“To write is to rewrite.” Or is it, “to write is to get rejected.”
Hey everyone, Flobo here! This week, I would like to share with you a flash fiction story (500 words or less) that I entered into the “Colors Of My Soul” contest. The rules of the contest were simple: They would give you an image (in this case, fireworks) and you write something that is inspired by the image. The deadline was the beginning of July, so I assume it was by design to coincide with the July 4th holiday. My entry didn’t win (hell, it didn’t even place) but I’m taking my “defeat” n stride by posting it here. Rejection is part of the game, dear fellow creator.
I told my parents that I would never see them again, and for the first three days I believed it. Indeed, I had always planned on venturing out on my own for a while but even I couldn’t foresee how abrupt the severance between the two of them and I would be.
I moved the belongings from my small bedroom into an old El Camino my grandfather willed to me and hit the road. I had no idea where I was going to go, but since I lived just a few short miles from the Atlantic it was only right that I head out west. The asphalt arteries of the country were long, lonely, and at sometimes dangerous but I pressed on unsure of my next meal, let alone my future.
I found myself on a lonely highway in the American Southwest one day around sundown. I pulled over to the first motel I saw after reading a sign saying that the next rest stop was about two hundred miles further out. After checking in and dumping a change of clothes in the room, I went looking for something to eat in an area that was a few people short of a ghost town. My irreverent search for tumbleweeds proved futile.
I came across a diner on the other side of the highway that was still open. I got within an arm’s reach of the front door when I heard a loud bang come from behind the modest-sized greasy spoon establishment. Rounding a corner I saw a girl about my age lighting an assortment of bottle rockets into the newly christened night sky.
“Hey” I cried out. “What are you doing?”
“What does it look like I’m doing?” she snapped back with a tone that matched her tomboyish appearance.
“Can I try?”
“I only share with family,” she said. “And you ain’t family.”
I should have turned around and feed my already rumbling stomach. Against my better judgment, I walked over to her realizing that this had already become the longest conversation I’ve had with anyone in days.
“Are you new in town?” She said, putting a lighter towards a large roman candle firecracker.
“Maybe,” I said. “I’m kind of drifting these days.”
“Here hold this.”
She put the lit candle in my hand. Without so much as a second to react, wave after wave of colors shot of its cylindrical tube. It was a fountain of light; showering the dusty desert floor with sparks.
“Whoa,” I said, failing to hold in my amazement.
“If you’re a drifter,” she said. “I take it you don’t have a family. And if you ain’t got one of those, then I volunteer. One drifter to another.”
The next morning I checked out of the hotel and filled up the El Camino at a nearby service station. Before checking my things to see everything was in order, I made sure to make some room on the passenger’s seat.
What would YOU do with 500 words?