So this week was a very quick attack of the write stuff inspired by the Grey Matter Press Flash Fiction competition. The brief was to write no more than 200 words and include one of these:
BUTCHERY, CARNAGE, MAYHEM, VIOLENCE, MURDER, MASSACRE. Have a read of mine and see if you can spot which one I went with... The competition winner is the writer who achieves the most comments on their piece, so if you like mine please drop a word or two into the "reply" box next to my entry.
Despite the excellent choice of words I was a bit stuck on what to write about. It was nearly a very slithery mess of intestines and tentacles in the darkness of a cellar, but then I read up on the actual Saint Valentine's Day Massacre and, on discovering that one of the gunned down gangsters had survived, wondered what thoughts might have run through his head as he lay wounded amongst his dead friends. So that's what I wrote. I know nothing about the real Frank Gusenberg, but I think there's a high probability I have made him a bit more emotionally thoughtful than the real man. But that's fiction, innit.
And so I didn't win anything (sigh), but did manage to gather TWO WHOLE VOTES! I am exactly as thrilled with this as you would expect.
Meanwhile this close-run-thing competition is all over now, so here is my Flash Fiction entry for your reading pleasure;
Week Seven | 181 Words
2122 North Clark Street
Pete is slumped over a chair. He looks absurdly as though his is praying. Although perhaps there is nothing absurd about it, if he managed to fill his last stumbling moments with grace.
Albert looks the most at peace from where I lie, his hat resting on his chest. It’s as though he was laid out hours ago for a wake, and everyone else turned up and shot themselves out of some obscure sense of loyalty. This thought, that we did this to ourselves, spirals through my head, turning into an angry echo that, if I had the strength and the freedom from pain, I would utterly deny.
I am staring at James when I hear the woman scream. James is on his front, one arm curled underneath him. If I ignore the stench of blood and the splatters of red I can almost imagine he is sleeping. The scream fails to wake him up and I realise that I am the only one left alive. I decide one thing; I’m not talking. I will not dignify this carnage with words.