It’s Friday Fictioneers time again.Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this weekly flash fiction challenge.
After agonising for hours to produce a story last week, this week’s photo prompt, courtesy of Doug MacIlroy, has inspired two stories from me. I’m posting both here, below the picture.
Story 1 – Sculptures
It started with small changes. Not everybody noticed unusual indentations in pebble groundcover, or the angle of a head or limb slightly askew.
Neighbours started talking about vandalism and suggesting nightly patrols when the changes became more obvious. Whole sculpture gardens were rearranged; garden gnomes with their friendly faces and cheerful demeanours disappeared.
Soon, only metal sculptures remained – angular, hard-edged, rust-limned beings with snarling mouths and rows of pointed teeth, a junkyard nightmare.
One evening, at sunset, several thousand metallic monsters turned towards the houses of the humans and began to advance. The screams lasted into the night.
Story 2 – Dancers
‘Hurry, Mai. You’re late.’
‘I’m not dancing any more, Ma. I can’t stand being so close to him, knowing he doesn’t care, that he sees only a small part of me.’
‘Mai, you’re an excellent dancer. You can’t throw away your dream – to perform at the festival in the capital. He’s just a man. There will be others.’
Mai was a dutiful girl. She donned the sensuous, shimmering silks, placed the immense lion’s head over her own, and, bending forward, suffered again that agonising lurch of her heart as Chen positioned himself behind her, his hands warm on her hips.
The sculpture in the prompt has an immense head – right? And while it would have been easier to write about a dragon dancer, the dragon dance just wouldn’t work here. Mai and Chen need to be up close and personal. And just in case you’re still with me, here’s a treat. These dancers are awe-inspiring.