Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm wayyyyyy behind on Flash Fiction Challenges ...

Due to a ton on crazyshit going on, I haven't done Flash Fiction Challenges on a regular basis in a long-ass time.

I'm going to make up for it, starting today, and work backward to where I last left off.

This Flash Fiction Challenge: The Secret Door

Dream House

   Before you stands an old door, hidden in an archway carved into a 10-foot-tall hedge of lush greenery that taunts passers-by with its plethora of secrets.  Many times, you have wondered what lies beyond that hedge, but it has never been open ... until now.
   As you enter, a surreal scenery unfolds.  You see a cozy craftsman bungalow with scalloped eaves in sage green contrasting beautifully with the maroon shutters that adorn its bay windows. A generous front porch with squared-off marigold pillars flank the midnight blue arched beveled double door inset with hand-made stained glass and surrounded by a bright coral door frame.
   As you walk around the house, you see a massive oak tree with a tire swing, hanging off of a branch thick enough to support an adult's weight, so you take it for a test drive.  Suddenly, you're a child again, feeling the breeze blow through your hair as you lean back and surrender yourself to the relaxing motion of the swing.
   After a few minutes pass, you realize it's time to explore some more, and venture further out into the back yard.  A huge dining table topped with a bright yellow and white polk-a-dot tablecloth sits underneath a vast, multi-hued chandelier and surrounded by chairs of every pastel color known to man.  Some of them are wooden, some of them are cushy, wing-back chairs.  At any moment, you expect to see a white rabbit scurrying about, rambling about the time.  Louis Carrol would be proud.
   Curiouser and curiouser, you think to yourself.  There's just something about this place that seems familiar.
   You decide to try the sliding back door and find it unlocked.  "Hello?  Is anyone here?" you ask as you look around for any sign of life.  After a moment of silence, you walk in slowly, half-expecting someone to scream for help or whack you with a cast-iron skillet.
   No cries for help or swinging cookware greet you as you turn on the light and enter the master bedroom.  Instead, you see a king-sized bed whose canopy extends to the entire ceiling like a silk tent in every shade of blue and purple.  The bed is piled high with jewel-toned pillows, and the comforter is a sapphire blue, swirled with lilac purple.  A plush, thick lavender rug stands out against a dark hardwood floor.  The master bathroom continues the purple theme, with a royal purple contrasting with turquoise throughout.  A claw-foot bathtub in purple and white is framed by darker purple curtains, and shelves on the walls feature more candles than a Catholic altar.
   The hallway continues the blue, purple and turquoise theme, with a cream-colored chaise lounge accenting the center.
   In the center of the living room is an elegant antique purple velvet hump-back couch, with a silver-plated back.
   The kitchen takes on a slightly unexpected French theme, with a red-and-white argyle backsplash over black marble countertops, and a black-and-white tiled floor leading to the breakfast area, where an antique white bistro sets against black lacquer walls.
   You wonder what kind of person lives in this bohemian paradise, and suddenly, you realize:  Ten years ago, when you were a naive dreamer, you created a notebook full of pictures from magazines that resembled every aspect of this place.
   Curiouser and curiouser ...
   Suddenly, a purple fairy emerges from a sparkly cloud that appears out of nowhere.
   Your heart skips a beat and you back away in shock.
   "Don't be alarmed, sweetie," she says in a soothing voice.  "This is your house!"
   You stand there, stunned, with your jaw dropped to the beautiful hardwood floor.
   "We've been watching you for years, and we didn't like the streak of bad luck you've been given."
   Your mind goes over the rolling series of disappointments that has been your life in recent years.  The broken dreams, the job layoffs, the bitter break-ups ... Yep, life has been quite the bitch lately.
   "We searched through your subconscious and found these images.  We discovered they were part of this book you discarded after you lost your house," the fairy said.
   "Wait a minute ... who is we?"
   The fairy laughs, and you realize she's not a fairy at all -- she's an alien.
   "Sorry, please allow me to introduce myself.  You can call me Sandy -- that's the closest thing in the English translation from my alien language.  You were randomly selected for our anthropological study.
   "Now, I know what you must be thinking -- we've seen every movie, every X-Files episode, and we know humankind doesn't trust anyone from outer planets.  Please, let me assure you, we only want to study your culture."
   Still in shock, all you can do is blink in response.
   "We don't normally interfere with humans' lives, but we took a particular interest in yours.  We decided to separate you because you are an ideal candidate for our experiment.
   "This is where you will be spending the rest of your life.  You will want for nothing.  We will supply nothing but the best food, clothing and anything else you desire.  We are currently searching for a suitable mate, so you can be fulfilled in your domestic life.  Please let me know if there's anything else we can do for you."
   Curiouser and curiouser.   Well, it's not like you had any real freedom in your former life -- always having to slave away at a crappy job you didn't like, to pay for a crappy apartment with paper-thin walls where you couldn't get any sleep, that was full of crappy furniture you picked up from the side of the road.  You lived a solitary life, with no friends and no love life.  You had nothing worth missing, because you had already lost everything.  You shrug.
   "Sounds great, Sandy!"  You take in a deep breath as you look around at the beautiful surroundings, and head straight for the cushy bed.  Hell, you didn't even care if the aliens themselves decided to impregnate you.  If this was your new prison, you were ready to do time.

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