After reading through hundreds and hundreds of entries for the CN&R’s Fiction 59 contest, I felt inspired to take up the challenge we’d given to creative writers. Could I come up with a compelling tale, full of rich descriptions and a genuine payoff?
Well, I found I’m no Sharon DeMeyer, Emma Hoppough or Lucy Greenfield (and not just because of age and gender). Journalism and criticism, I can do; fiction, not as easily.
So, I decided to try the next best thing: 59-word bursts of column writing. What you’ll see below are scenes inspired by current events, a few by people you may well recognize, all with a measure of creative license.
• • •
At First Blush
Staring at the sheet of paper, Becky Jones felt numb. Her first thought: Wow, pink slips really are pink. Next thought: Did they have to make the severance check fuchsia? Third thought: Bubblegum Beemer, six payments left. Fourth: Guess I’ll have time to plant tea roses. Finally, with cheeks growing flushed: Damn you guys for all the red ink!
• • •
Fairway Therapy I
“What’s bothering you, Mayor?” The mustachioed man peers down upon the couch.
“Well, Doc, it’s these nightmares. I’m covered in plastic.”
Pause. “Go on.”
“No matter what I start doing, I end up encased.”
“Why, do you think?”
“What do you think it symbolizes?”
Longer pause. “Well, it’s disc-shaped.” Eyes close. “I see
F R I S B …”
• • •
Fairway Therapy II
He tools around town in his tricked-out convertible, golf clubs in the back, wind in his hair, wide grin on his face. And why not? He’s packing a gun, pushing the limit, immune from tickets and earning $470 every day. True, his back hurts, so he can’t help catch the bad guys (ahem, ahem). Thank heavens for fairway therapy!
• • •
I’m surrounded. Flames leap high as they race up the canyonside. Trees, structures and cars get showered with soot. No reprieve to the left; no reprieve to the right; cars jammed in every direction. Clark—closed. Pentz—jammed. Magalia—fuggedaboutit. Skyway it is, just like summer ’08. Well, not just; two lanes and a median now. Wait … that heat …
• • •
What’s the score?
Eddie always loved to go to the ballpark. He and his dad would sit in the Fenway bleachers and gaze in amazement as conquering heroes—Jackson, Munson, Ripken, Mattingly—waged war on the Green Monster.
These days, it’s just not the same.
Now batting … third baseman …
“Dad, what’s the score?”
“By the look of him, I’d say growth hormone.”