Friday, May 15, 2009

Flash fiction: Unclear on the concept

(or "How I Was Kidnapped")

Let's start with the fiction and then we'll get to the truth.

Please visit Jeanne at The Raisin Chronicles to read more flash fiction* prompted by the opening phrase: "The voice on the phone..." She's super-cool - and it's fun to see what different directions people can take a story from those words.

And now, without any further ado, Jim Styro's latest flash fiction**...

Unclear on the concept

The voice on the phone was low. Unfamiliar.

"Mrs. White?"

"Yes," I replied, half-listening.

"Mrs. White, we have kidnapped your husband." The world stopped.

"Who is this?!"

"You don't need to know. Do you want to see him again?"

Panic rose in my throat, then I heard our front door open. Clasping the phone to my chest, I leapt into the hallway. I saw his face coming through the door and nearly burst into tears.

“What?” he asked, perplexed.

I spit the words into the phone.

“My husband is here – and your number is on my caller ID. Idiot.”

(100 words plus title)

My original intention, at this point, was to tell...The Rest Of The Story. But it's after midnight - and I have an early meeting tomorrow.

So instead, I thought it'd be fun to pull a "World According to Garp" thing*** and ask people to tell me which parts of the story above they thought were true and which parts they think I made up. Post your true vs. made up theories in the comments to have a chance to win a copy of John Irving's wonderful novel, The World According to Garp (one of my all-time favorite books). All entries must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, May 17 to be eligible for our grand prize (need not be present to win). The winner will be notified by carrier pigeon. All decisions of our judges (me) are final. Anyone to whom my wife and I have already told the story is automatically disqualified from competition. Good luck!

I will post the full, true story of How I was Kidnapped on Monday morning.

But I hope you'll come back and visit again before then.

Take care.

* A short story of 100 words or less. Flash fiction often relies on the title to help tell the story.
** The Middle-Aged Woman gets at least half the credit for this story. She posted a version of this tale on her blog.
*** For extra credit in your true vs. made up theory, explain what "pulling a World According to Garp thing" means as it relates to this contest.

The Wings defeated the Ducks Thursday night, 4-3,
to win the best of seven series, 4 games to 3
Detroit advances to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals.