Jul 212012
 
Wall Plug

Alright all of you goths, emo kids and retired rappers. Today, in addition to grossly misjudging the demographic and social status of my core audience, I’ll be doing something a little different. Wait, come back, it’s nothing like that!

Today I’m doing fiction. Flash fiction, to be precise. I’m entering a flash fiction contest on DudeWriteYou can read the details and submissions by other writers directly on DudeWrite, but here are the two main rules my fiction piece had to follow:

1) Be under 500 words

2) Begin with the following prompt: “If you’d told (me, him, her, them) two weeks ago that…”

And with that, let’s go:

“If you’d told me two weeks ago that you’d still be keeping it around today, I would have never agreed to bring it here in the first place,” Jen’s fingers rapped rapidly on the kitchen table.

She was upset. Again. With good reason, too. I had let this madness drag on for too long.

“Look, Jen, if I can just keep him here until…”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, stop calling it a ‘he’! Do you even realise how crazythatsounds?!” Jen slammed the palms of her hands against the table in tact with the last three words to make sure I knew just how crazy I sounded. I knew.

“OK, if I can just keep…it…here until next winter, then…”

“You’re notfuckingserious!” – slam, slam, SLAM! Jen had officially turned our kitchen table into an impromptu drum kit. I couldn’t suppress a smile. Jen didn’t like that. One bit. She cocked her head to the side and squinted, evaluating whether I was even worth talking to. For a few moments we just stared at each other silently, Jen clearly contemplating spousal homicide. Then something softened in her expression. She walked over to me and took my hands into hers.

“Sean. Listen. I get it. Sometimes you have a really, really hard time letting things go. I remember when you had kept that dying frog in the house for days until it finally…”

“…croaked?” I interrupted. Jen let herself smile now too.

“Yeah, until it croaked. Well, I hope you see how this is different. You’ve taken the concept of ‘holding on’ to a whole new level now. It’s time to move on. Pull the plug, Sean.”

She was right. It was time to pull the plug…

…I opened the door to the basement and slowly made my way downstairs. The freezer was humming softly by the far wall. He was inside. As I got closer my heartbeat quickened. Bum, bum-bum, bum-bum-bum, bumbumbumbumbum.

I tentatively reached for the plug, but stopped. I couldn’t. I had to see him one more time before I did it. I opened the lid and looked inside.

There he was, lying on a clear bed of ice. So peaceful. So calm. So white. This was it. In a matter of hours there’d be nothing left of him except a pool of water, a carrot and a couple of black buttons. With one decisive motion I yanked the plug out of the socket and let it fall to the floor. It’s OK. There’d be another winter. And another one. And another after that. I’d have plenty more just like him. Plenty more.

A droplet of sweat ran down my neck as I took one last look at the already melting snowman.

“Bye, Frosty” I whispered.

_______________________________________

08-08-2012: I now proudly announce that this little piece has been picked as the winner by 2 out of 3 judges and also by popular vote. Check out the results at DudeWrite.

Leave a comment, get a reply. That's how I roll.

  33 Responses to “Flash Fiction: “Pulling the plug””

Comments (30)
  1. Great little piece with a wonderful surprise ending :)

     
    • Thanks, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it! The first ever flash fiction piece I’ve written, for the Dude Write flash competition. There were three more since, and hopefully any more to come :)

       
  2. I’m a new member of Dude Write and I wanted to congratulate you on winning this award for “Pulling the Plug.” Your story is well-written and very clever. I hope you’ll visit me sometime at Chubby Chatterbox. Take care.

     
  3. I had no idea where this was going and NEVER would I have guessed the snowman.  Awesome post.

     
  4. Way to go..  Loved judging this comp and so glad you made it..  my choice..  helps me know that I do know what I am talking about..x

     
  5. Hahahaha!  Awesome!

     
  6. @NestExpressed Awesome! I luv FF too – check this other site out – I specialize in Micro-Flash – about 100 words. http://t.co/OpKXqv2J

     
  7. I never in a million years would’ve guessed that you were talking about a snowman. Way to keep us guessing! Great job!

     
  8. Daniel, you did a nice job here. Keeping readers on their toes is an art-form. Well done!
     
     
    Michael A. Walker
    Defying Procrastination
     

     
  9. It was good and funny. :) But tell me, is Sean insane?

     
  10. Good one! : )

     
  11. Oh, wow, this was so great!  So great!

     
  12. I really thought there was going to be a dog in there. So glad there wasn’t. Good job.

     
  13. Stunningly wonderful!  I had no idea where you were going!  Who knew we could all flash a little fiction?
     
    Great Job Daniel!

     
  14. Can’t wait for the full-length novel! I’m sure you can stretch the tale to 80,000-100,000 words, can’t you? ;)
     
    I enjoyed reading this. A nice deviation from your usual. :)

     
    •  @crubin Oh for sure – it’s a trilogy actually: “Making Frosty”, “Frosty Lives” and “Frosty’s Last Winter”. Sad and haunting tale! Stay tuned ;)Glad you’ve enjoyed it, it’s fun to do something different for a change!

       
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