The Wendigo’s flash fiction challenge… and my response.

Well, so, over at Terribleminds Chuck Wendig has set the formidable task of pressing shuffle on our iPods and writing a 500 word flash to the first tune that peeps its eyes up at us from the screen. Now having been to uni and committed workshop crimes, I am no stranger to this sort of exercise. I even utilised such a thing recently(ish) for a story I guested with over at Colin Barnes blog.

Having said that, knowing the tripe I have on my iPod I admit to being rather terrified of what it might regurgitate. Fortunately for me it was rather kind and I was rewarded with a perfectly delightful and inoffensive track by Iron Maiden (hence the rather dashing photo of Eddie). So here goes…

My track: Prowler

My story:

The Pied Piper

Night. The faint drip of water from a broken drainpipe. A distant squeal of brakes. The banshee wail of sirens. He wraps sound about himself as much as darkness, whispers across the pavement on soundless feet.

Passes a row of tattered stores, candy colours of neon signs like fresh cuts on tired flesh. A door opens, disgorges a shaded figure into the cold. Another follows on its heels, slams the door to the wall, smashes silence like a storefront window.

‘Yo, Prince, you fuck, you pussy. I got serious money restin’ on this. You wanna jerk me now, boy, I’ma turn you inside out, drop your remains off for your mother to cry on. You hear me?’

‘Chill, Hex, I got your poison man, I got it. I’m just askin’ for more time…’

He lifts a hand as he waltzes past surrounded in sounds and shadows, draws night through his fingers like silken ink, sensual across his palm. Grips. Tugs. The ink becomes sharp. Ebony blades. Night turns ugly.

‘Word on the street is you full of bullshit, you lost Big Dee a cool hundred thou. I’m thinking you a bad investment.’

‘Man, now I said I was good. You don’t gotta do that, man. Please…’

Muted sounds of a scuffle. A high-pitched whine followed by the viscous slap of blood on filthy concrete. The sigh as it waterfalls to the road, to the drains. Somewhere down there in dank gloom and shit-coloured waters, rats twitch, scent the rich odour, swarm to feed.

He smiles, a glimmer of incisors in the neon. Soft shuffles past, his own dance with the shadows. Puddles are partners to twirl around, swift as a blade spun through fingers. Down the cracked concrete of the sidewalk he pirouettes, hangs a right, turns down the broken, garbage-strewn restriction of an alley.

Windows slam open above as if his passing is a breeze to move them. Menace rises like garbage stink. Then a voice speaks, low in warning, gilded with fear.

‘Don’t you do it, Carson. If you hit me again I’ll kill you, so help me. A woman only got so much patience.’

Feral pupils gleam in the soft glow from lighted windows. The hand moves again. This time a cat’s cradle of darkness between splayed fingers. Intricate. Ominous. Strange lights pulse its centre.

‘Carson. I am warning you. Don’t…’

Her voice trails like fragments of net in the wind as the unmistakable dense crack of flesh on flesh rings out. The scream that follows is pure rage. Red. Blistering. Limitless. Footsteps tap on vinyl. Then comes the scrape of wood on wood, a man’s low yell of surprise. Thock Thock. And more screaming erupts. Broken. Hysterical. Pain through and through.

‘Oh baby, baby, wake up, momma was aiming for daddy… baby, wake up… oh jesus… my baby.’

And the pied piper of ruin dances onward to his own tune, light footed and merry, leaving human wreckage in his wake, a feast for dark-furred gods.

©  Ren Warom 2012

 

Don’t really know if I like it, perhaps a little obvious, a little too prowlerish. But if I’d worked with the lyrics rather than just the general idea of a title then… well… Hades alone knows what horrors (not the good kind) might have emerged from my wobbly gray stuff.

Anyhoo, read, hopefully enjoy, and if the mood takes you then by all means do thrust your opinion my way with a bit of commentage. It’s be much appreciated.

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5 thoughts on “The Wendigo’s flash fiction challenge… and my response.

  1. Very interesting, Ren. I’m a big Iron Maiden fan, so you hooked me with the album photo. I was listening to a bunch of their cds yesterday as I was catchin up on blogging. I saw the Powerslave Tour back in the day when they came to Fresno, Ca. with Twisted Sister…
    As for the story, I read too fast, so I had to go back and re-read it for details. I like it. Very fresh and imaginitive. Thanks for sharing.

    -Jimmy

    1. Thanks for popping in, Jimmy 🙂

      I’ve seen the Maiden a few times myself, love ’em live. Love the music. Not sure about the flash but it’s always interesting to try these experiments and see what emerges and we should always have the courage to chuck it out there and see what others think. Have to admit, I find flash real hard the longer it gets. I deal better with 100 words than 500 or a 1000. Something I need to work on I believe 🙂

  2. Shame I ain’t got an ipod, or any kinda pod for that matter 🙂

    Excellent slice of night story, Ren. I likes it. I like the ending, the mistake, the child, chilling.

    1. Just whack itunes on your comp, or windows media player, both have shuffle options 😛 Or you could go to your music collection, close your eyes and point – the manual version of shuffle!

      Yeah, I like the second pied piper intervention better than the first. Needs work but what the hey. All in fun and I had a blast writing it. With a little re-working it can go into my twisted fairy tale folder, after all, the Pied Piper of Hamlin was a scary arse story, really creepy. He’s a great character to work with.

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