It’s the first Friday of the month again and the Furious Fiction email is in my inbox. Yeah!! I have 2 hours before I go out with friends, and I’m already booked up for the weekend. So this time I gave myself only an hour to write the piece before submitting! Once again it’s not great but it’s done!
FURIOUS FICTION SEPTEMBER 2019 – THIS MONTH’S CRITERIA
- Your story must include the name of at least ONE element from the periodic table.
- Your story’s first and last words must begin with S.
- Your story must contain the words TRAFFIC, JOWLS and HIDDEN.
- And finally, your story must include something that BUZZES.
500 words 55 hours $500 prize money!
Sweet sounds of silence
Stephanie sat behind the wheel, her mouth opened wide, and her eyebrows raised higher than a tranny’s pencilled-in line. She looked over at the couple sitting next to her in the traffic. They were laughing, clearly enjoying her antics.
“What?” she said aloud, gesticulating impolitely. “Never heard of facial yoga? Hey! Honey your jowls could sure do with some tightening!”
The couple turned away, the lights changed, and they accelerated away.
“Pffft” Stephanie shouted after them.
“Calm down, Stephanie!” The little voice inside her head cooed. “They’re just not worth it”
She took a few deep breaths and returned to the facial gymnastics, indifferent to the effect it was having on those around her. This was her time, her space! She could stay hidden in the safety capsule of her car and do whatever she liked. Stephanie looked forward to the drive home. It was her peaceful sanctuary from the raucous and relentless buzzing of the world.
For Stephanie, the world was a noisy and disturbing place.
The whooshing hand dryers in bathrooms.
The grizzling, guzzling coffee machine blowing out steam.
The beep beep beep of the road crossing alert.
The clackety-clack of heels on the concrete floors.
The loud music in the supermarket.
The audible chewing of the fellow next to her in a cafe.
Every sound set her on edge. There was no escape. At least in her car, she could cut out some of the noise and calm her frayed nerves. Without that peace, she knew she’d meltdown quicker than caesium held in her palm. She was grateful for the days when an accident delayed her. Although in a pang of guilt, it did occur to her that her win was likely to be someone else’s tragedy.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a woman she knew, walking down the street with big, fat, puffy earphones covering up half her head. Her face was serene and blissful. Stephanie’s head craned around to get a better look. “What are they? What is she wearing” she asked the universe. “She looks so happy! She never looks happy!”
Up ahead was an appliance store. Stephanie careened off the road and screeched into the car park. She strode into the store with her single purpose in mind.
Buy Bliss Making Headphones.
The sales clerk asked if he could help. “Big puffy headphones”, she blurted out, holding her hands like cups over her ears.
He took her to the rack. She tried a few on but felt no bliss.
“People like you usually like these best,” he said quietly.
He put the muffs over her ears and flicked the switch. The noise retreated into a muffled, manageable murmur.
“People like me?” she asked
“Yes” the sales clerk said shyly. “People on the spectrum”
You can see my other Furious Fiction Pieces Here.