll notice how quite the parking lot is, and that the light above my car is flickering, so I’ll say nothing. Not that the two of us stand a chance against a drunk looking for a fight. What would our weapons be? Our eye glasses? His iPad? My unfiltered wit?
I won’t confess any of the above to my guy friend in the parking lot. That I’m both a vicious warrior and a princess locked in a tower. Then again, we did just have a beer while discussing the finer art of knitting, so I’m pretty sure he knows.
He’ll wait until I start my car, and send a quick text to my boyfriend that I’m on my way home. After all I’m a girl, driving home after midnight. Have to let everyone know where I am, because an urban landscape with no daylight is a scary place for a woman.
It wouldn’t have to be that way if I were as fierce as I believed myself to be, or if rapists and murderers found a new hobby.
Until then I’ll strive to keep the fire alive inside of me. I’ll be my own version of awesome literary heroine.
I’ll be “The Girl Who Walked in the Dark”; the one who will tear you limb from limb with her bare hands.
But, the other part of me will still keep the child-like wonder within.
I’ll be “The Girl Who Wished Mermaids Were Real”; the one obsessed with videos of kittens playing with a ball of yarn.