I wrote a story for Mashed Stories‘ recent flash challenge. The prompts were: selfie, pizza, corruption (had to be in that order) and the word count was five hundred words or less.
I’m thrilled to say my story was accepted and shortlisted. For a short time, this was available on their site to read, but now that it’s been taken down, here is the story, below:
The ‘shrooms kick in as I sit on the edge of the tub talking to Trish. I know her face keeps changing because I’m high, but then I forget and it freaks me out.
She looks like a monster. Her mouth moves, but instead of words, worms come out. I tell her to stop it, but she doesn’t, so I go back out to the party to get away from her.
In the living room, a crowd jumps around to the pulse of colored lights. The song is the same one that played on Don’s car stereo when we were out in the Mitchell’s cow pasture earlier. The music pushes against my face and tries to choke me, so I hurry through it to the kitchen.
I need something to get rid of the nasty taste in my mouth. Trish and Dan told me ‘shrooms taste like regular mushrooms, but that’s a lie. They taste like dirt and styrofoam.
There’s pizza on the counter, so I grab a slice, get a beer, and take them outside. I sit on the porch step with my beer beside me and use my knees as a plate. Pizza grease stains my tights, directly above the grass stains on my knees, but I don’t care. I’m in trouble anyway.
My parents found pot in my jewelry box. They grounded me for the whole summer and, starting tonight, we’re supposed to see our pastor for counseling twice a week. They’ve been angry since my grades dropped and I started hanging out with ‘Godless kids’. They don’t know ‘what’s gotten into me’.
Nothing yet, but I’m working up to it.
My phone buzzes. I pull it out of the pocket of my jeans skirt and see my mother’s text: Where are you?
I tap the camera icon, take a selfie with the beer at my mouth, and hit send. When the phone rings, I reject the call, but I read the text that follows: Melissa Ann, come home immediately.
It’s too hard to text. The touch pad keeps licking my fingers with its sandpaper tongue, so I use the voice recognition software. “The grass stains on my tights won’t come clean. I think you’ll have to throw them out. Dirty things don’t belong in your house, do they?”
Fireflies switch on and off around me. Their lights leave trails and I lose myself in the messages they spell: SLUT. WHORE. TRAMP.
Minutes, maybe hours, later I finish recording my text. “When you discovered John was stained, you threw him out. In four years, when I’m an adult, you can throw me out, too. By then I’ll have caused enough scandal it should eclipse the fact you have a gay son. Then you and Dad can hold your heads up in church, proud you purged your house of all its corruption.”
I hit send.
The phone rings. I toss it into the grass, gulp my beer, then go back inside to look for Dan.