As you can tell by the lack of posts lately, I have been stuck – blocked, if you will – in my fiction writing. I can’t bear the sight of the book I’m supposed to be editing, and I haven’t come up with any shiny new ideas to distract me from it either.
That’s where Chuck Wendig comes in. If you haven’t read his blog, Terribleminds, or any of his books, I can highly recommend it. Not only is his writing advice almost always spot on, his fiction is highly entertaining for those who enjoy incredibly dark humour mixed with horror and fantasy and who knows what else.
Today, Chuck has issued a challenge: take a weird stock photo from a particular Buzzfeed article and use it to write a 1000 word flash fiction. This is the photo I’ve chosen, lucky (I hope) number 15:
And so here’s my story:
Let him eat cake
‘This is not good.’ Jimmy thought as he opened his eyes to see a girl lying in bed next to him. He didn’t remember who she was, or where they were. As he sat up, he noticed she was naked and covered in something red.
“Oh god!” Jimmy yelled hoarsely.
“Wha..” the girl opened her eyes. “Oh it’s you. Don’t worry, your friends have already paid.”
“But the.. Blood?”
“What?!” the girl looked down at herself, and laughed. “Oh, that’s just icing. Don’t you remember the fun we had with that cake last night?” She looked bemused.
“Right.” Embarrassed now, Jimmy turned around and got out of bed, heading straight for his boxers. “I suppose you’ll want a shower before you go.”
“No, I love being covered by cake, makes me irresistible to men and rodents alike.” the girl answered. He could practically hear her roll her eyes behind his back.
Jimmy kept his eyes down until she was in the shower, then went straight for his phone. “I’m going to kill you!” he yelled into it.
“Jimmy, is that you? What happened? Where are you?” came the voice of his fiancee on the other line.
“Lydia? Where’s your brother?”
“Passed out drunk on the couch, where you’re supposed to be.” she answered, irritated.
“I’m sorry hunny, I’ll be over as fast as I can.” he answered, trying to get off the phone.
“Where are you? What did my brother do to you?” she asked, cutting off his escape.
“He just.. Rented me a hotel suite. I bet we’re gonna be stuck paying for it.”
“Oh. Oh, right. Well get outta there before they charge you another night. And come straight home! We’ve got a rehearsal dinner to prepare for, remember?”
“Of course. Love y-” his words were cut off as Lydia hung up. Jimmy swore.
“How long are you going to be in there? I really gotta go!” Jimmy yelled into the bathroom.
“You can use the toilet if you want, ain’t nothing I haven’t seen before!” the lady yelled back.
Jimmy cringed. “No, I mean I need to leave, like now!”
“You sure you want to face your bride covered in cake?!” she yelled back.
“Just hurry!” Jimmy was getting annoyed. This was not model hooker behaviour, he thought.
Jimmy paced the room until the lady re-emerged, then barked at her to get out as he ran into the shower.
He thought the stress would decrease when he arrived back at the house, but in fact his heart was pumping louder than ever. Stealing himself, Jimmy took a deep breath before heading into the house.
“Oh finally!” his mother-in-law greeted him. “We are already behind schedule and Lydia is freaking out. Go talk to her, right now.”
Jimmy nodded, and ran up the stairs. As he entered the bedroom, Lydia threw a shoe across the room and sobbed.
“Jimmy, finally! My dress is ruined, I mean just look at it! I have nothing to wear tonight!”
Jimmy looked at the dress on the bed. He couldn’t see anything wrong with it. “Hunny, what are you talking about, it looks lovely..”
“What?! Why don’t you ever take me seriously? There’s a huge stain on it!” she gestured.
“I believe you.” Jimmy back-tracked, “Why don’t you sit down and take a breath? We’ll find you a replacement dress, and everything is going to be ok. Your wedding dress is safe, that’s most important.”
Lydia nodded and sat down, as Jimmy moved to hold her.
“I missed you last night.” Lydia told him in a hoarse whisper.
“I missed you too.” Jimmy kissed her hair. “Now let’s get you ready for our rehearsal dinner. Why don’t you wear that red dress you wore on our last anniversary? I love that dress, it makes you look so sexy and sophisticated.”
Lydia smiled up at him, then went to get changed. When she came back out wearing the red dress, Jimmy couldn’t resist wrapping his arms tightly around her. “You look stunning, dear.” he whispered in her ear.
“Thank you.” she whispered back. Then she paused. “Why is there cake in your ear, darling?”
Jimmy turned bright red, and stammered, “Oh the boys pulled this prank on me, got me covered in cake.. I thought I’d gotten rid of it all, damn sticky stuff.” he half-laughed.
“Right..” Lydia took a step back. “Did the boys happen to have a stripper accompanying this cake?” she asked.
Jimmy looked away.
“So they did!” Lydia’s voice went up.
“Hey..” her brother came walking through the door. “Bad timing?”
Lydia glared at him as she walked over, “Jimmy just confessed about the girl you paid for, and the cake.”
“Oh yeah what Jimmy and that girl did with that cake is beyond me, I just got a huge bill from the hotel for carpet cleaning.” He giggled.
Lydia swirled around to face Jimmy, who froze. “You had freaky sex with her?!” she exploded.
“Oops.” her brother said, before stalking off.
“That’s it. I’m leaving.”
Before he could react, Lydia was out the door, and Jimmy was left alone to endure the quiet. He ended up in the kitchen with a beer, staring at their wedding cake.
“You cakes are evil, you know that?” he told it. “Fuck it.” he said, and punched the top tier. As he pummelled his way to the bottom tier, Jimmy started crying. “I love her, you know?” he confessed to the cake.
Despondent, he took what was left of the cake upstairs and placed it on top of the ruined rehearsal dinner dress. Then he lay down on the bed, pushed his face into cake, and screamed.
As Jimmy took a breath, he ingested some of the cake, and couldn’t resist it’s deliciousness. He couldn’t stay mad. Instead, he turned to his side with his head still in the cake, and confessed, “You’re my only friend now.”
It’s rushed and therefore not as good as it could be, but please give me any constructive feedback you can think of. We all need help to improve ourselves.