Over at Terribleminds, Chuck Wendig had a Flash Fiction exercise posted - use one of the proffered titles to create a piece <1000 words. This isn't my usual style, by a long shot, but I'm neck deep in editing and what the hell, why not do something completely different? This title struck me as though it could be a sad, rabid, puppy barking down in the dark...
A Pretentious Title for a Pretentious Story
The happy place was my mind, in my stories, in my games before you came along and insisted on being part of them. When you were a paper doll we could be friends, but you opened your mouth and made noise. Now you look at me but you ignore me. Who do you think you are, judging? I kept this world safe for years. I built the sandbox where you want to play.
I blessed myself seven times on seven Sundays, but the water burned my skin red and I walked away with scars but no lessons learned.
Playing with language is one way that I get respect, or that I convince myself that they’re out there, fondling my words in their mouths and thinking that I, and only I, can speak for this slowly dying race.
I sit in the darkness in my parents’ basement, staring into my glowing portal and pouring my venom into the world. Staking the feminists through the heart. I say they are ruining this world that I love, but I don’t love this world. Their desire for change makes me tired, my fatigue makes me angry. Who do they think they are?
I try to decide who I fear more, the pretty populars with their white teeth that bite? Or the brave fats with their feet on desks and a bullhorn at their lips, looking down at me, hissing that they love themselves, that it is I who am wrong if I cannot do likewise. I poke a finger into my waist and draw it out dripping with resentment and stab it into the machine.
When I touch one strand of the web it turns black and smokes. I see a little trail of rot drift out from where I am into the larger world and I picture my words burning their plastic faces.
You tell me the faces were never plastic, but flesh and blood and soft skin. That they burn and bleed as I do, but I know you’re a liar. I know my hatred is pure and just and will one day purge the world of those who are doing better, doing more, being happy, being helpful, being true. Until then I hide behind my screens and reach out a claw.
If you knew me you would love me. I have friends who are Black. My mom is a Woman.
There are warriors hacking at my door with their multicolored swords, tearing down my castles and insisting that they get to play there too. If they take this from me, what will I have? If you are special then what does that make me? I threaten because I love. I threaten so you will know where to stay and leave me my worlds, untouched and unchanged. I don’t mean it. I just want to scare you, a little, the way that you scare me.
Down in my darkness, crouched, with Mom’s feet trip-trapping on my cellar stairs. She calls and tells me dinner is ready.