Thursday, March 15, 2012

300 Words or Less: Pleasure to Burn

300 Thursday again, where I'm posting bits of original work -- teasers from the novel I'm working on, some of my favorite poetry or prose I've done in the last few years, maybe some flash fiction or short essays, etc. -- all within 300 words or less. 

Today's quickie is two things -- first, a little fiction piece based loosely around something I heard had happened in a city near me awhile back. Second, it's one of those dealies you do by using the first line from something famous, and then creating a completely different story from there. So here we go:

Pleasure to Burn

It was a pleasure to burn. 

At least that night it was. I had only been half- listening to my friends’ conversation at the cafĂ©. It was cold, for the end of March, and I was watching the snow falling soft outside. It settled on everything, making sharp edges round.
link to original here

I had been thinking of home, where it never snows.

“So y’all heard about the scandal, right?”

I can’t help it. That word always perks my ears, and I looked over. Dricky was nodding. 

“Yeah, and I don’t believe it. She’s a bitch, but…”

“Of course it’s true,” Brinn scoffed. “She would definitely go that far.”

Their chairs screeched on the floor, repositioning. Shoulders squared, they were revving up for a royal debate, so I piped in to clarify. “Who? Did what?”

Three sets of eyes turned to blink at me.

“The Mayor?” said Steffon.

“Her strategy. To get the homeless off the streets?” said Brinn.

Dricky sighed. “You never know what’s going on, Sunny. A couple nights ago the Mayor supposedly had the police go around pulling blankets and bedding from the bums around town.”

I waited. He didn’t continue. “And?”

“And supposedly a bunch of them died.”

Brinn snapped. “Not supposedly, Drick. Forty-five innocent people. Dead.”

“They’re just vagrants, Brinn. And they’re probably lying.”

True or not true, I was furious. My rage threatened to burn out of control. Abruptly I stood, turning to the door. They shouted after me but I stepped into the cold, bitter dark, not looking back.

I walked the city, gathering the weary, the heavy-leaden, the broken-hearted. I told them to come with me, and we were a parade. Then we were a circle, and since no one would believe them anyway, I let go. I burned.

And it was a pleasure. 

So can you guess where I got my starting sentence? And many thanks to those of you who voted about the goose/machine story. I hope all sorts of good kharma comes your way.

Total pages logged as of today: Visit my First Draft -- Deb Stats page to find out

Moment of Magic today:

I am very much the kid on the bouncing horse toy. Not the real horse, the toy one. What part resonates with you? Give it a watch and see. And then I love all the lyrics, but they're kind of hard to hear? At least for me. Here's a taste:
"...Throw me a dream please, it's been a dreamless sleep
For such a long time, such a long time
Sing myself awake
Watch the branches break
No one could ever take your place..."



  1. Powerful. I love it. Especially "we were a parade."

    1. Thanks Lou, I love that you loved it. And thanks for giving me details of what you loved, so I have a better idea what works for people, for you.

  2. "It settled on everything, making sharp edges round." such a great way to describe the snow, I can almost feel myself knocking the snow off something as I walk by.

    PS way to leave us hanging!! Love it ;-)

    1. And you continue the visual which is heartening... and I was going to launch into detail about all the ways it was heartening, but Beta just woke up so I better go get the little guy. Lucky for us all, eh? Otherwise your comment was going to make me blather on and on and on...

      So I'll just leave off with a "Thanks" and a *big smiles*


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...