Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Devilish Ride (Flash Fiction)

The Paris Review asked us to describe the above image in three hundred words - in the style of Ernest Hemingway, P.G. Wodehouse, Joan Didion, Elizabeth Bishop, or Ray Bradbury. 

My story was inspired by Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine."  


“You’ll never leave me,” he said, slicing an orange.  “You don’t belong to yourself, my dear.  You here and now, you always, you belong to me.”  Oh, she thought.  And then, as though a myriad of disjointed pieces had suddenly linked together, she remembered a strange dream she once had... 

The Devil, so fit, hooves polished, sitting atop a shiny new bike, saying, “My dear, you never will outride me, will you?  You’re always trying to be the things you aren’t.  No matter how hard you work to be the other strong you, you remain trapped in your own weak self.  Why do you keep trying?  Give it up, my dear.”  
The road, like a giant orange snake, that had just awakened and slowly uncoiled, stretched out before them. 

“Let me try again, now, let me try again.  I’m strong, I know I’m strong.”
“I’ll be darned!” said the Devil.  “Some women are like moths, you know, with wings reduced to ashes from a million flames…Well…sure…but it won’t work.”
She was the quick lightning that had struck, without a warning, on a rainless day.  The blossoms of the orange tree sparkled in her ebony hair, and the noon sun in her eyes.  Her small feet in black high heeled shoes firmly planted on the pedals, the long train of her yellow dress rising like a pair of golden wings.  The Devil was left far behind.  His fiery breath would never touch her.  And all of this, this other, new, self she had finally caught up with; this wild, glorious ride would never end, but live forever. 

…She nodded at the memory of that old dream.  She smiled.  
“From now on,” she said to no one in particular, “I settle down to being free and happy.”

She left.

Live for the Love of it,
The Happy Amateur

P.S.  I didn't win the cool bike or make the finalists' list, but I had a ton of fun writing.
Check out the winning entries here:

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