Last weekend, I asked people on Twitter and Facebook for random writing prompts. From those, I wrote seven micro and flash fiction stories. I’ll be posting them here over the next week. (You can read #1 and #2 already.)
The third story is courtesy of John Teehan, who suggested a “shape-changing battle a la SWORD IN THE STONE, but more contemporary.” Here is my 470-word interpretation of the moment when the fight is over:
Getting To Know You
Arthur lay on his side, panting heavily, his right arm still transforming back from fish to man. Across the room, Kyle was draped half across the couch, half on the floor, coughing up water.
“Are we done?” Arthur asked. Kyle, spitting out one last mouthful, nodded. “Oh, good,” Arthur said, “Your parking meter has probably expired already.”
Kyle groaned, forcing himself up into a seated position, and smoothed wet black hair out of his eyes. “You started it,” he said, not quite unkindly.
Arthur shrugged, remembered his bruised ribs, and asked, “How’s that?”
“You clicked on my profile first,” Kyle said.
“I did not. I saw that you’d been checking me out, and looked at your page. And you messaged me first.”
“You invited me over.”
“Yeah, okay,” Arthur admitted. “I did do that. But you turned me into squirrel while I was getting us a glass of wine.”
“You were cute as a squirrel,” Kyle said, managing a slight grin. “If you’d stayed a squirrel, we wouldn’t have made a mess.”
“I am not going to stay a squirrel. I am a much better fox.” Arthur felt around on the floor near him, locating his glasses, and putting them back on his face. He saw Kyle more clearly, and frowned. “Your eye is going to be black tomorrow.”
“I’ll fix it,” Kyle replied. “Or I could keep it and tell everyone you were mean to me on our first date.”
“What? You turned into a wolf and chased me around the livingroom!” Arthur gestured at the room. “Look at this mess?”
“Wolf paws are a little hard to maneuver on. They’re big,” Kyle replied. “You need a new couch anyway.”
“It was a gift.”
Kyle looked down, and then back at Arthur, catching his gaze and staring directly back. “It’s gold corduroy.”
“It’s vintage,” Arthur tried, not entirely sure whether it was or not. “Fine, it’s ugly. But you still can’t manage your paws.”
“I’ll practice that,” Kyle said back, grinning now, “If you put some serious time into your falcon. You hit every single one of these walls, flying like you didn’t know how physics works.” He leaned forward slightly, and added. “That orange and silver fish was pretty hot though. I liked that one.”
“It’s a koi,” Arthur said, blushing slightly.
“Do you want to come sit with me?” Kyle asked softly. Arthur nodded, got to his feet, and walked – carefully, stepping over bits of fabric and broken glass – to the couch, taking a seat a half foot away from his date. “I am sorry about your fish tank,” Kyle said. “My pacu form is kinda big.”
“I can get another tank,” Arthur said. “Maybe you can help me pick it out?”
“Great!” Kyle said happily. “I was just going to ask what you were doing tomorrow night.”
Want to write like this? Take my online flash fiction workshop, beginning September 2! Registration is now open — read more and sign up here.