Gosh, the First Friday sure does come around quickly bringing another chance to enter Furious Fiction, the AWC’s monthly competition. As I’ve said before this is a fun activity with a terrific prize. You can read about it on their website.
Basically it’s 500 words in 55 hours for a $500 prize.
The criteria for March were:
- Your story must include a PERSON IN DISGUISE.
- Your story must take place in a PARK.
- Your story must include a MIRROR.
I made three starts to this story. The first attempt was about a private eye trying to catch a wandering spouse, then it morphed into an internet dating story before I finally decided to run with the same story arc as last month’s story. It had to stand alone and not rely on the previous episode to make sense. I have already hatched out the next episode and hope I can bend April’s criteria to suit.
Here is this month’s Furious Fiction entry, submitted at 9:55 PM Saturday night. 488 words.
Clark in the Dark
Miriam was swinging her legs under the park bench.
“Stop fidgeting! You’ll blow our cover!”
She sighed deeply and went back to pulling at the fringing on her poncho.
“How long do we have to sit here?”
Clark ignored her.
Miriam shuffled along the bench, tapped her feet on the ground, stood up, sat down, adjusted her mohawk wig, looked at her watch and sighed again.
“Gov, this is ridiculous. We’ve already hit our quota for the month. Anyway, don’t you think THIS is dangerously bordering on entrapment?”
Miriam waved her hands over the “this”. An orange and white crocheted poncho made from acrylic yarn, white lace-up boots and tight orange velour pants.
“Miriam…” he said “It’s not about the quota. It’s about the law. We don’t just stop upholding the law because we hit our quota! We don’t just let the fifty-first murderer off the hook because we only needed fifty for the quota!”
Specks of white saliva were gathering in the creases of his lips.
“No, Miriam, we seek out those poxy crims wherever they are! ”
When DCI Clark Weston was working up to a full spitty episode, DC Miriam Hensen knew it was time to take a backward step.
“We have a duty to society! We have to stop these scum corrupting our youth with their grooming. If you can’t stand the heat Miriam, get out of the sweatshop!”
“Gov, I joined the Unit so I could create change! I expected undercover work to be more than sitting in Hyde Park in a clumsy disguise trapping lost souls. I didn’t think I’d be using a bag full of second-hand clothes from Double Bay Vinnies to entrap the disadvantaged.”
“Don’t come the liberal social justice disadvantaged angle with me, Miriam! These people DO have choices! They can look in the mirror before they leave home you …”
He stopped mid-sentence, “Look! There, case in point!”
There, coming towards them was a travesty of colour. A man in a blue shirt, green pants and no belt.
“A Code 10! Bet you’ve never seen THAT before!“ Clark whispered excitedly “Blue and green with nothing in between!”
Miriam was shocked. The man’s eyes were bulging like a junkie craving a fix. Clark pushed her towards him.
“Remember, he has to agree to buy!”
She sashayed up to Mr Blue-Green, “Wanna look at my stash fella,” she cooed, swishing her fringing and holding the bag out provocatively.
“Yeah babe, if you’ve got any sequins, I’ll buy the lot!”
And just then, just as he committed to the sale, DCI Weston of the Fashion Police, lept up and cuffed him.
“You’re under arrest for a Code 10 Violation – Catastrophic Colour Clash.” Clarke shouted, “You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say may be used as evidence.”
Clark looked across at Miriam with smug satisfaction. “Never forget our motto, Miriam. Dress Proud. THAT’S what you signed up for.”