FLASH MOB 2013 – The International Flash Fiction Day Competition

by isabelrogers

UPDATE: I’m very tickled to say that this was placed in the 15 runners-up in FLASH MOB 2013.

FLASH MOB 2013 is a hybrid blog carnival and competition celebrating International Flash Fiction Day on 22 June. This is my entry to join in: a previously unpublished work  of 300 words or fewer (not including title). I was inspired to take part by seeing a few other people post on their blogs and reading the great things they’ve written. If you want to find out more of what’s going on, have a look here.

Paris, 9th June 1794

He was first that last morning. Rain had discouraged attendance; he felt absurdly betrayed. The basket, furred with fog and stale prayer, wore a night-spun cobweb like the lace stocking of a whore.

Face down. A blessing. Supine was awkward, with sinuses and June hay-fever. Then the drums fell silent – God’s patient fingernails on his headstone – and rain cooled his wrists.

So, it comes to this. Must oil the folding carriage step.  He would remind Pierre: even Monique’s weight made it shriek after rain. She was so irked these days, her anger a spiky, lingering perfume.

A wasp scraped bare wood beside his ear. Deafening. Does God hear all His creatures? Worse than Cook’s whetstone, slicing like toothache without clove oil. He eyed it warily. Another allergy … as Monique said, there were less disgusting ways to amuse the apothecary. That bastard had had his laugh, if not his gold. Perhaps he should have asked Monique to pay – the old man’s poor. Her forgiveness might have stretched. Perhaps knowledge of pus-filled britches would have softened her before she sought Robespierre’s advice. Must oil the butter paddles next time. He couldn’t blame red ants for colonising the buttermilk, not when he’d truffled the maid tongue-deep himself.

A breeze licked above him, then the plank yielded: Monique, when he could still pleasure her, with just velvet gloves and satin. He was too quick, as usual. The crowd jeered as his piss hit the cobbles, and the basket sprung to kiss him like duck-down. The wasp, grown to cover half a world, stung his open eye and flew up like a psalm to heaven.

Half blind, he felt a spider’s octagonal pinprick on his cheek. Where was Monique? The rain rained hot red and he couldn’t brush it free.