I issued a challenge, and that challenge was to write flash fiction based upon a very specific bottlecap photo. Readers dear, you are some talented folks, and picking top picks was positively painful. I recruited help, to keep things fair, and we still only narrowed it down to four entries. So, I’m turning to you! Please vote in the comments section and let’s see who took this challenge. (In order submitted)
I take the Bible from the drawer and tossed it where the carpet
meets the back of the hotel closet. I left behind a pair of slacks
once, so I keep everything in the chest of drawers, even my shoes. At the bar, I watch lips move on television. There are words, but
I’m too drunk to read them. Some guy chuckles. I look and he turns to
me, holding up a bottle cap. “Read books, not bottle caps.” He’s on vacation, so he assumes everyone’s on vacation. We lock eyes and he stops smiling. Every day is exactly same.
“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.” It was the first thing that came to mind as I came to. As the haze subsided, I took stock of my surroundings. A dark diner.
Things strewn about, no windows. What happened? Kitchen’s empty,
bathrooms and dining area too. I headed towards the front door, opened it to a sunset temporarily
blinding me and I looked down to see a bottlecap that had, “read
Books… not Bottlecaps. I thought it odd as I looked up to see a burning city in front of me.
I hated my job. I didn’t study English so that I could slave away
coming up with four word pithy slogans to amuse the mindless drones
that popped open a soda, read the cap and then threw it on the street,
or into the curb, or wherever. No, I studied English because the power
of words sang to me. And look at me. Reduced to this. The power of
words: four of them, in a cap, that only seven people read.
Benny smelled of beer, sweat and urine. Most of it was his. As he
stared in the mirror he knew it was his Shawshank moment; “get busy
living or get busy dying.” Four years later, Ben smiled at the girl looking at the Twilight
books in his store. Without being aware he was doing it, he touched the
necklace he made himself. “Thanks, bottlecap.”
So there you have it, folks. We’re stumped over here, so help up pick the winner! (And stay tuned for the next postcard fiction challenge, coming soon!)