An interesting one this week. I spent a little while working on a story that had Chris and Mike finally confronting their nemesis in a library. The nemesis was using magic to explode bookshelves and the air was filled with paper snowflakes. With the end word being 'Generation', I'd even started to bend the story around the lyrics to the classic Who song.
And then I heard the sad news that Terry Pratchett had passed away. I'm not quite sure why but my first thought was to scrap my current draft and rewrite. In less than five minutes I had the version you can read below.
My ode to Britain's best loved author (if you don't read Discworld it might not make sense).
CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE LIBRARIAN
“Beat the Librarian?” said Mike.
“Yep,” said Chris.
“But he’s a monkey?”
“He’s an Orang-utan,” said Chris.
“Ook,” agreed the Librarian.
They were sat at the centre of the University’s Library, bathed in candle light, surrounded by towering, scroll filled bookshelves.
Mike looked across the table at his primate opponent who was busy eating peanuts.
“So,” he said. “I beat you and you let us leave with the spell book?”
“Ook,” said the Librarian.
“Seems fair,” said Chris.
“Then why don’t you play against him?”
“I’ve never learnt the game,” said Chris. “Figured you were more the board game generation.”
I loved the prompt for this week. As well as the photo of the White House, we also had to include the character of 'the girl next door'. I had a couple of ideas but ended up going with sad romance for the first and bat-shit crazy for the second.
On a side note, the second story is my 100th piece of Flash Fiction.
SUMMER OF ‘95
Jodie Jenkins. That was her name. She wasn’t the prettiest girl in the class except maybe on the inside. I wish I’d understood that better back then.
Her family moved in next door when I was five and we grew up on opposite sides of the same garden fence. We stayed friends despite the later years when we drifted a little (girls become girls and boys will be boys) but there was always that look, that nod, that smile that comes from growing up together.
It all changed in the summer of ’95 when we left Tommy Wainer’s party holding hands and kissing. That summer felt like a life time; I was on cloud nine and Jodie was my whole world.
Jodie forever. Jodie I love you.
Sometimes I wonder what I’d give up to see her again. My job? My house? My family? But I know I can’t, not in my position. Something like that would tarnish my reputation and reputation equals votes.
So I keep that summer with Jodie locked up deep inside where it will never change. Instead, all I can do is wonder; wonder how she’s doing, wonder what she’s like, wonder if she still thinks of me.
Jodie forever. Jodie I loved you.
Zoey was very open minded.
That’s why, when a loud noise and her natural curiosity put her in the back garden one evening, she just accepted the sight of a mansion that wasn’t there before dinner time. That’s also why she climbed her garden fence and ran towards the big house. And that’s why, when the front door of the mansion opened, she knew she wasn’t just looking in a mirror.
“Who are you?” said Zoey.
“I’m Zoey,” said Zoey.
Silence engulfed them both as the peculiar facts swirled around in the cold night-time air. Finally, Zoey at the top of the steps held her hand out to Zoey at the bottom of the steps. “Come with me if you want to live,” she said.
That’s when the ground began to shake. Without hesitation Zoey followed Zoey into the mansion.
“Oh,” said Zoey. “It’s smaller on the inside.”
“Well,” said Zoey, “there’s not much room left once you take the Transdimensional engines into account.” She pressed some buttons on a console and the structure began to vibrate.
Zoey felt her stomach lurch. “Where are we going?”