Sunday, July 29, 2012

flash fiction: Gatsby

Instructions: Write a short story about a character named Gatsby in 10 sentences.


Gatsby was all she had left, after the fire. He reclined on the inn's dark wood floor in an elegant heap, silently judging her with shimmering yellow eyes. No matter what she did, no matter how many doors she closed in the suite, the cat was there beside her, posing against a bookshelf or in a sunbeam like a black-and-white photo from Vanity Fair. Bathing himself with one elegant paw, running it over and over his black fur in the style of a panther hidden in the jungle trees, waiting to strike from the darkness. Reminding her of the pretentious impotence of the life she'd left behind. She had though herself so superior and manipulative, winning the heart of a rich man's son. And she had thought herself so clever and strong, winning her freedom and fortune with one twist of a stove knob and the flick of a match. If not for her dead husband's cat, the damnable, accusing, purebred, thinks-his-butt-don't-stink cat, she could have finally been happy. That's what she told herself as she picked up the axe. That's what she told herself as she hacked and hacked and hacked at the empty space on the elegant parquet floor, trying to kill the thing that was already gone yet would never really leave.

Found on the floor of my studio while cleaning.

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