SHORT-SHORT 500’S : #1


I’m currently in love with the short-short format: stories that come in at 500 words, or less.  So, to make a change from my book themed ramblings, I thought I’d introduce a dash of fiction once a month. I hope you enjoy this first short-short story. It comes in at 438 words. I’m keen to know what you think of the idea. I hope you like it, because I’ve got more, tucked away in my hard-drive.

I should add that this story was prompted by my recent viewing of the movie The Bourne Supremacy. Even if you haven’t seen the movie the plot is not that hard to follow.  Enjoy!

JASON BOURNE DRIVES A WHEELIE BIN  

Vroom- vroom- eee – skreeee – ka-dooom – vroom – graunch – skreeee: he’s wrenching the wheel left, the crappy old Lada taxi shudders with the strain, ricochets off a silver Volvo, slides on an icy patch, lumbers into an intersection, misses a garbage truck by a whisker, gathers speed on the downhill gradient – his foot flattens the accelerator pedal – sweat stings his eyes, his hands cramp on the wheel, he’s welded to the wheel. His eyes flick up to the rear-view mirror.  He’s lost the black Jeep, by some miracle he’s lost the Jeep!  Moscow’s snowy streets careen past.  He needs to get off this motorway, hide, lose himself, ditch this bright yellow Lada, fade in amongst the muffled walkers on the pavements, bury his hands in his pocket, tuck his chin down into his scarf, become another Tovarich.  He’s Jason Bourne.  He’s on the run.  He’s in Moscow.  Someone – he doesn’t know who – is chasing him  – could be CIA, could be Russian police, could be Russian Mafia doing the dirty work for his own side, could be … could be … possibilities swirl round his head.  His knees ache from colliding with the dashboard, his leg burns after the badly judged jump onto the garbage scow, a molten  glass needle stabs his right shoulder every time he turns the wheel, but he’s okay, he’s done it – he’s Jason Bourne and ….

“Jason!  Dammit – are you deaf? JASON !!”  roars his mother. “How many times do I have to – oh never mind – Jason! Focus!  ts Wednesday night: the wheelie bin – you haven’t taken out the wheelie bin ! It’s the only thing I ask you to do, and every week it’s the same, nag-nag-nag, why do I have to nag you all the time? “

Jason Brown’s eyes slowly focus on the flushed face, take in the angry arms-on-hips-pose, vaguely register the pitched tone, the raspy breathing.

“Okay, okay – I’m doing it” he mutters, sliding off his bed with all the speed and grace of an exhausted  sloth. I bet Jason Bourne never had to push stupid wheelie bins around, I bet he never had a mother who yelled at him all the time, I bet ….

A red-hot pain at the back of his knees registers. He jerks round. His Mother is advancing on him, raised arm drawing back, ready to lash the sjambok against his calves again. There’s a look of cold fury that’s drawn her lips against her bared teeth, whitened her face, made the veins on her neck stand out like cables: Jason Brown runs like hell, runs for his life.

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6 Comments

Filed under SHORT-SHORT's

6 responses to “SHORT-SHORT 500’S : #1

  1. Loved this Alison, altho i guessed pretty soon it was a guy playing a computer game- maybe a one line mention of throwing down his playstation ( or whatever) as he runs from his ma would clarify that a bit more? There are loads of Flash fiction comps out there, try it on a wider audience! Ginny

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  2. Having suggested flash fiction comps, Id drop the very SA sjambok, they don’t do child abuse in the rest of the world!! Ginny

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  3. Thanks for the input – you were super-quick off the mark! Actually, I had envisoned him dreaming being JB, never thought of a computer game – have none myself, and am not terribly conscious of them, although I realize that 99% of the rest of the world is hypnotised by them. As for the sjambok – I’ll mull that one over. You’re right of course, but this is not my year for being PC.

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  4. Great read. Especially if one has seen the film, it really comes alive. Agree with previous comment, also thought he was playing the Bourne game, think one does actually exist. Whilst the word sjambok might not be widely recognized, the actions are and I agree, this is not a time to be PC. Having just seen an advert for the “chocolate children slaves”, we may like to think that child abuse is obsolete but it is definitely alive. So don’t take that bit out. Keep writing, look forward to some more.

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  5. Loved the short story… I think my brain is too slow – lol – I thought he was dreaming, not into pc games at all, because that is something I stay far away from – waste of time – if you ask me! 🙂

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  6. I’m a big fan of short shorts. This happened, because I love essays– short-short essays. Doing shorts in fiction is good too. I like capturing moments and short- shorts do this.

    On Bourne- we got the series as a DVD gift from our kids– Bruce really enjoyed the action!

    I’d say keep going… 🙂

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