A short story taster

Well, I tried to write a flash fiction, which can be anything under 1000 words, depending on who you talk to. I wanted to keep it under 500, but it’s 569, so, close but no banana. Here it is, all the same. A rough flash fiction (my first) part of my Greek myth rewrite collection. This is based on the story of Circe.

A NICE CUP OF TEA

She was singing in the kitchen downstairs. Tony could hear her from the bathroom above, as he worked to fix the broken boiler. It was a sweet sounding song, with a catchy tune, but no matter how hard he tried to make it out, the words would just slip out of his mind. But he found himself humming along, all the same, as he changed the pump and slurped the hot, sweet tea she’d brought him.

Then he dropped the pump. It just fell out of his fingers, disappearing beneath the sink. He swore and dropped to his knees, reaching out to get it, but his fingers were thick and clumsy and he couldn’t seem to get a grip. He swore again and stretched a little further, until a painful spasm forced him to snatch his arm back. He rubbed at it until another spasm seized his calves and then his stomach, causing him to cry out and bend double.

It was the last thing he remembered. After that there was just pain, burning cramps in every single muscle in his body, spasms as those same muscles twitched and contracted, a pounding in his skull and the taste of blood on his lips. He couldn’t see. His vision was all blurred shapes and bright, dazzling stars. But he knew that his eyes were open. Somewhere, in all the pain, he knew that at least.

And then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the pain stopped, his vision cleared and everything was still.
Except . . . except he couldn’t feel anything. His whole body had gone numb, as though it had fallen asleep. Desperately he struggled to move, to wake his body, but to no avail. He was stuck.

Footsteps and then a pair of sandals and the hem of a pink dress appeared in front of him. Tony tried to open his mouth, to say something, to beg for help, to make a sound, anything! But he couldn’t. Nothing would come. Tears burned his eyes.

“Oh,” a voice said, the woman’s voice, sounding delighted. “You’re a pig! I don’t have any pigs.” Hands gripped him and, incredibly, he felt himself being lifted, held, carried, gently out of the bathroom and down the stairs. “You never know what people will become. I thought that it reflected their inner self, at first, but then I ended up with a two-headed snail and who is a two-headed snail on the inside?” She laughed, as she opened a door, and Tony was hit by the smell of fresh air and the brightness of the sun, before the ground rushed towards him, so fast it left him dizzy, as she set him down. “There! You look great and I’m sure you’ll be very happy here in your new home and you won’t be lonely. Here’s Mr Frog and Mr Badger to keep you company.” She moved backwards so that he could see the frog and badger garden ornaments, hidden behind her skirt.

A foot high, the two creatures were painted in ugly colours, reds and blues and greens, like cartoon characters in a circus. But their eyes were normal, a brown and a blue pair, both looking at him, both shimmering with tears.

And then the brown pair blinked and Tony knew what she had meant by them keeping him company.
Inside, he started to scream.

Hope people like it! :)

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