Thursday, 9 February 2012

Forty First Friday Flash: Twinkles

*All feedback is welcome. #stabbylove

Marisa sat in her back garden sipping on a cocktail, it was only 11am, but it was her weekend off and she would do what she damn well pleased. It was so relaxing to sit back and do nothing. The peace and quiet was soon shattered when a large statue of a man appeared a dozen or more feet above her lawn and dropped down with a ground shaking thud.

“My lawn!” she cried out. She had spent the previous weekend getting the garden into shape.

Twinkles who had been sleeping by her feet woke up with a start and barked at the statue.

Looking up she saw no helicopter or any other reason for the statue's sudden appearance.

Shaken and her heart pounding, she picked up her hairbrush and moved in closer. There was heat radiating from the statue, it felt as hot or even more so than one of her sunbed tanning sessions.

There was no inscription on the statue, and it didn't look like any historical figure she could remember.

“Shh Twinkles!”

Marisa leaned over and touched the statue. “Ouch!” She put her finger in her mouth, easing the pain a bit. It tasted like burnt metal.

Taking out her phone she took a photo and uploaded it to her feed. “Statue just landed in my yard?!? Lucky to be alive!”

Marisa went inside, she would give the local police station a call, but she was sidetracked when she saw there was a breaking news report on the TV. She turned up the volume.

“We are getting reports of statues falling down all over the country, no wait,” the reporter placed her hand to her ear. “It's worldwide. It's happening everywhere.”

Marisa couldn't help but feel some of the fear in the reporter's voice. Reaching for her phone she checked other people's feeds, it was full of photos and people trying to find out what was going on. Some seeming to go crazy, thinking it was the end of world. Marisa was frightened, but she wasn't going to let it get the better of her. Not yet.

Twinkles came running in, Marisa picked up the dog and stroked the shivering little body. The dog gave her some comfort, like she had many time before, through breakups, family passing and friends leaving. She had always been there to provide her some warmth and companionship.

The TV caught her attention again. “This is serious people, we have reports and video footage of the statues coming alive, hold on, yes, okay, yes they are not friendly. I repeat they are not friendly.”

Marisa froze, and turned her head slowly to look through her glass sliding door. The statue was gone. Marisa placed Twinkles on the floor.

“Run girl, run.”

Twinkles just sat down and moaned.

Marisa took up her bottle of vodka and took a good swig. A moment later the statue came crashing through her house, instinct kicked in and she dived away just in time.

Getting shakily to her feet she threw the bottle she still had in her hand at the statue, it smashed on its face, but seemed to have very little effect.

“What the hell do you want?”

The statue did not reply. It moved closer towards her.

Twinkles barked at the door, Marisa rushed over scooped her up, grabbed her keys and ran out the front door. She hopped in and placed Twinkles on the passenger seat and tried to start the car. It wouldn't work. She could hear screams and shouts coming from her neighbours. The statue burst out the front of her house.

“Oh crap! Come on, start! I just serviced you last week!”

Her car finally started, without looking she rammed it into reverse and sped backwards. There was a massive impact, she had smashed into one of the statues. Twinkles squealed and hid in the back. She looked in the rear mirror as it regained its balance.

The statue from her garden came striding forward and kicked the car, caving in the back door and making the car spin around a few times. Her head smacked against the side window rather forcefully, cracking it in the process. She did her best not to look at the blood that was splattered everywhere. Marisa groaned, and opened the car door to flop down onto the road.

Twinkles jumped out of the car, barked and licked her face. Marisa tried to crawl away, but there was just too much pain. Twinkles pulled at her shirt.

“Get away you silly dog, save yourself.”

Twinkles ignored her and pulled harder.

"Now Twinkles! Go!"

Twinkles seemed to look at her directly in the eyes and then gave one last lick before running away. Blood pouring out of the side of her mouth Marisa smiled, at least Twinkles would be safe.


