Fiction Friday – 5th March

Ooh, I really liked this one.  At first when I read the prompt I thought it was horrible, but then when the story took shape I really started to like where it was going. 

Fiction Friday is brought to you by the blog Write Anything.

Fiction Friday is easy to do.

  • Check this page for this week’s theme or challenge. Prompts are published each month to give you plenty of notice.
  • Spend at least 5 minutes composing something original based on the theme or challenge.
  • But, remember, no editing. This is to inspire creativity not stifle it.
  • On Friday, simply post what you wrote to your own blog.
  • Then come back to Write Anything and leave the link in the comment section below.

That’s exactly what I’ve done.  The prompt for this week is:

When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” What has your character turned into?

And my story from this is here:

I wake up with a start, my heart beating furiously.  I don’t know what woke me, but I know something’s wrong.  In the dark I reach over to my bedside table, to get a glass of water.  As my fingers curl round the glass I hear a clipping. 

It sounds like the noise Rose makes when she’s just got back from the beauty salon and had her nails done.  She gets this stupidly long false things put on,, and them painted in weird colours.  Sometimes they’re bright blue, sometimes clear with purple flowers, sometimes pink with green patterns.

I can’t work out what the noise could be, or why it’s come from where my hand now lightly rests on the glass, but a feeling of dread fills me.  Something from the dream I’ve just had flits around the outskirts of my memory.  I close my eyes tightly and try to remember what I can’t, but the dream evades me. 

I release my grip on the glass and move my hand instead to the lamp next to it.  Taking a deep breath, and ignoring the tapping again, I flick the switch. 

I scream at what I see in the mirror in front of me.  It comes out as a high pitched squeal, which makes me try to scream louder.  This can’t be happening, I must still be asleep, or still be drunk. 

I move my hand to pinch myself, but before my hand gets to my arm, my claws dig into my fur and break my skin below.  I scream again.  Whether it’s from pain or shock I don’t know, but the scream carries on for a while.  I close my eyes, hoping I’ll wake up when I open them again. 

I don’t.

I get out of bed and see the whole of my body has been transformed.  As I move towards the mirror I feel something strange behind me then a thump.  Bracing myself, I turn to look.  My fears are confirmed as I see a tail attached to my backside.  I go to scream again, but before my mouth can open a fleeting memory passes through me.

An old lady at the bar.  Cackling.

Then it’s gone.  I shake my head thinking I’ll probably remember the dream soon enough.  Unless it wasn’t just a dream.  Wasn’t I in Punk bar last night?  I couldn’t really remember.  I was so drunk. 

That’s not what’s important now. 

As I stumble closer to the mirror, unsure how to use these strangely bent spindly legs, it seems my initial though was correct.  I’m a six foot two rat.  When I’m about a foot from the mirror I can’t stand it any longer, I turn and leap back into bed and hide beneath the covers. 

Another memory floods over me, the same old lady cackling at the bar, but to her left I see Rose, Sally and Jayne, all laughing too. 

Rose, Sally and Jayne in the same room.  How did that happen?  How did they know about each other?  Hold on, where is Sally.  Wasn’t I going out with her last night?  It was Friday last night wasn’t it?  Yes, Sally Friday then Rose Saturday. 

But if they were together, that would explain why Sally wasn’t here.  I doubt she’d like being my third girlfriend.  How did they find out.  Wait.  Maybe what I’m remembering isn’t real, it was a dream.  But that doesn’t explain why Sally’s not here, and why I’m a giant rat. 

I try to think harder about the picture of them and the old woman in my mind.  She’s cackiling like mad.  The girls are laughing too.  What are they saying?  What happened just before? 

Love rat.  The words spring into my head.  They called me a love rat.  The three of them together.  Then the old lady appeared from the crowd. 

‘You’re a love rat.  You deserve to be a rat.’  Something flashed and the old woman started to cackle.  As did the three ladies next to her. 

Oh.  My.  God.  She can’t have… She couldn’t have been… A witch?  Did they really exist?  It would explain it.  She’d changed him from a human love rat… into a rat. 

Please let me know what you think – positive and negative criticism accepted.

11 thoughts on “Fiction Friday – 5th March

  1. Hello! Very clever- really like what you’ve done with the prompt this week and the way that you’re allowed to discover the transformation with your character slowly works really well- makes it even more creepy! Like the story behind how the transformation took place too- I haven’t decided on that for my character yet. Like you I really enjoyed using the prompt this week and I’m looking forward to responding to more this month too after being away for 2 weeks!! 🙂

  2. Nice! I knew he (or she) was a rat from the get go but I enjoyed the journey to finding out why. I’ve often compared “players” to rats and thought if we lived in a fairy tale world where witches lurked around every corner to transform the rude and wicked, we’d have a lot less wrong-doers.

    May I ask a question? Please know I mean no offense: Why do you post your stories in all italics?

    • Thanks. You’re so right, it would be a much better world.

      I like to distinguish it from my words, I never thought about it being hard to read. Thanks for asking, I’ll stop it in future.

      • What you could do is put your story inside block quotes. I know in most WordPress themes there’s a background color added to text within block quotes so that would help distinguish it from your introductory words. Take care!

        • I’ll have to look into that, I don’t think my theme lets me. Saying that I have no idea about the ins and outs so may well be able to – I’ll have a look. Thanks for your help.

    • I don’t know why I put ‘Human’ in ‘Human Love Rat’, I guess ‘Love Rat’ would have sufficed. That’s the problem with not editing.
      I’d never thought about it being hard to read, I’ll stop that now, as I think I always do it! Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. I like the way you delayed telling the reader what animal he had transformed into, building the suspense. Also the way you explained the situation that brought about his curse. Great job!

  4. Leah & MB, I’ve just found out I don’t purposely use italics (I know, I should have realised that myself, but it seems like something I would do). The theme I’m using automatically uses italics when you put something in a speech bubble. I’ll have to work round that by tomorrow’s Fiction Friday.

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