Flash Fiction – Creating a Character

This is my flash fiction bit for the Creating a Character topic. . . .something rather normal. . . I noticed everyone was creating dynamic characters and I thought I’d try and create a very normal one. . .to the extreme. From the Flash Fiction Challenge:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/08/21/flash-fiction-challenge-time-to-create-a-character/

 

Bob is a normal guy . . . amazingly and mind numbingly normal actually. He is so ordinary that there is nothing to really point out about him that would distinguish him in any way from anyone else. He is of average height, normal weight that fluctuates within normal seasonal parameters. He has very non-descript looking hair that is always cut in a very normal fashion and even when he tries to do something different, it seems he only does what lots of others are doing and it remains totally average. At work people barely notice him at all. When asked they would be more likely to recall his desk and chair as obstacles rather than remember the man sitting in them. Bob was just terminally normal.

Then one day Bob woke up at his regular time and proceeded to begin his typical routine. As he began to lather his face to shave Bob suddenly realized that he was so amazingly normal and bland, he could no longer even see himself in the mirror. He was simply not there anymore. Which, he thought to himself, was pretty much normal, all things considered.

The Sound of Thunder

The sound of thunder. It is calming to me. The sound of relief, cooling, the promise that the heat of the day will soon fade. The world grows calm as the noise creeps closer. The bamboo stills and it is like the entire world is holding its breath. Butterflies hurry off to that secret place they hide. Birds quiet. The air so still. . . then more distant thunder, closer. The promise of the rain a tease as everything waits and hopes. The bamboo fidgets and my imagination gives them motivation like some eager toddlers waiting for Christmas morning, unable to stay perfectly still they twitch in expectation. Then a squall of the wind from the coming storm sets the bamboo to action. No longer toddlers, they are a raucous group flailing about, banging and clapping together in the excitement. Like some concert crowd, they clap and bap in some alien rhythm in time with some music only they can hear.

How many days of my life have I heard all this and never really heard it?

Some days remind me that the world is alive.

The first drops are falling. Tapping on metal and awning, tickling the world with the start of the rain.

The thunder is closer.

The cats are freaking out.

Soon the world around me will be washed.

The air cleansed of the oppressive heat.

The bamboo dancing in the wind will be soaked and will drip water for the rest of the night.

Sometimes I forget that it is not the rain I love so much, it is not the thunder. It is the way the storm changes the world. The way it makes everything seem new again for just a little while. That is why the sound of thunder is calming to me. It is a promise of change.

 

Things Forgotten

Things Forgotten
Things Forgotten

Flash Fiction Challenge – Pop Culture Mash Up

This week’s flash fiction contest at http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/ was a mash up of two random pop culture things. I got Scooby Do meets Donnie Darko. . . this is the result. . .

 

Getting It Right

“This week on Ghost Catchers we are heading into the halls of education that became the halls of death!” Fred gave a dramatic pause.

“Cut!” The director screamed in his earpiece.

“What’s wrong with that?” Fred asked incredulously, sure his introduction was perfect.

“Fred, your selfie camera is angled up your left nostril.” The director explained in a pinched voice, then exhaled loudly over the radio, and said, “Just tilt it up some, ok?”

“Oh.” Fred readjusted his camera and then started over; pausing only briefly to wonder just how stoned the shaggy headed director was getting back in the control van. “Ok . . . take two. This week on Ghost Catchers we are heading into the halls of education that became the halls of death!” He gave a dramatic pause before swinging around his camera to show their guest hunter of the week. “And with us is the student that escaped these halls once and now he is coming back again to face the spirits of his fellow students who died here.”

The guest host looked at him blankly. Fred waited for a response and when he was sure the guy was just going to stare at him and say nothing, he swung the camera back to himself and continued the introduction. “Two years ago a student entered these halls on a normal Monday morning and went to his home room, just like he always did. Once there though he detonated a bomb he was carrying in his backpack killing himself and the 20 students in the classroom. The horror of those moments has been permanently etched in these halls and people from the local area swear they have seen and heard the students screaming over and over again at night.”

“You know you sound like a complete tool, right?” The guest hunter said.

Fred paused, bewildered.

“Just thought someone should tell you because no one else seems to.” The guest hunter finished, shrugged, and started walking to the homeroom.

“Wait. Hey! You are with us, we are the investigators!” Fred called out looking to his teammates for support. Daphne was busy trying to figure out why her bra was glowing through her shirt in the night vision cameras and arguing with the producer about it. He wanted her to leave it because it would increase ratings. Velma was trying to control their dog Scooby that supposedly could sense ghosts, usually by yelping and running in the opposite direction as fast as possible. Fred realized he was on his own.

