Greetings gentle reader and welcome to the 2nd annual Can You? Flash Fiction Challenge. I apologize for my absence last month and hope all two of you weren’t too disappointed. It is my sincere hope that this little exercise will be challenging and fun. Who knows? Perhaps something written here will inspire a new story for you!
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The rules are simple:
1. Your objective is to write our hero out of the predicament that I have written her into.
2. You must do so fairly. Realism is not a requirement but fairness is a must. (i.e. “Luckily, our hero sprouted wings and was able to fly away” is not fair. “Our hero turned and ran. As she was passing by a bush, she saw underneath a sawed-off shot gun and a case of shells next to the decaying body of a hunter that looked like it was mauled by a bear…” is not realistic, but it is fair.)
3. Write your piece of Flash Fiction in 500 words or less.
4. Post it with the title “Can You?” in the Flash Fiction category and I will post a comment aimed at the Lit.org membership at large asking the question, “Did He/She?” along with my opinion. If the general opinion is that you did it fairly, you will be immortalized in prose by yours truly in the next installment of Musings. If the general opinion is that you did not get our hero out of the jam that I wrote her into fairly, then we will offer our critiques in good spirits to help with revisions.
Here is the scenario:
Victoria eased through the trees, slipping along as silently as a shadow. A barely audible rustle in the leaves to the left snapped her head around. Her eyes strained in the predawn gloom but caught nothing. Her nose twitched as the breeze brought a familiar smell to her nostrils…wet dog. A timber wolf stepped out of the mist in front of her. It moved to within about 15 feet then stopped and sat back on its haunches. The wolf looked Victoria in the eye without fear. In fact, the only emotion she could detect from the creature was a slightly curious indifference. She imagined it simply caught a new smell and came to investigate. Curiosity now satisfied; it waited to see what she would do. Victoria stood frozen and the moment crystallized in her mind’s eye. She could hear a buzzing fly close to her ear, could feel a single bead of sweat sliding down her spine, and could pick out every hair on the animals muzzle. Hell, she probably could have counted them if she’d cared to. She inched backward slowly, and it seemed that the wolf would just let her move away. Her foot came down on a stick hidden in the leaves and it made a loud pop that echoed loudly through the taboo. Instantly, the wolf bounded up and let loose and ear splitting howl. There was movement all around her as several of the beast’s pack mates moved into view at their leaders call. They moved forward in unison…
The scene is set and the game is on.
'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.'