Friday, August 26, 2011

Fiction Friday: Three Gifts, Part 1

My first-round entry into the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Competition. I was given a genre, a location, and an object to incorporate into a 1,000 word fiction piece. My prompts - horror, a jewelry store, & popcorn. Here's what I came up with!

Tammy Weller was blessed with beauty as well as a blind ignorance to the feelings of other people. She was the subject of many high school fantasies and she knew it. Even seniors wanted to be around her. The world was her oyster and she ruled the halls with the devilish power of a Roman emperor.

“God, this is disgusting!” Tammy spat at the Mexican lunch lady who’d just served a healthy glop of goulash onto her tray. “It looks like you vomited into a bowl and added peas!” Students giggled as the stout woman looked away, piqued. Tammy pounced.

“Oh please,” she laughed. “You’re a lunch lady, not Wolfgang fucking Puck!” More laughs fed a sense of triumph as Tammy swept up her tray and walked into the cafeteria, wondering which table she would grace with her presence.

Partners were assigned for the Global Studies project in 8th period. Tammy looked at the posted list and cried, “Noooo!” As if she’d just been asked to cut off her precious blonde hair. She was paired with Matilda Varney, the class weirdo.

Tammy took charge. “I’m not going to your fucking freak show house. We’re working at Starbucks.” But when they got there, the shop’s pipes had burst and they were closed.

“My family’s jewelry store is around the corner,” Matilda offered, brushing her greasy black hair aside with one finger. “We can work in the back.”

“Whatever,” Tammy sighed. “Let’s just go before anyone sees us together.”

Photo / Creative Commons / bondidwhat
The jewelry store was dark and musty and filled with creepy, clunky necklaces and rings made out of glass eyes. “It’s a goth motif,” Matilda explained.

“Yeah, no shit,” Tammy tossed over her shoulder as she peered at the section of spider charms. Next to a basket of sage, she spotted a framed article from a style magazine next to a black tree branch dripping with delicate silver necklaces. She perked.

“Paris Hilton wears this stuff?”

“They’re her favorite,” Matilda nodded as she crept up behind her. “I made them myself.”

“That’s hot,” Tammy quoted. She inspected them closer – glass disks containing strands of what looked like human hair twisted into wild contortions. Matilda reached up and took one down with a wispy red strand of hair.

“Here, have one,” she offered, eyes fixed on Tammy’s. Tammy looked away to the necklace, grabbing it from Matilda’s fingers and fastening it around her neck. “Awesome,” she said, admiring her gorgeous form in the mirror. “Alright, let’s get this assignment done before True Blood is on.” She didn’t say thank you.

The next day at school, Tammy wore her new necklace as she strolled toward her posse. “Let’s do the popcorn stand at homecoming this year,” she commanded. “We can skim off the top to buy beer.”

Her redheaded friend Brooke protested. “We did the popcorn stand last year and we barely got to see the game. What about tickets?”

Tammy slammed her locker. “Ticket booth is lame. We’re doing popcorn. If you don’t like it, you can just eat dirt.”

Brooke’s books slipped from her arms as she walked toward the exit. Tammy guffawed, “What the fuck?”

Photo / Creative Commons / Micah Taylor
From the window of Biology class, everyone could see Brooke on her hands and knees in the front lawn, scooping up handfuls of dirt from the flower bed around the flag pole and shoving them into her mouth. Students laughed, then shouted in confusion and panic as it went on. Teachers ran out to pull her away, but she wouldn’t stop, kicking and punching them until she could go back to her insane activity. Filled up, she gasped her last breath and flopped to the ground, face planted in the dirt.

Click here to read Three Gifts, Part 2

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