Hey folks and welcome to 2015! It’s a brand new year, and some of the ladies and I are trying something new. Okay, so it’s not new, per se, but it’s new for us. In a word (or two) FLASH FICTION, baby.
Anyway, the first Monday of each month, we’ll be posting a photo…and all of us will put our own spin on what pops into our heads based on the picture. You never know what’s going to happen. So, here’s the first kick at the cat…
“This is stupid.”
Graeme James glanced up from his notebook, smiling at his buddy sitting across the table from him. Ryan looked more than frustrated, his hair sticking up in different directions—a by-product of the other man repeatedly carding his fingers through the unruly mass. Ryan snorted out an exasperated breath as he leaned back in his chair, flipping off his laptop.
Graeme chuckled. “What’s wrong now?”
Ryan held up the picture, rolling his eyes as if he couldn’t understand Graeme’s confusion. “This assignment. That’s what. It’s stupid.”
“It’s easy. And after that last mid-term, we need a way to up our grades a bit, or have you forgotten our dismal attempt.”
“How can I forget when you keep bringing it up—endlessly.”
“Would you rather we just pretend it didn’t happen? I’m sure your parents will jump on board with that.”
Ryan raised his middle finger, slamming the photo back on the table.
Graeme sighed, lifting the tattered paper. The image was actually quite stunning—mammoth ice cave, edges smoothed from wind-ravaged storms. The crystalline structure had taken on a greenish-blue colour, nothing else present except the solitary outline of a man standing on the threshold between salvation and despair. It called to him—made him question his place in the world—his worth.
He glanced at Ryan. “What’s so difficult? You stare at the picture and write a few descriptive sentences. Couldn’t ask for a simpler way to pad the grade point.”
“It’s pointless. It’s a photo—some dude standing in an ice cave. What could possibly be up for interpretation?”
“It’s not supposed to be literal. Use your imagination. How does it make you feel?”
“Cold, bro. Just cold.”
Graeme exhaled a rough breath. “Then forget being creative and just write what pops into your head.”
Ryan pursed his lips. “Fine, smartass. I will.” He taped on his keyboard before leaning back to stare at the screen again.
Graeme thumbed the edge, spinning the computer to face him, reading Ryan’s reply. “You can’t write, ‘this is stupid’ as your answer, dude.”
“You said to write what popped into my mind. And that’s it.”
“Are you trying to fail English Lit? Because you’re doing a damn fine job of it.” He scrubbed his hand along his scalp, praying he hadn’t just made a sympathetic version of Ryan’s hair. “Surely you can think of something. What about a movie? Pretend it’s Hoth or that blue planet where Loki’s from.”
“You remember the fucking name of Loki’s realm, but you can’t create a couple hundred words to describe a photo? Sad, Ryan. Very sad.”
“Your love-life’s what’s sad, bro.” He raised a brow. “You ever going to ask Bailey out? Or are you going to sit there and stare at that cave some more—pretend it’s you standing at the edge, knowing you have nothing to lose because you’ve already lost anything worth saving.”
Graeme raised his brow. “Did you just hear yourself?”
“Yeah. I ragged on you for being a coward. The girl’s been giving you the eye. I’m telling you. She’ll say yes.”
Graeme palmed his face. “I meant what you said about the photo. You just answered the assignment—and surprisingly well.”
“I did? What the hell did I say?”
“That bit about standing on the edge with nothing to lose…sound familiar?”
“How about I make you a bet? If I get a better grade on this stupid-ass assignment, you have to ask Bailey out. If you ace it…I’ll buy you lunch for a week.”
Graeme stared at the paragraph typed beneath the image, Bailey’s green eyes ghosting behind the words. He lifted his gaze to meet Ryan’s. “You’re on, dude.”
“Fucking A. You’re so going down.”
“Right.” Graeme highlighted his answer before deleting it, typing three small words across the page. ‘This is stupid’ stared back at him, the simple elegance of it making him smile. “Gonna kick your ass, Ryan.”
“Yeah, yeah. You always were all talk. About time you took action, don’t you think?”
“We’ll see, buddy. We’ll see.”
That’s it for me. I know, I probably didn’t go in the direction of the other ladies at all. So go check them out and see what the photo said to them. And please check back next Monday when we begin our much anticipated (even if we’re the only ones who feel this way) SERIAL!