Friday, April 25, 2014

The Overturned Tricycle

Setting can be major part of making your story believable.  Sometimes, it can be a character, or very close to it.  For today's exercise at Flashy Fiction, create a setting for us that draws us into the scene, but do it succinctly...give us your version of Mr. King's overturned tricycle.


  1. The girl in the lavish Kentucky Derby style hat dropped herself onto the grass beside him as gently and gracefully as a lone summer raindrop. One brown eye and half a quirky grin were all that peeked out from behind the drooping, white rose laden brim of her pale yellow hat. Yellow roses bloomed all over the white sundress which settled modestly over her tucked under legs.
    “So—they do this every year?” she inquired.
    “Yes—this croquet tournament is an Annapolis tradition.”
    She leaned close and whispered, “Why?” She smelled like gardenias.
    “Really—why do people play games?”
    “That’s a deep question. Are you a philosophy major?”
    “Me? a student of philosophy?” She laughed. The sound of it rippled over him and made him smile.
    “What do you do then?”
    “I wander around wondering.”
    “And asking strangers unanswerable questions?”
    “Is it unanswerable? Can’t you look inward and discern why you play games, then infer that motive to others?”
    “I don’t really play games. I’m not much of an athlete.”
    “No old Maid when you were seven? No tag-you’re-it, or hide and seek?”
    “See? So what do you think?” She leaned in to whisper again, “Why do they do it?”
    “ see who wins I guess. To measure yourself again something.”
    “Okay. I’m not sure, but let’s call that right. Then why do other people watch?” She lifted the hat and set it in her lap. Reddish gold curls cascaded down from where the crown of the chapeau had held them captive. Her eyes searched his for a truthful answer but his mind was on sensory overload. He had no answers.
    “Look at the ball caps on the people watching. Orioles, Redskins, Ravens.” She leaned in once more and whispered, “Why?”
    He wrenched his eyes away from the curls and looked at the crowd.
    “I....maybe...if you can’t be a winner, you associate yourself with a winner?”
    “Hmmm...check out the fellow in the red shit over there.”
    “Yeah...I see what you mean. The Cubs aren’t exactly winners.”
    “Who are you rooting for?”
    “Oh, me? I’m an O’s fan”
    “No—I mean here. Who’s playing?
    “It’s the Midshipmen verses the Johnies.”
    “Johnies? They’re the ones not in uniform?”
    “Right. I guess I’m rooting for them. The Middies get more than their share of the attention around here.”
    “So....people root for the underdog?” She rose to her knees, bundled her curls up with a twist of her hand, and settled the hat on them. He began to panic. She was going to leave.
    “What’s your name?” He blurted out.
    “What is in a name?” she wondered aloud, then mysteriously morphed from her knees to a standing position. He noticed she was barefoot—toenails unpolished, a rim of dust around the soles of her feet.
    “Joe—where you been man?” His friend slapped him on the back. He looked up, rose, and turned to introduce the girl. She’d have to give her name now. But she was a drift of pale yellow and white disappearing into the crowd.
    For the rest of his life, his eyes scanned crowds, his nose tested the air for a hint of gardenia, and his ears strained to catch an answer to her echoing whispered, “Why?”

    Penny Henderson

  2. That's aggravating. formatting (indents) disappeared

    1. Yeah. Formatting doesn't work so well here. It makes the post longer, but extra returns usually work to put space between paragraphs.

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