Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Flash Fiction Failures, Part I

In a recent post, I mentioned how difficult I find it to write a coherent story in 250 words. Below, I've inserted one of two stories I wrote for (but didn't submit to) one particular contest.

I wrote this story in a short, undisciplined fury. I thought the basic notion, and the punch-line, would be strong enough to make it work. Everyone (I believe it was, literally, everyone) in my writing class disagreed.

Splash, Indeed

I hate the ocean. Its romance is totally lost on me.

What’s to like, really?

Sand wedged up your crack? Seagull crap in your French fries? Hypodermics floating ashore?

So why am I here, you ask?

Fair enough.

I’m here to take advantage of half-witted tourists who leave their valuables tucked in shoes as they wallow--like pale, obese slugs--in the surf. I don’t get why these numbskulls think that, simply because they’re on vacation, they don’t have to exercise common sense.

I can’t swim, if it’s anything to you. So I try to work well away from the shore. Normally, this is no problem, since most of the touristy saps arrange their blankets well up into the dry stuff.

But today, the rip tide is strong, the beach steep and narrow. So I’m closer to the water’s edge than I’d like when all of a sudden this long-haired, bare-breasted creature comes charging out of the surf and right the hell up to me.

She’s beautiful, I suppose, for an animal out of that giant cesspool they call the Pacific. But she smells like seaweed. And her slimy fins are coated with wet sand.

I’m stunned when the crazy bitch leans in like she’s gonna give me a kiss or something. Before I know it, I’m swinging my cane like a mad-man and sorta grunting for help.

Why she acts surprised, I have no idea. I’m a total stranger, after all. And I hate the ocean.

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