Friday, November 6, 2015

Flash! Friday: Surrender & Perfect

by Michael Seese

I have to admit, I like it when the Flash! Friday word counts are shorter. 150 words is ideal for brain writing. And lo and behold, that's what today's contest had as its word length. (Plus or minus 10.)

After reading the novel prompt:

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell’s sweeping American Civil War drama starring a proud and rather snotty plantation owner’s daughter who does everything in her power to survive the war and hold on to her family home. 

I was able to write the first 70 words in the shower. I finished it soon thereafter. The elements to incorporate were   

* Conflict: man v man, man v society (not gender specific)
* Character (choose at least one): a plantation owner’s daughter, a racketeer, a beautiful woman who never does anything wrong, a noble soldier, a hot-tempered child, a slave whose cruel situation is never acknowledged, a pair of mischief-making twins
* Theme (choose one): desperation, determination, slavery, society/class, women’s rights
* Setting (choose one): the American South during the Civil War, a war-torn city

We also could use this picture.

 First up was "Surrender."

The blitz began anew. The corner offered cold comfort, though Colette realized it was only a wounded facade. Safety was an illusion held desperately despite the destruction that littered the remnants of what she once had called her life. Another strike would shatter the final vestige of hope she’d manage to cling to all these long years.

Someone once said, “War is Hell.” He was wrong. Hell is eternal. War will end. There will be a victor. And there will be a vanquished.

The barrage ended. The room fell silent. Peter had finally put away his fists.

“I'm heading to bed. I’ll be waiting.”

“I just need to clean up.”

Colette swept up the broken dishes, her grandmother’s wedding china. She found a few drams of will in the bottom of his whiskey glass. Drinking it felt like victory. She took one last look at the battlefield, turned on all four burners, and joined the man she loved.

In the paper Friday was a review of the movie I Smile Back. (As an aside, looks terrifying and good.) Working from that, after lunch I wrote "Perfect."

The spread would have made Martha Stewart jealous. The whiteware stood in satisfying contrast to the tablecloth of Almost Aqua, purloined on sale at Macy’s. The stemware positively sparkled, polished by seemingly indefatigable hands which would accept nary a spot. Trays of canapĂ©s were scattered strategically, an awaiting scavenger hunt for gourmets. The basement stood ready, replete with the latest age-appropriate DVDs. (And the booze locked away.) The soufflĂ© would be out of the oven soon, with the pineapple upside-down cake following shortly. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons flowed through the rooms, caressing floors vacuumed an hour ago, twice.

Her guests would be impressed. They always were.

“How you manage to do all this, raise three three kids, volunteer at the school, and maintain your medical practice is beyond me,” went the common refrain.

Yes, perfection. All of it.

Even the cuts on her thighs, safely hidden beneath the perky red knee-length dress, were drawn in perfectly parallel lines.

All in all, pretty pleased.

And there is a Janet Reid contest tomorrow. I have to defend my crown. So come back and cheer me on.

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