Saturday, November 21, 2015

Flash! Friday: In Here

by Michael Seese

It is with heavy heart that I write this. In this week's post, Rebekah announced that Flash! Friday would end this December. So this is the third-last entry. (As you can imagine, there were a lot of sad comments posted; but we all wish Rebekah the best.)

This week, our prompt was the Gabriel García Márquez work One Hundred Years of Solitude, which spans the colorful, tumultuous, convention-and-reality-defying generations of the Buendía family in their fantastic town of Macondo. (Full disclosure: never heard of it.)

The story elements were:

* Conflict: man v man (not gender specific)
* Character (choose at least one): a child born with a pig’s tail, a son returning from sailing around the world, a father who named all his sons after himself, twins fated to die at the same instant, a paranoid beauty contest winner, an iron-fisted matriarch, a man who figures out an ancient cypher, a musician, a mechanic, an author who wins a trip to Paris
* Theme (choose one): solitude, the inescapability of family, magical realism, language, time, fate
* Setting (choose one): an village cut off from the outside world, a banana plantation

And this picture.

I came up with the first and final lines pretty quickly, then had a good time filling in the gaps.

The result is "In Here."

Sometimes when the mists would clear, I’d stand at the border and peer over to the other side. It seemed so beautiful. And tantalizingly close, though in reality miles away from my tentative fingertips.

"I'd like to go out there sometime, Mother."

"Why, dear child, when everything you need is in here," she said as an elephant alighted on her shoulder.

"I just think it’s time."

"Come," she said, leading me away from the edge, and deeper into the jungle. "Let’s have some lunch." The elephant trumpeted joyfully as she handed him a gumdrop. “Hurry. A storm is coming.”

I looked up. Clouds that sounded (and tasted) like Rice Krispies consumed the sky. A symphonic cyclone swirled down to the forest floor, uprooting the Pixie Stix trees. Priests in prehistoric garb prayed aloud for pestilence, only to be rewarded with marionettes mocking their words and rhythmic dances. Then all fell calm. The sun returned, a kaleidoscope in Crayola colors.

As lovely as it was in here, I’d grown weary of it. I thought often of escape. But I knew it’s not possible. Mother has been very clear.

"You can never leave this place, dear child. Insanity is your home."

And as has been the case of late, there will be a Janet flash fiction post tomorrow.

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