Some Flash Fiction
Posted Feb 01 2016 - 06:30 PM
“Action!” the director ordered as the cameras began rolling. As was required by the script, I began walking across the soundstage as the countless extras ran past me. We all were dressed in attire required by the script, authentic-looking clothing which would remind the audience of seventh-century Arabia. And then, as the script required, I “accidentally” collided with a waiflike lady crossing my path, dressed in the same kind of period outfit.
“Sorry!” we both said before we looked at each other. The script called that this was the moment our characters, seeing each other for the first time, fell in love, but it was less of a fiction and more a recreation of the first time I saw her, and fell in love.
“Pardon me,” I said, faking my Arabian accent as best I could. “What’s your name?”
I knew her name, of course: Audrey, Audrey Hepburn. Acting alongside her had been my lifelong dream, and now I had called in enough favors to get myself a role as the dashing hero of Arabia in Muhammad’s time, fighting off pirates and slaves to protect her. It was going to be a wonderful next few weeks of shooting, of her fawning over me and embracing me with loving arms.
“Fatima,” she replied, in the same faux-Arabian accent. “Please, I’m forbidden from even looking at non-mahram men…” she continued, looking at her dainty sandaled feet.
But I wasn’t content to let her go. I put a hand under her chin, beckoning our gazes back together as they should be.
“Then I, Ali Shahan, shall escort you back home, to make sure no non-mahram men will give you any trouble,” I said in my most suave voice. “A girl like you ought not to be alone in the marketplace. Tell me, Fatima, do you believe in destiny?”
“I-I…” she began, her eyes full of emotion. Were they feigned emotion, only what the scripted called for, or was she feeling as I was feeling, grateful for the opportunity to be with me as I was with her, imagining the days to come when we would reminiscence on this as the day she and I coincidentally met, guided by the same destiny the character of Ali Shahan was speaking of to the character of Fatima? Was she, or was my wishful thinking getting the better of me again, and she simply so enchanting an actress I couldn’t help but believe it?
I positioned myself on my pedestal, prepared to break into a run as soon as the clock hit zero.
I wore a bodysuit with a “4” emblazoned on both shoulders, ready to bring pride to my homeland.
And then, the world went mad as the 37th Hunger Games officially began. Of the 24 Tributes of Panem, about half of us made a break for the Cornucopia, hungry for weapons and blood, while the rest fled into the surrounding ruins of the abandoned city. I was among those running for the Cornucopia. Hailing from the fishing center of District 4, I knew my best bet was to get my hand on a spear like the ones I grew up with. Those would be pretty deep in the silver structure. Almost immediately, the girl from 9 and the boy from 3 were killed. I had to force my body to come to a stop as an axe whirled by me, a gift from the boy from 10. I dodged, ducked, and weaved through the warring tributes when I saw the great thing I could: a spear gun!” I lunged for it and grabbed it right before the boy from 1 would have. He, being the nearest other Tribute, was the first kill I made with it. He was so close I was able to shoot it right through his head.
Having gotten my weapon, the teachings of my mentor came into my mind and I knew it was time to depart. A few well-placed blasts from the spear gun formed for me a path to escape. I fired a few shots back, managing to hit the girl from 9 in the back as she grappled with the girl from 6 for a sword. Then, it was off into the ruins to look for the one thing I knew best: water. It would be my source of hydration and hygiene, but would also remind me of the salty air of District 4 and my family and friends rooting for me and the reason I was here: the one I volunteered for, my sickly brother, who would certainly be dead right now had I not taken the burden in his place.
"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer."
-- Turaga Nokama
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