Saturday, October 13, 2012

Behind the Curtain: Flash Fiction Contest

by McKenzie Barham

Broadway is a very broad thing indeed, Tal thought, watching sadistic dancers filling the stage below him. The audience was empty, the broken stadium seating protruding like a spine stripped of it’s flesh.
            The lower classes and their obsession with fantasies intrigued him.
            We sweep their stages and let them play. Until they die... and the cast grows smaller.
            Tal shook his head, knowing what Rhiannon would say.
            “They only perform to survive, stupid.”
            He found Rhiannon in the wings, her face frozen with painful colors. She wasn’t happy to see him.
            “Hello, Rhi.”
            Rhiannon’s sharp breath gave her away, gave Tal hope, as she painted pictures to ask why he’d come.
            Tal ignored the frenzied questions. “Are you well?”
            She stiffened. Tal reached out to touch her face but she grasped his hand before it reached her. Tal gritted his teeth. He could barely ignore the ache in his chest.
            “Chamile’s taken the throne.”
            A small snarl curled her silent lips.
            “You have to come back; we have to be there for her.”
            Rhiannon pretended to throw a crown from her head and spit upon it.
            Tal snorted. “What are titles? What is royalty? Just a random selection of genetic material capable of feeding the masses.”
            Rhiannon pointed to Tal’s heart and shook her head. You’re a true prince, she mimed. True princes shouldn’t come to this hellhole.
            “And real mime’s shouldn’t have tongues,” Tal shot back. Rhiannon cracked a smile and she looked human.
            “Chamile is working to re-open the children factories,” he said eagerly. “Rhi! It’s everything we’ve hoped for… We have to go back.”
            Rhiannon’s mouth fell open.
            Tal took her hands. “There’s going to be children again, Rhi, and-and not just children! There’s going to be babies, Rhi, think of it!”
            “Babies,” Rhiannon whispered, tears filling her eyes. “Oh, Tal…”
            Tal nodded, grinning ear to ear.
            “I suppose I failed here,” she said hoarsely, glancing at the rafters above them.
            “All the world’s a stage, Rhi. You just have to write the script.”
            She stripped off her mime robe. “And I’ll give it a happy ending.”

351 Words

Only another hour to enter the contest! I'm squeaking in. Thank you, Anna, for inspiring me to write a flash fiction. It's been too long. :)

Love, Kenzie

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