Friday, November 27, 2009

Unavailable -- flash fiction

The phone ringing brought me out of a sleep so deep that when I broke the surface I had to gasp a long breath into my burning lungs.

The arm that I'd been lying on flooded with blood and the awakening pins and needles shrieked as I rolled to check the display. I shook some life into the limb and flipped open the phone to look at the missed call.

"Unavailable." Well I don't do unavailable. Unavailable used to mean a reporter trying to get an exclusive, or a producer trying to get me to love a project, or a woman just trying to get me.

Now it means a bill collector.

How far the mighty have fallen. 3:54 in the frickin afternoon and the best place to be is abed. And alone no less. I slowly slid my feet to the floor and cradled my head in my hands until I could hold my eyes open against the watery afternoon sun. The pain in my head hadn't been helped by sleeping. Nothing helped it these days.

This is just an excerpt now because I'm pleased to announce that Unavailable has been included in Flash an anthology Edited by Chris Bartholomew and Published under the Static Movement imprint.

You can purchase the book HERE.

This week's list of fridayflash at Mad Utopia


J. M. Strother said...

Whoa! This was all over the place. Twist upon twist upon twist. No toads for me, thanks. ;)

Michael Solender said...

aren't we all just whores when you get right down to it..very nora ephronesque...funny.

Chance said...

It was like an episode of "the scary door"

very enjoyable read

Karen from Mentor said...

Chance I LOVE Futurama. Thanks for that!

You said a mouthful Michael. And that was spot on where I was going with this.

No toads for me either Jon! I like to look at toads and I'll happily catch one and hold it... but lick one? um....pass..... lol

~Tim said...

If I had a nickel for every time the aliens abducted me I... well, never mind that. I like the twists in this.

Laura Eno said...

Are these the same aliens that you got the lavender tenticles from? I'm going to stay away from toads...
Poor Jack/Bethany.

Diandra said...

A bit confusing, but good read nevertheless.

Karen from Mentor said...

No these are different aliens Laura.
But I'm really enjoying my tentacles.

Poor Jack/Bethany indeed. I decided to insert "now that the self that I had was a long leggy blonde" about an hour after I posted the story because I got a bunch of emails saying why is he pretending to be a girl?

So thanks guys for telling me that I needed that clarification. [and thanks for catching my typo Tim]

I guess I thought that you'd all have read that chapter in your "trying to blend in on Earth" manual about brain swapping being a pretty common belief among humans when it comes to alien abductees....


Unknown said...

Wow. This twists everywhere, yet falls together into a singular point. Brilliant.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks for stopping in Diandra. Maybe if you lick a toad it will make more sense.

Karen :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

The twists were fun to write Tim. Glad you liked it. And just for my own edification....would you have more than a quarter?


Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks so much Draco. It made perfect sense to me when I wrote it but I'm NaNo fried..everything makes sense to me right now.

Glad that it came together for you. Thanks for stopping in carrying a "brilliant" in your pocket.

Cat Connor said...

LOL - oh how I giggled. Well done!!

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Cat.
I put in the high from writing being just like the high from drugs just for you. And remind me to never ever listen to you again!"Nano is fun!" "Nano is Great!" "You'll love Nano"..she said. PAH! Nano may be like crystal meth for writers, but I'm going to just say no to drugs after this year. I don't know how you do it over and over year after year. I'm toast. Sad. Unbuttered
Hugs honey.
Karen :0)

Deanna Schrayer said...

Brilliant indeed! Fantastic job Karen. I was laughing, then going "huh?", then "oh!", then laughing again. Superb story!

Kim Batchelor said...

The description in the second paragraph was very rich. Interesting to read this without knowing the gender of the main speaker, then rereading after knowing who he is--like reading two separate stories. I can't elaborate on the previous posts re: the intersection between aliens and toads. Thanks.

Marisa Birns said...

The studio has decided to change the title from 'Snatched' to 'Abducted' after protests were lodged from women's groups around the country. HAHAHAHA! Brilliant!

Really enjoyably twisty ride through story.


Laurita said...

Loved this twisty tale. Great job!

David Masters said...

This made me reflect on writing - should writers simply pimp themselves to the highest bidder, to what the reader wants, or should they satisfy the truth of their inner being?

