Wednesday 6 September 2023

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 303

This week's picture prompt is a photograph taken by Nathan Dumlao over on Unsplash. I thought it was a very thought provoking capture. 

I had to think hard about how to generate this idea, but I think it worked. I do like me a dark tale.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

A partially deflated, smiling emoji balloon lying on the ground with a black car speeding by, during daytime. Taken by Nathan Dumlao


Trisha couldn’t bare looking at the bright yellow smiley-face balloon anymore. It was deflated and shrivelled, just like her. She opened the window of the chauffeur driven car and let it go, watching it rise up into the city streets, before being caught by a rush of air from passing traffic and thrown to the ground.

Maybe a child would find it and get a few moments of joy. She’d bought it for that reason, but now it represented something more sinister.

She hadn’t wanted to go to the party, but Hal had insisted, and he was hard to resist. She knew they enjoyed their hedonistic weekends and revel in their rich white privilege, dragging her along as the token minority, but they were far too debauched and triggered unhealthy events. She didn’t mind a few drinks, but when they started hitting the hard stuff – the pills – it made it a bit more difficult to control. And this time it had gotten out of hand.

Trish was only thankful she had been so out of it she didn’t remember much. She didn’t want to; the few snapshots that kept coming to mind were enough.

Trisha’s phone rang and she glanced at it: Hal. Yeah, he’d want to know how it had happened; he’d want all the gruesome details – and they were indeed gruesome. She wasn’t sure she wanted to put words to those images.

“Hey Hal.”

“Trish, where are you? What happened?”

“I’m back in the city, on my way home.”

“But you just left … you didn’t say a word.”

“Did I need to?”

“Well … yeah! Patrick is freaking out.”

“I knew he would, but it’s not my fault. I told you both it wasn’t a good idea.”

“Not a good idea, and why it wasn’t a good idea are two different things. You should have told us.”

“How, Hal? How exactly would that go?”

“But you’ve partied with us before and it’s never gone down like that! Is it a time-of-the-month thing?”

“You think that’s PMS rage?”

“No, I mean celestial, Trish.”

“It wasn’t full moon, Hal, you know that.”

“So then, what the fuck happened?”

“I don’t know. Could have been the chemical combination, it could have been the people.”

“Well those people won’t be a problem anymore.”

Trish felt sick. “I didn’t plan for this to happen, Hal!”

“I know that Trish.”

“It’s why I got the hell out of there.”

“I gather that.”

“So what do you want me to do?”

“I want you to tell me what triggered the change, and how exactly it all went down, just so we have all the bases covered.”

Trish thought as much.

“I’m not telling you while I’m in the car – or over the phone for that matter.”

“Then we’ll come over … tonight?”

“Okay. But no drink, no drugs, no pushing me to perform tricks!”

“Oh my god, Trish, we’re not looking for a repeat, we’re looking to get the details so we can get our stories straight. It takes a bit to get this all smoothed over you know.”

“ I know, white privilege and all that.”

“Yeah, and thank god for that! If we weren’t monied rich guys we’d all be in jail after that display.”

“You guys didn’t have to join in.”

“Of course we did ... though I think you still have a lot to teach us.”

Trish could hear him smile, and allowed herself to smile too, the knot in her stomach loosening a little.

“You’d better come over, then, so we can talk about it.”

“Okay good. We’ll see you tonight.”

“Alright. Later.”

Trish hung up, feeling a little less like the balloon she’d set free. An image of that balloon dancing around the ceiling as the three of them had let rip came to mind. If it had deflated too soon, it would have been incinerated like rest of the bloodied contents of that room. She thought about how she was going to explain turning to them, but suspected they might alright know.

Trish sat up a little in the car thinking about what she was going to say. It was going to be an interesting night. It had been a long time since she’d talked about it to anyone.

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