Below is a piece flash fiction I wrote for Shannon's contest... Shannon posted a wordle word cloud and told contestants to create a short story using words from the cloud. (How many times can I type the word 'word' in one sentence... and now, make that two...)
I bolded the words (that I could remember) I used to form the story with. It was fun - a definite change of pace from Shattered - the young adult urban fantasy I spent the past five months writing.
So, here it is... Will I win the prize? Who cares! I mean, it'd be cool - don't get me wrong... It's just that I think any contest that gives writers a reason to write is a contest worth entering...
Natalia didn’t talk about Avalon.
Max didn't press her about it.
He loved her. With that deep, faerie tale kind of love that’s rarely in the cards for anyone. She was his world. So he didn’t press her.
But she was pulling away. Whatever had happened, whatever secret she kept, it seemed to set a shadow within her open, carefree nature. Max couldn’t erase the nagging suspicion that somehow Ernie Iver was involved. But he was out in California -- nowhere near Minnesota. Thank God.
The man was a goblin, a monster. Next to him, baboons looked like little kids. Natalia said they were just friends. And Max had believed her. Before Iver’s very public, very verbal, and unfortunately very truthful, attack on their relationship.
Those days were long past though. They’d made their way back to a good place. A better place, perfect and built on trust.
Still, something changed when Natalia went to Avalon. She never read books anymore. She didn’t even take the time to brush her hair.
On the second Sunday of every month since Max had known her, Natalia and her father went shopping for antiquities. They’d discovered an ancient looking table once, years ago, in a dusty old town in North Carolina. It was made out of an old barn door. They’d hauled the thing home, sanded it out on the deck, and stained it a dark, chocolate color. Four weeks they spent on the table and Natalia loved it. She guarded it like an army of one - Max wasn’t even allowed to work on his crosswords without a placemat between the magazines and the wood.
Since Avalon, she sat at the table, silent in her chair every morning and stared out of the window. But Max knew she wasn’t really looking at anything. Her mind was elsewhere. She drank glasses of water without coasters, and those glasses left rings on the oak.
So he tiptoed around her. He kept things light, trying to let the darkness run its course.
One month, though, turned into three. He just couldn’t stand the defeated look on her face anymore. So he sat down, and stared at her across the table, until she met his eyes. And he asked her to explain the business in Avalon.
She painted a picture for him with her words. By the time she finished, he’d rubbed his knucklebones raw against her beautiful antique table.
After that, Max didn’t talk about Avalon either.
Have a great weekend!!