2020 minus 64 : The art of fast fiction #2

Posted: 29 October 2019 in 2020 minus, fast fiction, fiction, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Yes, I’m keeping with the fast fictions on a Tuesdays for a bit, but something a bit different for the next couple (or longer) weeks.

When the estimable Si Spurrier took over Whitechapel (a now sadly long gone message board) from Warren Ellis, he and I came up with what we thought was a neat idea: The Art Of Fast Fiction

As you saw three weeks ago, occasionally, someone – the wonderful Bevis Musson on that occasion – would want to turn the fast fictions into a comics page. Now, most of them – to put it mildly – weren’t written to be turned into comics.

However, I was aware that some of them could be. And I was always happy to give my permission for them to do so, to use something I wrote to do so.

But this was different; I wrote these stories deliberately to provoke artwork.

So, as I said last week “for the next couple of weeks, I’ll put a story up, together with the art that resulted. For the first two, the art will be by the inimitable Ollie Redding, whose creations saw print in the Thought Bubble anthology programme.”

If I can find the artwork for the other stories, I’ll put them up as well; if not, well, you’ll get the story, and you’ll have to imagine the art.

Oh, the idea was that I’d choose the ‘winning’ art, and that person got to issue the challenge for the following week’s story. Which I’d write, and then we’d ask for submissions, and start the whole process over again. We started with the second story in this post, and moved on from there.

The challenge, of course, was the same as usual, with the same rules:

Give me a title of up to four words in length, together with a single word you want me to include in the tale, and I will write a story of exactly 200 words.

That’s it. The stories that resulted always included the word, they always fitted the title, but usually in ways the challenger hadn’t anticipated. And they were always exactly 200 words in length.

You saw one story, and the art from Ollie that resulted, last week.

Here’s the second,

Title: Rain Falling Like Hammers
Word: waiting
Length: 200 words exactly

It was raining the day he left.

I remember it quite clearly, the certainty of finality. It was done. I didn’t care any more. Nor did he, and we both knew it.

And the Rain fell; I suppose it should have mattered, but it didn’t. Not at that precise moment. Not any more.

He stumbled at the door, and looked back, a world of thoughts in those hazel brown eyes. He didn’t say anything; we’d had too many conversations already where we’d talked a lot and said fuck all.

And there wasn’t much to say anyway, I suppose. My world was ending and I didn’t care enough to stop him leaving.

I turned my head away, waiting a few minutes, and when I looked back, there was only the Rain.

I waited, then looked out at the ruins of the city, half covered with debris, the other half submerged under the waters that had arrived with inevitable force.

I looked up to where the Moon had once been, then down to where car sized fractions of it still hit the city daily.

He left when he knew there was no hope of survival. I stayed because I knew the same.

© Lee Barnett, 2012


Something else tomorrow…

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