Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Two for Tuesday #15 – Yet Another Opening

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I actually thought about Andy’s Two for Tuesday Challenge last week and jotted some ideas down over the weekend, but I haven’t managed to post any earlier than usual. Neither have I fulfilled the demands of the second prompt in its strictest sense. Well, you try putting these two together.


Standard Prompt:
ribbon cutting

Non-Standard Prompt:
For this week’s alternative prompt addresses folk lore or tall tales. For hundreds of years people have invented ways to explain the unexplainable. Native American Indians have passed down wonderfully vibrant folk tales about things like how the Crow turned black or there have been numerous tall tales about Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan or John Henry which often explain such things as how the Rocky Mountains or Great Lakes were formed. Today I’m proposing that you write a folk tale or tall tale explaining the enduring question: Why do dogs have black lips? As per usual with the Non-Standard Prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.



Yet Another Opening (329 words)

Roger stepped out of the shower and stared at Marjorie still comatosed. It looked as if he would be going to the opening of the new RSPCA shelter alone this morning. He wondered briefly if last night’s drinking had been a ruse to ensure her lack of attendance. It was only a momentary thought as the snoring truth stared him in the face. Marjorie had been the one pushing him to stand for mayor, but the realities of school fetes, community centre openings and ribbon cutting hadn’t lived up to the dream of status and money she had believed would follow in the wake of the appointment.

After dressing and breakfast, Roger climbed the stairs. Marjorie’s snuffle confirmed he would be doing this one alone.

In the car, as Clive drove him through the streets, Roger couldn’t help reminiscing on the previous evening. It was probably safer that Marjorie wasn’t coming. She had started coming up with the most stupid dog-related questions, like why their lips were black. Roger had answered that he’d no idea, but their noses were too and did it matter? Human lips and noses were pink. Maybe that was the correlation. Or maybe not.

‘Clive, do you know why dogs have black lips?’

‘I expect it’s cos their skin’s black, sir. Did you know a polar bear has black skin? Only their fur makes them white.’

Roger stared at Clive in the mirror and gulped like a fish for a few moments.

‘Thank you, Clive,’ he said.

As the car drew into the bunting and balloon-lined lane leading to the puppy hospital, Roger straightened his mayoral chains. As he stepped from the car through the door Clive opened for him, he set his shoulders a little squarer. There would be no embarrassment caused by asking questions that everybody, bar him and Marjorie, knew the answer to. But he would see how the day progressed before deciding whether or not to satisfy his negligent wife’s curiosity.


Written by Sarah Ann

July 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm

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