And what if they're doing the latter and getting no readers?

My favourite line was "How far the mighty have fallen. 3:54 in the frickin afternoon and the best place to be is abed."

Whether or not the word 'abed' was intentional, I like it muchly.

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey David, abed was intentional and I liked your use of the word muchly. [grins at you]

I am a staunch proponent for writing what makes your heart sing.

Thanks for stopping in.
Karen :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

I laughed when I read your comment Marisa. It's SO much fun to slide little things like that in. Glad you enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm the only one interested in finding out what licking toads might be like now. ;)

Interesting and convoluted in a delicious and wildly entertaining way. Well done!

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Laurita, the twisty tale thanks you.

@ Deanna, oh boy laughing, puzzlement and then a light bulb moment leading back to laughing....doesn't get better than that. Thank you for the superb and topping it with the cherry of a brilliant. You're too kind.
[but don't stop]


Karen from Mentor said...

Kim I love that you took the time to read it twice to get all the subleties. Thank you.
And welcome to friday flash!
Karen :0)

Karen from Mentor said...

@ jdanetyler...if you lick a toad...please, PLEASE have a tape or video recorder handy.
A writer's mind high on toad would be a terrible thing to waste.
Thanks for stopping in and thanks for all of your wonderful words about the story.

Deb said...

Wow -- alien abduction changes gender roles -- interesting twists. Great writing.

Anonymous said...

Loved it with all its twists!

I kept thinking it will turn out to be an excerpt from your novel. Now I'm even more excited and can't wait to read it!

Karen from Mentor said...

It's not an excerpt from Joined Journey Estrella, there's only one human in my Nano project and although Marcus WAS abducted by aliens, he winds up far far from Earth.

Glad you liked the twists and turns.

And Deb? It wasn't just the abduction, it was more the sawing open of their heads and switching out the brains ....somehow bits of their minds meshed..that's not supposed to happen, but a lot of the technology is new. We're I mean they're working on sorting out the bugs.


judy said...

I liked the Snatched line too. Very fun!

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Ooooh - I see what you did there!
Much, much fun with the twisting goodness here :)

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks Mazz, I like the sound of twisting goodness, it sounds like the story should be smothered in chocolate.

Karen from Mentor said...

Wow Judy, I'm AMAZED that you came over to comment with only two days left of NaNo.
Don't I feel special?

Answer: Yes I do. [thanks]


Weezel said...

Nicely done twist. I didn't see it coming. I just love aliens with tentacles! Well written. :)

Karen from Mentor said...

LOVE your handle Weezel. Glad that my tentacled aliens could entertain you for a bit.
Thanks for stopping in.
I just read your debut tale. I hope you keep contributing week after week, we have a lot of fun together.
Welcome to fridayflash!
Karen :0)

Cat Russell said...

Oh, I really, really loved this. You should definitely submit it for the anthology. Great story.

Eric J. Krause said...

Very cool. Wow, it was quite something to keep up with all those twists. The last one made me laugh. Loved it!

Karen from Mentor said...

Me too Eric, glad you liked it.

Karen from Mentor said...

Hey ganymeder, thanks for stopping in. I was thinking of submitting this story for the anthology.
Thanks for the vote of confidence!

Mark Kerstetter said...

I guess he really was abducted by aliens. Who else would have the power to send them back in time and make them lick toads?

Karen from Mentor said...

That's funny Mark.
I'm pretty sure that no time travel was involved.
Just a half naked blonde and poor judgement.

Linda said...

Pimping in paradise... just when I thought I nailed your story, you twisted it again. Brilliant. And provocative. Peace, Linda

Ric.Soard said...

twisty, like driving down a mountain pass at 70 mph, except you get to the end and wonder where your car is.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ BC and Linda I really enjoyed both of your very descriptive comments.

It's possible that I've invented a new fiction niche.....I think I'll call it "disorientation by fiction."
Love that idea.
Thanks for stopping in.
Karen :0)

Chris Chartrand said...

Sorry I'm late to the dance. I actually read this Monday, but didn't have time to comment. I love how you twisted the twists, not an easy thing to do with flash fiction but you make it look easy.

Karen from Mentor said...

Thanks so much Chris.

I didn't get to everybody to comment this week either.
Thanks for taking the time to stop back in to make my head swell up.