Alright, I was conversing with another awesome author named Chris Mentzer on Facebook last night. Somehow we got onto the subject of the world ending and I remembered a little flash fiction piece I wrote a while back for a first line contest. Flash fiction is so fun to write because it’s just a little blip of creativity. One of my FAVORITE flash fiction authors is Joshua Scribner. Seriously. Check out that link and pick up some of his stories. You won’t be disappointed–especially if you like dark, weird fiction.
Flash fiction is a great way to get those little plot bunnies out of your head so you can focus on your big projects. Whenever I have an idea that doesn’t quite fit anywhere I write a flash fiction piece. Here is the one I wrote for the first line contest. (Remember, this was forever ago and I’m too tired to edit it right now, so it’s not really polished or anything. It just is. And that’s okay if you’re just trying to get an idea out of your head.)
It had been a long year. Cynthia and her husband Bill had gone through a lot since the New Year, and on December 31st, Cynthia was in her living room wondering what would be next, wondering if they‘d make it through December unscathed.
She hadn’t thought much about the twelve cats that visited her house daily back in January. Looking back, she’s sorry she ever fed them on New Year’s Day when they came to her backyard. After giving them what was left of the roast beef that was about to turn bad, they’d stayed the entire month. Every time animal control would show up the cats would scatter. Then the first day in February, they stopped coming.
February brought something else strange. There was an eleven-day heat wave. Living in Nebraska and having 100-degree weather in February was not only strange but also very uncomfortable. The hot weather ended with a February blizzard on Valentine’s Day.
Cynthia’s bad start to 2012 didn’t stop at the strange happenings of the first two months. She and her husband’s butcher business took a major hit after ten of their best clients went elsewhere for their meat. All the clients had said that they were just not happy with the product they were getting. Cynthia was confused by this because they only used the best cuts of beef. By the end of March, their business was close to being in the red.
Another financial hit came when a hailstorm did nine thousand dollars worth of damage to Cynthia and Bill’s home and vehicles. Unfortunately, the one bill they had forgotten to pay the month before was their insurance bill. And so, April proved to be another bad month. They’d thought that bad things were supposed to happen in threes, but they’d proven that wrong already.
May brought even more bad luck as the couple experienced an eight-car pile up as car number five. The other vehicles had suffered minor damage, but their brand new 2011 GMC Acadia had been totaled. At least the only injury was to their pocket books, which would be shelling out even more money on June 12th when seven of their home appliances just stopped working one day. The dishwasher, the washer and dryer, the stove, the refrigerator, the deep freeze and the microwave all had to be replaced.
The home was sound with brand new appliances in July, when six snakes had found their way in. Apparently, the person who installed the new dryer hadn’t hooked up the ventilation hose properly. Waking up to a snake wrapped around her leg was not Cynthia’s idea of a good Sunday morning.
Cynthia looked back on the phone call she’d received from her husband in August. He told her that they had lost $500,000 of their retirement funds on an investment deal. Retirement was pushed back, unless they could find a way to replace their funds. The money problems were also starting to put a strain on
Cynthia and Bill’s marriage, but they promised each other to push through the bad year they were having.
Their bond was made even stronger when the news of four small tumors found in Bill’s brain was broken to them in September. Cynthia promised to stay by his side during the impending operation and of course, the recovery. The hospital became their second home in the next month as three deaths occurred in the family. Hours of waiting and saying tearful good-byes made up the month of October.
November brought two separate house fires caused by two of the appliances they’d had to buy in June. They had bought the cheapest ones they could find to get them through, but apparently, they would end up paying even more for it in the end.
Thanks for reading! Hey! If you have some flash fiction laying around, let me know! I’d be glad to host it on my blog!
Here it was, December 31st, and nothing remotely horrible had happened to Cynthia and Bill all month. In fact, they’d gotten good news that the operation on Bill’s tumors was successful. Cynthia sat in the bay window of their home, looking out at the horizon. The mid afternoon sky was calm. That is, until a cloud resembling a mushroom rose out of the east and seemed to get closer and closer.
“We couldn’t be that lucky,” Cynthia said as Bill came to her side to see the rising cloud. They had stood by each other through the whole year, and now they would stand by each other for this too.