  1. Any #stabbylove I have is crude, since I'm extremely tired. However in my addled state, I found all the one-sentence paragraphs derailed a sense of tone or pace. This will seem entirely hypocritical after you read my #fridayflash, but it did make me wonder if you intent the piece to halt as often as it did in my head.

  2. @John It wasn't intentional, but thanks it's good to find out what might be wrong with the piece. It was intended for a webzine and only had 713 words to play with. Maybe I approached it the wrong way.

  3. Loved the idea for this, and the character's a cracker, but I needed more of her relationship with Twinkles to justify the ending. You need to show how much her dog means to her beforehand for it to work but when you have this'll be a cool piece.

  4. On a more technical point, it is unlikely the airbags would have deployed. They are designed not to in a rear-end collision. Perhaps since you said the front wheels lifted off the ground (also unlikely, btw) the resulting return to the ground might fool the sensors.

  5. Just a little #stabbylove here: you seem to share my tendency to write really long sentences. If punctuation rules are the same for you as for me (in the US), then it seems a little random at times.

    What did she back into, a statue?

    One out and out typo near the end: "Blooding pouring out of the side of her mouth…"

    BUT, it was a cool story. Maybe Twinkles goes on to organize the Earth Resistance and knocks those dudes off their pedestals. g/d/r

  6. Great write, Craig! One of your best that I have read so far. The only #stabbylove I can give you is that ending needs more care. I find that the reader's hand needs to be held in this moment a bit longer. More sensory details are needed so that the reader can really be in the ending moment.

  7. I did feel this one flowed better than last week and I did chuckle when she picked up her hairbrush as a makeshift weapon. It's certainly a very creepy idea and I like that you don't dwell on where the statues are actually from. The only feedback I'd give that could be construed as "stabbylove" (I hate that phrase) is that you have a lot of sentences that are constructed of four clauses separated by commas. It does add to the sense of urgency in the last half of the story but at the beginning, it might be better to break them into sentences of two clauses.

  8. I thought it was ok. Although the start showed more promise that what it ended up turning out to be about. It had a comedic tone about it, but then it turned out to be a little violent. The last run should be ran (typo).

  9. Hi all,

    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Every bit makes me stronger as a writer.

    @Louise thank you for the kind comments, and thinking about it I agree with you, the bond does need to be stronger between them.

    @Tim Good points Tim. She wouldn't have picked up enough speed. Will see if I can sort that out.

    @Larry I'm sure they are the same, will see what I can do. And yes she did, I will clear that up a bit too.

    Thanks! Don't know how I missed that, and haha... not too bad an idea for a sequel!

    @Quirina Good point, will see what I can do to improve that :).

    @Icy Thanks, glad you liked it more than the previous one. And glad you spotted that, because I feel when you're in danger you will pick up the closest item. I agree with you, not too fond of it myself, maybe we should come up with a better phrase? Didn't notice that myself, will see what I can do there.

    @Chria Thanks for the feedback! I did felt the ending wasn't as good as it could have been, but I have tweaked it bit now. Hopefully it's an improvement. Thanks, typo has been eradicated.

  10. Hi Craig, I like the concept, it's an unusual idea to run with. I think I would have run with the bottle of vodka though, I'm sure I could have found something less valuable to throw. :-)

  11. An absolute strength in this story is the voice. I wouldn't lose that. You capture this young somewhat ditzy character without ever stating this was who she was (tanning bed & the way she touches the statue are perfect).

    The largest weakness for me in the story is the ending. I like the idea that the dog might get away, might do more (I even thought at times we were setting the dog up for taking a more proactive role), but Marisa stole the show in the first part and therefore I didn't find it satisfying. Perhaps part of this is that she came across fairly self-centered and this makes for potentially a good arc with her sacrifice for the dog, but it needs something more for me.

  12. I liked the story, but I found the short sentences at the beginning gave the piece a choppy feel. I also would have liked you to have made more of the relationship between her and the dog. maybe show us more of what was being felt rather than tell us.