Here’s a short story I wrote a few years ago. I had developed this exercise inspired by some work Matt and I were doing at the time. “Oppstacles” we called them – opportunity-obstacles. I created four buckets to inspire some flash fiction – 1) Word/Object, 2) Place, 3) Relationship/Character, and 4) Song (lyrics). For this particular piece, my randomly chosen items from these oppstacle buckets were: quake, parking lot, obsessed, Bizarre Love Triangle.
Seth was sick and tired of being the “bad” brother. Sure, Osi was righteous and all that, but geez can a brother get a break? Osi has a beautiful wife and a son, and what about Seth? Nothing. Torrents. Terror. Destruction. Again, he’s lonely sitting here at the Costco parking lot for the 100th day in a row. Why? To see if Isis will appear again. She doesn’t show herself often, but Seth knows that Isis can hardly resist the wholesale quantities like a crate of fresh strawberries or that 24 pack of toilet paper. Seth has loved his brother’s wife since third grade when her voice cut through the torrent of anger and humiliation he endured as Osi yet again found victory at the school spelling bee. Isis told Seth, “You spell fine, but your real talent is to move the earth with your heart.” And from that point on, Seth did just that. His first natural disaster was a landslide in Peru. 18,000 died. Another kicker was the monsoons in Thailand. 10,000 died. Seth felt great power and shame. Osi, meanwhile brought food to drought stricken Ethiopia. He clothed poor in China. He built houses for homeless in Guatemala. Seth and Osi were like two sides of the same coin. One couldn’t exist without the other. It’s just that Seth’s side got such a bad rap. How can being so good at something be so bad? Finally, in the 23rd hour of the 100th day of waiting, lovely Isis appeared with her perpetual baby boy in a sling. Seth slowly rose up from his waiting spot in parking space 301. Each movement from Seth snowballed into a thundering rumble and shaking of the ground, as he reached forth to his unrequited. Before he could reach her to tell her of his undying love, she fell through the cracks of the broken ground slowly floating, like a feather in the wind. She waved as she always did, the broken record of missed connection between one who loves and one who is loved.
Day 8 NaBloPoMo done. Quarter of the way there.