Flash Fiction Competition #7

Thank you for all your votes this month – our November winner is Good Times by Mikey Campling. Congratulations and many thanks to all who entered and voted. A Christmas theme next month.

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Good Times

Scott grabbed his tools and started his safety checks. He clambered up the track, running calloused hands over metal worn smooth. His fingers knew every inch of the roller coaster. Five years, he thought bitterly, and never a raise.
He coughed and spat on the track. The long hours had stolen his health. Still, he had a job to do. Never a problem on his shift. You could take that to the bank.
And they did; pocketing the profits of his thankless labour.
He moved on, finding a loose nut and selecting the correct spanner. The work had a rhythm. He’d finished long before the customers arrived.
He watched them queue, listened to their nervous chatter. If only they knew.
In his pocket, he fingered the crumpled letter. They were letting him go. And his hand brushed against the cold nuts and bolts.
“Let the good times roll,” he whispered.

Mikey Campling
@mikeycampling

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Mine

Like a T-Rex skeleton, the coils of a snake, the crags of mountains – there flew a roller-coaster sigh from my mouth to his.

I want to bind him to me, as surely as cords of forged steel allow. Like a lightning strike, grip him, gnash him, devour him. Till there was no doubt he is mine. There is a salty slick, where his back curves – that’s mine. The scuffed jeans are mine to stow away. And the shy snake, tender at rest, ravenous when roused; who else’s can it be?

I know the planes of your hurts and joys. I know why you laugh. If you sing along to a special song, I glory in your freedom in that day, that moment.

That’s what I want for you. For you to find joy in you, in me.

Bind me, engulf me, kiss me!

But that was yesterday.

Today, I wonder, will he walk back to me?

Radhika Mukherjee
@radhikaherself

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Is This really Love?

‘I don’t know whether Max is the one for me grandma. Is this love real?

‘Does he make you feel like you are the most important person in his life?’

‘I guess so. He’s always telling me that everything he does is for us, our future.’

‘Does he make your heart feel full to bursting?’

‘Yes, grandma. Sometimes I have to tell myself to breathe.’

‘Does he make you feel like life with him will be like a roller coaster ride and that he will be by your side through all the ups and the downs of life?’

‘No, not really grandma. Sometimes, when things go wrong, he makes me feel like I am on the ground watching him as he soars off into the sky.’

‘Then there is your answer my darling granddaughter. Love should be a journey together.

 

Linda Sprott
@LindaSprott

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The Ride by The Voice in Your Head

Slow start, blind corner, up the hill. Blue rails, blue sky, long time coming.

HOLY MOTHER!

Earth fall, swept from death, curling back. Going round the bend.

Sliding, slipping, shitting – gone again.

The rails the rails the rails.

Was that a pigeon?

Yellow-gated, cheese-grated – IS THIS THING EVEN ATTACHED?

Arms out! Angel-winged giant bluebottle transcends space and time!

You may now pause for breath.

We’re being cranked up, rivet by rivet, for the final fall. Two, maybe three people are crying, hard to tell with the wind in your face. Just squeeze my hand you bloody hero.

DOWNSTAIRS!

Tails up, back-spin, in the loop-DE-loop. Pondering the finer points of physics with a wedgie.

Can vomit nest in your throat?

The pain…my back, my arms, my knees. Gravity and steel, and you leaning on me.

The end, the ice cream…the jubilation.

 

Jack Cooke
@typecooke

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Life is a Rollercoaster

It seemed lately there were many dips and troughs in her life; highs and lows she could not see coming until it was too late to prepare for the jolts. She remembered the sage advice of Ronan Keating, but felt there were added safeguards she could put in place. She searched reclamation yards, spending hours there in awe at the things people threw away and discarded. It took several weeks but at last she found it – a rollercoaster seat restraint. She built a frame to go on her back, fitting it snug against her spine. The belt then came down over her head, pressed against her middle and clicked into place. It offered her no real protection, of course: she was tethered to nothing but herself, but the pressure on her stomach centred her; kept her calm. Now, when the turns and drops came she held her hands aloft and screamed with joy.

 

Mark Newman
@mn73

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Aerialist

“It was like a circus act. I was leaving the fair with the last few stragglers when some guy in a hoodie perched on the highest curve of the Turbo roller coaster. Transfixed in the sunshine, I shielded my eyes with my hand. I held my breath at the back flip. He rebalanced, pivoted and looked down at me. A moment of stasis. Then he hauled himself through the air like an aerialist arms outstretched. I got out my camera. This is all I captured….the empty ride. Of my aerialist, no trace.”
Madame Sara, North Pier, famed for her accurate visions turned the photograph with a white hand.
“There have been sightings. A young man in a hoodie top. A year ago now, a little stoned, he climbed the side of the Turbo. Trying to impress some girl – he fell.” As I looked out at the glittering sea she said,
“You have a very powerful third eye.”

 

Julia Robinson
@julia_robinson3

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Never Give Up

‘Miles?’

Harriet pushed the door to her son’s bedroom open. The smell of unwashed clothes and buried food items hit her hard, but Miles himself was not there.

She’d started taking it for granted that he was basically in all the time. His friends had stopped calling. He had never been one for going out much, but since the rejection letter he’d just holed up in his room in the loft doing God knows what. Licking his wounds, she had assumed.

The diagrams that papered the walls told a different story. A schematic of a one man rocket. A plan of a Thorpe Park ride.

“Detach here” an arrow pointed to the highest point of a perilous loop. The scribbles detailed the rest of the crazy plan: “Exceed 80mph. Blast off.” Near the ceiling a sketch of the destination, labelled in best cursive: “International space station”.

Harriet ran. She hoped there was still time to stop him.

 

Judith Kingston
@JudithKingston

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Not Along for the Ride

That time he took me to the funfair I may have said that I loved it. However, I don’t know how it translates into ‘Please take me to Alton Towers for my birthday.’ Yet here we are. At Alton blooming Towers, queuing for this corkscrew of a roller coaster.
Apt, I have to admit. Until last night, I thought he’d forgotten about my birthday. Then he called. When he picked me up this morning, he looked as if he couldn’t be happier to see me. Never mind that he’d been AWOL for a week. No calls, no reason why. It’s up and down, up and down at frightening speed, this relationship. Makes me feel nauseous.
I look up. I look at him. I look at my life. I step out of the queue. I am too old for this. As of today, I’m officially too old for his sketchy attempts at commitment.

 

Sonya Oldwin
@_supersonya

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ERC

In the queue, her mates jumped ahead of us.
Climbing into the car, she let me go first.
As the lap bars descended, we sat side by side.
Pulling away, I caught her eye.
Going up the lift hill, we got talking.
At the peak, I told her my name.
Just before the initial drop, she reached for my hand.
Accelerating into the corkscrew, we both screamed.
Nearing the headchopper, we both ducked.
In the blackness of the tunnel, we both laughed.
Approaching the hammerhead turn, I gave her my Tizer ring pull.
Top of the pretzel loop, she dropped it.
Emerging from the horseshoe, she pointed to a boy down below.
During the zero gravity roll, my heart stopped.
When the camera flashed, there was a bit of dust in my eye.
In the exit lane, I felt sick.
There are no words for that sort of ride.

 

Ed Broom
@edbroom

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