“Fred, dude, we’ll fix it in editing.” The director told him in the earpiece. “Just roll with it and go on.” Fred gave a scowl and then hurried after the guest hunter.

“Hey,” Fred called out and then realized that he didn’t even know the guy’s name. ”Hey, what’s your name again?”

The guest hunter didn’t pause, he just waved Fred’s question off like some bothersome gnat flitting about his head and walked purposefully to the blasted classroom doorway. “Go away Fred.” He called back as Fred caught up with him.

“Hey dude, I’m the star of this show so you listen to. . .” Fred began to say but the guest cut him off.

“No Fred, you are the douche of the show that thinks he’s the star and this isn’t about EVPs or any of that other ghost hunter horseshit. This is about them and me and something that went wrong.” The guest turned to him, his face calm but stern. “I was there. I was supposed to be there. They can’t stop being there till I go back so this isn’t about your little show, this is about them; the students that died that can’t stop dying till I get it right.”

Fred looked totally confused. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“That morning, I was there, in the room with them. The bomber, he had a moment where he thought that maybe he shouldn’t do it. I mean really, really thought about it and when that happened I saw him leave the room, I saw him go outside and I followed him. When I left, he blew up the room. I wasn’t supposed to see that moment but I did and I left when I was supposed to stay.” The guest explained but seeing the blank look on Fred’s face he knew he was totally lost.

“All you need to know is I agreed to be on this piece of crap show because it was the only way I could get back into this building again.” The guest said.

“We have won several local cable awa. . .” Fred protested.

The guest went on talking over Fred. “Sometimes when we have two choices we create a divergence of reality. He had a choice to go home or to stay and kill. I saw that thought about going and followed it but he stayed and killed everyone. I wasn’t supposed to see it and I was supposed to stay and die. Now there are two realities fighting it out and these kids can’t finish the dying without me.” A hellish light began to emanate from the room and they could hear faint screams starting and then begin to grow louder. “Every night, they’re still dying until I get it right. Both realities can’t exist, one has to end.”

Fred was totally lost but Velma had come up and understood what the guest was saying. “So you have to redo the day with them, the right way?” The guest nodded. “Can you tell us your name at least?”

“Unknown Remains #12. The new kid whose foster family never reported missing, whose paperwork never got filed in time.” He smiled a bittersweet smile, “I’m Unknown Remains #12, nice to meet you.”

Velma’s eyes welled up with tears. He saw that and smiled at her. “I’ve got to go.” She nodded.

He turned and went into the classroom.

 

This time he got it right.

 

The Man, The Word, and Reason #678 I am going to hell

I once knew a man who had difficulty with words but didn’t know this fact. Truth be told, he found himself to amazingly witty and articulate. This same man bragged about having never read a book and still passing school because he must be some kind of special genius or something. He would blog periodically, angrily expounding upon ideas with a flat, bludgeoning wit that would pulverize any point he was trying to make into a wet, gooey mass of convoluted ideas and overly simplified logic.

All of this though was fairly acceptable especially in this day and age when using text speak is considered so acceptable that the president and our political leaders use an ever growing code of acronyms rather than take the extra 5 seconds to type a word. So if they do that, I could not fault this man for his cumbersome and somewhat bovine ranting. Except one thing. . . one very important thing that I tried to explain to him several times but he would not listen to my logic because he was, after all, a self edumacated genius-sort.

His problem was the lack of understanding between two words that may look somewhat similar at first glance are very different indeed. The words were Irreverent and irrelevant. Thinking he was saying that he was rude, off the wall, and caustic in his wording, i.e. irreverent, he would instead use the word meaning immaterial, extraneous, of no real consequence, irrelevant. So phrases such as:

“Some people say I am irrelevant and god damn it, I agree. I speak my mind and say what I think and what I think is a lot of the time irrelevant.”

I would try and explain to him and he would lash out that just because he didn’t have fancy words, he still had an opinion that he was free to voice whenever he wanted and if people found him irrelevant, so be it, that was on them. He liked being irrelevant and enjoyed shocking people with just how irrelevant he could be.

So the moral of the story is, sometimes spell checker is not enough, especially if you are a moron. There should be a moron checker that goes beyond there, their, they’re and to, too, two. . .then again. . .maybe not. Maybe these types of idiots are here as a divine “pull my finger” joke by god. Last time I talked to the man I suggested that he was irrelevant and that he should put in his will that he wanted that in big, huge letters on his gravestone when he dies. “HERE LIES A MAN WHO WAS TOTALLY IRRELEVANT”. He agreed, he liked that idea. . .

. . .And this is reason #678 that I am going to hell.