Welcome back for another round up of my entries for the last seven days of Flash Fiction. This week saw the Chris And Mike stories bust out of their trilogy, brought a kitten to a gladiator fight (twice) and saw me struggle once again with the Angry Hourglass prompt and not post a story.
The juggernaut of fiction that is the ‘Chris And Mike vs’ stories just keep coming. It started as a one off joke before becoming a trilogy and finally, thanks to some wonderful comments, become a full blown saga.
This is my favourite entry yet.
CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE SPINNING BIRD KICK
“Sweet moves,” said Chris, admiring the ballerina’s angelic movements.
“It’s all programmed,” said Mike.
“I can still admire it.”
Mike sighed and contemplated this new business venture. “Let’s just deactivate her and collect our fee.”
“Fair enough,” said Chris. “The owner said the panel’s between the shoulder blades.” He handed Mike a screwdriver.
Mike started towards the ballerina droid when she twirled around and kicked a leg out, catching him in the face. Mike tasted blood and, as his friend charged past him like a Valkyrie, he caught sight of something descending in the bright blue waters of the swimming pool that looked a lot like a tooth.
This week the prompt was a picture of a kitten. We had to include a gladiator as a character.
Despite my initial reaction to the prompt (it was WTF!) it didn’t take me long to get my first idea. Due to the ‘character’ prompt from a few weeks earlier (writers block), I wanted to avoid the obvious choice to ancient Rome, Gladiators and the Colosseum. Instead, my first idea leaned more towards the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Running Man.
However, with the first under the belt, I went with another idea that was creeping around the edge of my imagination. It took a few drafts, dropping a few characters and changing the POV but it’s my favourite of the pair and includes a piece of accidental research. Enjoy.
Ignoring the pain, I tear the F.R.Y. collar from around my neck and feel the soft embrace of freedom. I have missed it.
The audience cheer as they realise in unison that they are about to witness the show’s greatest episode.
The arena’s alarm kicks in, blanketing everything in red and screeching like a chicken being raped. Security guards flood through the exits. Their mistake is thinking I want to escape. But I cannot be free while one man still breathes. Tonight I have a date with Marcus Denton; my warden, my torturer, my nemesis.
Security continues to try and put me down as I make my way level by level towards Marcus’s office which overlooks the arena. The fools are no match for me. I am a man broken and reforged in combat, all for the world’s entertainment. They are nothing more than ragdolls.
I reach the office with only superficial wounds and a flaring temper. Behind his desk, Marcus sits cool as a cucumber. He holds up a remote control and presses the button.
Images of kittens fill every screen on his office wall. My anger rapidly subsides and I sit down on the office floor feeling nothing but happiness.
I close my eyes and sleep.
IT’S WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE
“I’ll be a laughing stock,” said the Pit Master.
“You’ll be rich,” I assured him.
“How did I let you talk me into this side show?”
We looked across to the centre of the dusty arena where a single gladiator sized up his opponent; a fluffy kitten. The gladiator wore a bronze mask and held his trident aimed down at the animal.
The kitten meowed.
“The Caesar will hang my head from the city walls,” said the Pit Master.
The gladiator circled the kitten, thrusting his trident in jest as the crowd laughed.
“You’ve heard of Carpophores?” I said.
“A fearsome gladiator, famed for fighting beast instead of man. I once heard he took down a rhinoceros with just a spear.”
“Fascinating,” said the Pit Master.
“After he died he was punished for his crimes against the animal kingdom. Would you like to know what the Gods decided to do with him?”
The Pit Master shrugged.
“They reincarnated him as the cutest, most harmless animal to walk the land.”
As if on cue, the kitten leapt onto the trident, ran up the gladiators arm and slashed his throat wide open. The crowd fell silent.
I leant closer to the Pit Master. “Like I said, you’ll be rich.”