Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Flash Fiction - "True Love"

Chuck Wendig posted a flash fiction challenge to his blog, "The Present Tense"; to write a maximum of 1000 words, all in the present tense. It's an odd tense to work in, and I thought it needed a lot of concentration to stay in it. Can't promise it's one I'll use in my fiction but it was nice to try it.

So I present you with my effort, "True Love". Hope you enjoy.

I really hate waiting around when it's cold. But Danny, he said I should wait for him at the bus stop. So here I am, waiting.
The cold goes right up my skirt, which keeps creeping up no matter how much I tug it down. It feels like my knickers have turned to ice, even with these fishnets on. I jiggle my legs about to try to get the feeling back in my booted feet.
An old bloke across the street is staring at me. I hate old fucks like that, thinking it's okay to ogle you, just because you're a girl. I roll my eyes at him, but he just grins. He's waiting for a bus too, or at least I think he is. Maybe he's just an old pervert that comes out to stare at girls.
A bus comes down the road and stops where I'm standing. The driver glares at me.
"You gettin' on or what?"
"Nah. That's why I didn't wave, right?"
He shakes his head and I see his mouth form the word 'slut' as he shuts the doors. I throw him the finger as he drives off. Stupid twat. Not my fault he doesn't pay attention.
I really wish Danny would turn up now. My nose feels like it's gonna fall off, and putting my hands under my armpits isn't warning them up any. At least I've got a puffer jacket on, especially with how low the top is under it. I hope Danny will like it.
Finally I see his car coming. I wave and can't hold back the smile on my lips. Just seeing Danny is enough to make me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. His car pulls up in front of me and I spot his eyes running up and down me when I get in.
"Hey gorgeous," he says, staring at my legs, "you look amazing."
"Thanks. I missed you."
Danny grins but doesn't say anything. Instead he revs the engine and we're away down the road. I can't help but catch little looks at him, darting my eyes too quick for him to see. He's about four years older than me, I think, but his clean-shaven cheeks make him look younger. I can't get enough of looking at that muscular chest, just showing through the top of his shirt where he didn't button it up all the way.
"Hun, we just need to pop round my brother's. He's got a friend he wants you to meet."
My stomach feels like it's just sunk under the car and been crushed by the wheels. I hate Danny's brother. He's... he's not nice to me like Danny is. And his friends are even worse.
"Do we have to?"
Danny runs his tongue along the inside of his lip but doesn't look at me as he says, "Don't be a child. It's not a big deal."
"I... I just thought... I hoped it would just be us--"
"For fuck sake Emily! Stop being so stupid. It won't take long, you know it never does. If you love me even half as much as you should you'll do this."
I look out my side window, a tear running down my cheek. I remember it didn't take long last time. It hurt. A lot. But it didn't take long. And Danny was really nice to me after. So I breathe in the pain in my throat, and ignore the nausea in my gut.
"Of course I love you Danny. I won't make a fuss."
He leans over, still watching the road, and runs his hand up my leg, making my skin tingle.
"Good girl. You're the best Em. And I promise they won't be rough like last time. And after, we'll have the whole weekend for ourselves."
I take his hand while he drives. Looking at his profile, at those soft brown eyes of his, I know this is true love. I'll do anything for him. Anything.


  1. Creepy!

    I think this is tight and well-crafted, but I don't really like anybody in the story. Well, I feel awful for the main character, plenty of pathos, but I think the ending would be even more of a punch in the gut if I had more reason to like her (identify with her) in the opening of the story. Maybe a few specific details of family or friends or past triumphs... It's a painful piece, but I bet you could twist the knife a little more. :)

  2. You are totally right, a little detail about her home life, in part showing why she needs love so desperately... Another thing for me to remember when writing; make it personal. Thanks muchly for the feedback - it's the only way I'll learn!

  3. How did you feel it went and did you find yourself creepy back into another tense? First person is extremely hard for me to write in and sometimes I sneak right out of it before I know it!

  4. I don't think I found it hard exactly to write in, but as I was writing I had to stop occassionally and check that I was still in the right tense. It was weird more than anything else - it felt really unnatural.

    If anything I've gained a new respect for those who do write in this tense and do it well. I actually referred to Amanda Hocking's writing before I did the challenge to get myself in the right frame of mind. But can't say it's a style I like writing in, though I enjoy reading it when it's done right.