by Steve Spalding
This is a piece of flash fiction written in an Indiana hotel room on 2 hours of sleep.
In it there’s a protagonist – probably male, probably angry. Male because the author finds cheap, male rage easy to tap into. Angry because dramatic engines don’t grow on trees.
He’s in hate with someone he loves, and flits between the axes with all the grace of a drunken gymnast with inner ear disease. Melodrama masquerades as conflict, every tear spilled in service of word count.
The author holds back the target of our man’s love addled ravings, both because he’s convinced you’ll never see it coming, and because if he didn’t, he’d have dangerously little plot to pull a real ending out of.
Not to worry, our hero says something edgy and becomes an anti-hero in the span of a paragraph – we love him even more now because he’s suddenly as complex as we’ve always believed we were. We pray that he can fix in 200 words what our lives haven’t in twenty years.
It all ends with a lesson, something trite and universal that makes us feel literate, while at the same time giving lie to the fact that we’ve absorbed, into our immortal souls, the spiritual equivalent of a double cheeseburger.
And in case you were wondering, our man was in love with a robot, and you never saw it coming.
Writer of words, lover of fiction, dabbler in data, builder of web things—Steve also helps companies sell stuff. At the beginning of 2016, he promised himself to write one short story every weekday for a year, we’ll see how that goes.