Every two weeks writers have the chance to take part in Soliloquies Anthology’s Flash Fiction contest. We publish a new single-word writing prompt as a starting point, and you write a story in 300 words or less. This winning story uses the prompt blunt.
“Poisonous frogs come in bright colours so they’re avoided in the animal kingdom,” Bianca once told me in the backwoods behind the town chapel. “Outstretched butterfly wings form scary faces to ward off predators. Our Creator’s pretty straight-up, and nature’s a language if you know how to read it.”
According to Bianca, the face God had bestowed me with was “too innocent and red, like a Cabbage Patch Kid.” My innate defence mechanism was preciousness, and, if she didn’t beat the naivety from me, reality wouldn’t bare its fangs my way until it was too late. So Bianca and I skipped studies every Sunday, and she’d pour all her worldly wisdom into me.
“The moon landing was filmed in a Hollywood studio like a detergent commercial. A blunt is a cigarette made with drugs. Toss the stone like that and you’re a sissy.” She was overflowing with truths. Only later did it dawn on me that truths depend solely on the person speaking them.
Bianca lived with her foster father on the side of town as rough as she was. My parents weren’t fond of me spending time over that way, and they issued a curfew I persistently defied. Under nightfall’s refuge, Bianca veered from profane candour into personal territory. Only inches apart, our faces grew too fuzzy to make out, but she’d stare down at the dirt, voice trembling like when you stomp past a china cabinet.
I turned eleven, she met some guy from college, and our friendship passed. Bianca quit attending church altogether. The last time we saw each other, her boyfriend tried to steal my bicycle. Holding my handlebars, I glanced at Bianca for her to intervene. Instead, she focused on the ground with a far-off gaze, refusing to meet my teary Cabbage Patch eyes.
Oliver Skinner is an undergraduate student of English Literature at Concordia. His writing has appeared on Indiewire, MUBI’s Notebook, and bathroom mirrors.