Flashathon 2012 Hour Nine

This hour for our prompt we turn to Matthew Hance aka Casper Pearl aka the editor of the Memory Eater anthology that you heard me talk about so often while we were going through our successful Kickstarter campaign. The book is now a real live thing, I have my copy sitting at home. If you don’t yet have a copy it’s available from Amazon. So grab a copy, won’t you? When approached for a prompt, I was told he is working on a new book about bullying, so he provided:

Getting revenge on an elementary school bully.

There you have it, your prompt for this hour. Do some writing, then if you’re on the east coast, go order a pizza so it’ll show up in time to eat it and get back to work. Flashathon stops for no man!

  1. avatar

    #1 by Dana Gunn on October 27, 2012 - 5:58 pm

    I chose to go back and do a previous prompt: a man arriving at a random house. I also decided to continue one of my previous stories:

    The work truck returned to the parking lot with a load of weary men and disgorged them to the exact spot they were drafted earlier that morning. John stood alone for a moment before one of the men walked by and shook his hand. The friendly gesture brought a small smile to his face, a smile that lasted until he rendezvoused with his children in the back of the shopping center.

    Bradley stepped forward to meet his father, but Stephanie put her hand on his arm and met John instead. Throughout the day, Bradley’s ire had not only continued, but grown in magnitude. His little sister confronted him several times, but was never able to defuse the timebomb he felt housed in his gut.

    The 11 year old girl hugged her father and engaged in smalltalk while they returned to the car and Bradley. Once in the car, the three of them sat in silence while John waited for Bradley to unleash a torrent of screams at him again. When the expected anger did not come, John cranked the car.

    Before their nightly trek across the city to find a safe haven commenced, Bradley handed his father a booklet without making eye contact. “I found this earlier today while we were looking for food.”

    John took the booklet and stared at the cover. A large, brick house with several windows and a well manicured lawn adorned the cover along with a real estate agent’s name. “Why are you giving me this, Bradley? Is this just to underscore our earlier argument about how I lost the house?” John did not realize he had crumpled the booklet and was using it to point at his son.

    Leaning forward, Stephanie put her hand on her father’s shoulder. “Hear him out, Dad. He thought a lot about this.” She nodded at Bradley who was now staring at her. “Go ahead, Brad.”

    Slowly, Bradley reached for the real estate booklet and began leisurely flipping through it as he talked. “Listen, Dad. Many of these houses are empty. They leave the lights and water on in them so people can see what they really look like.” Bradley tried to read his father’s face and decide whether or not what he was seeing was anger or confusion. He risked that it was confusion and continued. “We don’t have to head to one of the larger houses. There are a few that have been for sale for quite some time and they’re not very big.”

    John was angry, but he was confused as well. “Bradley,” he looked over his shoulder, “Stephanie, what are you two suggesting? That we break into one of these houses and sleep there? That’s outrageous.” He reached across the seat and took the booklet back. “We haven’t committed any crimes. Sure, we lost the house because we were in debt. Sure, you kids aren’t in school. And, sure, I leave you guys alone all day while I work. But, those things pale in comparison to breaking and entering!”

    When he finished speaking, John looked down at the booklet. He was holding it open to a small split level house on the corner of a street. There were picture of the back yard. It was fenced and surrounded by trees. The text beside the pictures showed the house had been for sale nearly six months. He lifted his head and stared at his son. Bradley was a shadow of what he used to be when he was playing football at school and eating regularly. Stephanie’s hand was on his shoulder. A glance at her showed John his daughter had been suffering as well. There were bags under her eyes, and he could not remember the last time she had a proper hair cut and an actual roof over her head while they slept. Shame and relief competed as the dominant emotion for John at that moment. He was supposed to be taking care of his children, and here they were looking out for him.

    “Ok, kids,” he handed the booklet back to Bradley. “We’ll do it.”

    Minutes later, the three of them pulled up just down the street from the house where they intended to spend the night.

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