21
Jun
12

Short Story: Vesuvius

volcano13-iceland-lava-aurora_22340_600x450So I tried my hand at another writing exercise, I get them monthly in the All About Writing newsletters, you should hit this link and subscribe as well if you’re an aspiring writer.

The word limit is 250 per story so you have to keep your writing as lean and mean as possible, which is a great exercise in creative limitation.

Oh and I forgot to tell you guys that my last submission won! I got a R200 book voucher that I donated to The Shine Centre, a place where they teach underprivileged grade 2 and 3 kids how to read.

Fingers crossed for this one, though I think they give the prize to a different person each month, so I I’ll just be happy if they publish this one on the news letter.

Enjoy!

Vesuvius

Henry’s unholy rage boiled with pyroclastic intensity. The veins in his neck grew thick as ropes and his face turned a disconcerting puce as one consonant after the next exploded in a hail of spittle so violent I feared Celine might lose an eye.

“YOU’VE RUINED US! YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE IDIOT! THAT ONE PSILOCYBE TAMPANENSIS SPECIMEN WOULD HAVE SET YOUR MOTHER AND I UP FOR LIFE!”

Celine gazed up at him with pupils big enough to park a bus inside and burst into a peal of uncontrollable giggles. The Electrolux stood proudly where she’d left it when he walked in on her whimsically vacuuming the flat, naked.

“I uh, umm, I…” was all Celine could manage before a fresh stream of giggles bubbled up. She clutched the couch pillow against her as tears started welling up in her eyes.

“MY LIFE’S WORK! 30 GODDAMNED YEARS OF SEARCHING FOR A SPECIES EVERYONE SAID WAS EXTINCT AND WHAT?! AND WHAT?!”

“And what, Henry?” I replied calmly, “you hide it in your sock drawer while you try to fob it off to the highest bidder and surprise, surprise your daughter eats it.”

Henry stiffened suddenly, grabbing his chest.

“Are you ok dear?” I asked.

“Fine. Just reflux. But she moves out today, starting with this godawful picture!” he said as he lurched across the room and tore one of her abysmal acrylics off the wall.

He staggered out the room with the painting, breathing in short, sharp gasps only to drop like a sack of anvils in the passage outside.

I smiled at my daughter, my unknowing accomplice, as the eruption I’d been waiting twenty-seven years for finally happened.

-ST


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