The dreaded writer’s block.
It’s more the loss of the muse or inspiration, and there’s one tried and tested method that I always use.
I ask my fans on my FaceBook author page, to give me three random words. I collect all the words and write them down into three rows. Then I randomly choose a word from each row and they are the three words I have to use in my flash fiction. They can be plural and changed to suit the sentence, but the word I use must come from the original word, and you can use the word in the title. They are the rules of the prompt. And the flash fiction can be any length, but I try not to go over 1000. After I’ve completed the challenge, I get my creative juices back and can return to the MS and the scene that stopped me in my tracks and finish it.
Here’s one of my favourite flash fiction. The words were jelly, butterfly and corpse.
© Karina Kantas 2020 from the book, A Flash of Horror.
© 2007 Heads & Tales.
Who would volunteer their face for a scientific experiment? Well, I wouldn’t. Neither would any sane member of the public, which is why inmates serving life sentences were handed over for this government project.
By the time the bill passed, freedom of speech had been demolished. So, there were very few demonstrations.
Now the famous chemist, biologists and DNA experts had one year to perfect an antidote for ugliness.
Being branded ugly put you in a new class, the lowest in society. Ugly people were shunned and segregated by the butterflies of the modem regime. The ugly people were forced to live and work in the poorest parts of the country. However, even that wasn’t enough to satisfy the beautiful people. It was announced that if the wondrous treatment did not work, then drastic measures would be taken.
I swallowed the bile that rose in my throat as I barely glanced at the deformed face of what used to be prisoner X. Taking a deep breath I forced myself to look again, before turning to Dr. Sapphire Turner.
“That’s nothing,” she said, her brilliant teeth beaming their brightness at me, her voice soft like her young glowing skin. “You should have seen the last batch. It was like looking at the face of a jellied corpse.” Her perfectly proportioned breasts bounced as she laughed.
Jellied corpse seemed a valid description of what I was looking at, I thought. My stomach wouldn’t digest a worse vision.
Prisoner X’s skin had mutated into large pus-filled abscesses. As I watched, the skin bubbled and new boils appeared and then burst with a squelch. The vile stench of the mucus, as it ran down the crusty skin and soaked into the now lime green pillow, made me want to vomit. Covering my mouth and turning my head away from the sight, I swallowed the acidic saliva before addressing the stunning Doctor.
“So, what went wrong with this one?” I asked.
“Nothing,” she chirped. “The result is what we expected.”
Her hand touched my shoulder, but it was quickly removed in disgust.
“It’s trial-and-error at this point, but we’ll find a cure.”
The way she used the word cure made my skin crawl. Ugliness wasn’t a disease and who gave them the fucking right to judge?
I would never have classified myself as ugly, but the yellow armband I was forced to wear told me there were others that did. It doesn’t matter that I’m one of the lucky ones; permitted to continue working among perfection. I remained an outcast waiting for my sentencing; beatification or annihilation.
First published on a blog called Bibliophilic Blather.