I've been trudging along revising my novel, "Juma's Rain", and getting some other projects polished for publication some time soon, when my mentor Holly Lisle started a free Flash fiction course. Over the duration of 3 weeks, she made us write 5 Flash stories -- my Muse went crazy. She loved the new format. I know I'm nowhere perfect but it was so much fun, I am thinking of putting them into an anthology and sell them for 99ct maybe with a generous reading sample from one of the other books. As a teaser, here's one of the stories.
I dedicate this story to my writing teacher Holly Lisle. If you haven't read her books, go and get one. They're very good (I recommend the "Cadence Drake" series)
Alot, the; no pl.
The Alot hopped off the page and stretched. When it shook, tiny blue droplets floated through the air and settled on the desktop. The Alot looked around. No one was here wherever here was. It stomped forward, sniffing the table as it went. Where was it? What was it doing here? When it reached the table's edge, it turned back to where it had come from. Aside from a few words and a strange blue twinkling, the page was empty. Beside it sat a thick tome. The Alot turned its head sideways and spelled out the title: Foster's Etymological Dictionary
The Alot trampled onto the page whirling up the blue dust. It sneezed, shooting blue particles at one of the words: gryphon. The page trembled and the Alot stumbled backwards. Its tiny heart beat a rhythm of fear in its chest. It hid behind the giant tome of the Dictionary and peeked around the corner. An animal the size of the book with four legs, wings, and the head of a bird of prey stretched, ruffled its feathers and flew away. Cautiously, the Alot returned to the page. The word it had sneezed on was missing. Could it be? Had it been sneezed off of the page too? Had it been a word?
The Alot pondered. If it had been a word earlier, what was it now? With its tiny trunk, it touched all of its blue fur it could reach. The plump body with the stumpy legs didn't look one bit like the gryphon. It wondered what it was good for. It had to have a purpose. Why else had it come alive? Its gaze fell on the Dictionary once more. The book contained words. Thousands of them. Surely it'd be possible to find an explanation in there. It stood on its hindlegs and lifted the cover with its trunk, and then it wriggled and jumped until it managed to crawl under the cardboard. Turning the pages was easier.
al… ala.. alo… It found aloe, aloha, alone and aloof, followed by aloud, Aloysius, and analog.
I'm not in the book. It blinked away a tear. When I'm not in there, I must have been a mistake. Mistakes are bad, aren't they?It decided to erase itself.
It climbed down from the book and back to the page, looking for an eraser. When it passed over the page, the blue residue tickled in its trunk, and it sneezed again. A creature, slightly longer that the Alot but less compact rose from the paper. It wriggled its trunk.
"Hi, I'm an Adn. What are you?"
"Great. Can we be mistakes together." The Adn grinned.
The Alot's heart skipped and jumped. Maybe being a mistake wasn't so bad after all.
Did you like it? Has this happened to you too, I mean that the Muse just wouldn't stop bothering you with idea after idea after idea?
Have a great day,