I’m writing another post much sooner than I thought I would. Unfortunately, it isn’t necessarily going to be of much interest to anyone. You see, it’s about writing, and I don’t think that’s even interesting to writers. But, why not, eh?
I’m a member of a writing forum called Litopia and this month they have reopened a section for flash fiction. I pretty much have no experience in writing flash fiction, which to be perfectly honest is partly why I decided to join in. All I ever write is fantasy, and until a couple of months ago, all that had ever been was starting chapters and nothing substantial. But dag nabbit, I have mastered the art of rambling!
Back to the flash fiction. I lost track of the date and it was actually as I was reading another member’s post that I realized it was the day before that particular task was to close. Now, although there isn’t exactly anything flash about the story I put together, I enjoyed writing it. It’s about a man named Simon and his parrot Monroe, and how Monroe’s incessant squawking eventually gets Simon into trouble. I’ll post it here (just in case anyone wants to have a read) and I’ll also start a section for the flash stories as I continue to write them. I kinda want to have a go at writing in a different genre for each prompt. I think that would be challenging. Well, maybe not the erotic genre. I have nothing against that genre or its writers, I can just tell you now that I would be damn awful at it. So awful even, it would be as awkward as watching a raunchy sex scene with your grandmother.
As for Squawk Monroe (the title of my flash fiction), while I was writing it I realized I wanted to create characters with as much personality as possible within a 1,000 word limit. I’m disappointed with the ending because there is no punch to it. But it’s supposed to be a silly and fun read, so although disappointed I’m not about to cut my ear off about it. Or a finger. I hope you get at least a smile out of it.
“Hello? Yes, hello,” Simon pushed the phone against his ear, while using his other hand to keep the towel he had wrapped around his head from falling to the floor.
“No, I would not like to finalize anything. How did you even get that far?” He asked in amazement of the calm voice that drawled on through the receiver.
Simon looked across to Monroe who, having been caught doing what he’d been told not to do, was using his beak to pick at his feet nonchalantly. The relatively small parrot shook out his wings and finding to his irritation that Simon was still glaring at him, let out another innocent squaaaawk.
The voice on the other end of the call was still attempting to gain Simon’s card details and so, in a last ditch attempt to explain the situation, he yanked on the cord and stretched it towards the parrot.
“No, no. Listen,” Simon held the phone below Monroe’s beak but finding the bird suddenly coy, he tapped his foot impatiently and then stamped it in frustration.
Monroe turned away from him and looked out through the window.
“Okay, he’s not doing it now, but what you need to understand is that you almost allowed a parrot to take out car insurance.”
“Well, I don’t believe you, either!”
Simon slammed the phone down. They just didn’t get it. Not one of them. Without fail, every cold call was answered by Monroe the parrot. Simon had done what he could to prevent this, even taping the phone into its holder. But all that resulted in was a trip to the vet and an audience for Monroe while he sang his own rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.
“Sure, Monroe, that’s great. Now, how about just for once you speak when I want you to?”
The parrot was once again facing Simon, and watched as he rubbed the towel against his dark hair, drops of water trickling from the sodden strands and onto his shoulders.
“Tonight I need to be fierce, I need to be feisty, I need to be foxy…”
“No, Monroe. I’m going to be Britney Spears,” Simon replied, pulling his head through a baggy t-shirt that read, ‘Who cares about Vegas when we’ve got Brighton’. “Sometimes I really do question whether or not you’re my son.”
He walked through to what had originally been designed as a dining room, but instead was now a dressing room due to its lighting. Monroe followed behind, first hopping down from his make shift perch of a coat hanger on a window sill, and then flapping his green wings lazily until he landed on Simon’s vanity table.
“What do you suggest for this evening’s theme song, Monroe?” Simon asked as he flicked through his phone. “Actually, never mind, you’ll just make your usual demands of…”
Diana Rowss! Chaaain reacktion!
“Seriously? Every night, Monroe.”
Despite the parrot’s request Simon decided to put his music on shuffle, beginning with Britney Spears. The first beat blared through the speakers and as was custom Monroe began to bop his head while Simon sang along and began his transformation.
Am coming ouuut!
“Later Monroe, I promise. Right now I need to get into character.”
Simon opened the lid of a small pallet of lip colours and began swatching a number onto his hand. He mouthed the final words of Toxic and then started to apply his chosen red only to be halted by a loud hammering on the front door.
Out of habit, he used a tissue to hurriedly wipe the lipstick from his mouth. As the next song began to play, he listened intently for more knocking. The banging continued and so quite anxiously Simon left the room, closing the door behind him and went to open the front door.
Outside stood two police officers. The man, of stout appearance, raised a bushy eyebrow the moment Simon answered the door. Then, turning to his female companion, who held her hat in her hand, he muttered a decisive, “Mm hmm.”
“Can I help you?” Simon asked, conscious that he currently wore the mask of mid-make-up application.
“I’m PC Davies and this is PC Sale,” the woman stated.
“PC?” Simon replied, pulling his head back instinctively only to realise how suspicious it made him appear.
“That’s right,” Sale answered while stroking a hand over his bristly chin. “We called earlier this morning.”
“Been called out on a few complaints,” Sale continued. He leaned back on his heels and peered through one of the windows.
Before Simon could ask about the nature of the complaints, Davies waved her hand and asked if it would be possible for them to come inside.
“Noise, mostly,” the woman continued once seated.
“But also an incidence of peeping,” Sale added.
“Peeping on whom?” Simon exclaimed, but the minute he had asked he already knew the answer. Mrs Gulacy, that crazy, paranoid old bat.
“But, it’s mostly the noise,” Davies insisted. “During the call, we also heard something quite disturbing.”
“Oh,” Simon said, his shoulders slouching, “That would be my parrot.”
Just as he had started his explanation, the music had quietened and a loud SQUAWK had sounded from behind the door.
Sale, no longer interested in an explanation, was soon barrelling through it.
The door crashed open to reveal Monroe with Simon’s red lipstick on both his beak and claws, bopping his head as the beginnings of “You Can’t Hurry Love” vibrated the speakers.
Momma said squuaawk hurry love
“However it looks, it isn’t like that!” Simon said desperately as the two police officers looked at Monroe with wide eyes.
“I’m going to need to make a call,” Davies said, glancing to Sale, back to Monroe, and then with a shake of her head to Simon.
For some tender ack-arms to hold me tight…
“Bloody typical,” Sale sneered.
It’s a game of give and squaaawk!