Challenge: Pick elements from your answers on the FFM 2021 sign-up sheet: the least favorite genre, three favorite story elements and a specific literary archetype or character. The main character must be drawn from that character/archetype.
My elements were: mystery, representation for asexuals, badassery, wholesomeness and a villain who is or becomes more wholesome than you’d expect. In addition to that, KiriHearts inspired me to add a love interest for some bonus cool points.
A note: The actual genre I gave in the sign-up sheet is erotica, but on Discord Hydra told that writing erotica isn’t expected and that the second least favorite genre is sufficient. Hence, I picked mystery because writing a flash fiction mystery is a pain even without doing it in a single day. I spent most of the day either researching how to write the elements, planning or working on the text itself today.
- The pins in this story are based on two pins that I own myself.
- This story got to almost 1600 words while writing the first draft, so I decided to edit the original version first and then make a copy that I cut into FFM size in a long and tough kill your darlings session. I will release the full version on the FFM 2021 collection as a bonus because I had to cut out a lot of things and details, even whole sections, that I would not have cut otherwise.
A pin that said Out of fucks gleamed in the sunlight. Next to it, a pin that had a rocket and the text Acetronaut on a distinct black-gray-white-purple background reflected the same sunlight at the adjacent wall.
“Do you think the detective got lost?” she asked, her eyes glimmering brighter than the pins despite of the shadows on her face.
He smirked. “He probably found one of Scarlet’s pitfalls.”
Missing person posters with a woman’s face. He recognized the face from the numerous times he had visited the Glittering Kalimba. Izora. Miakil looked at the poster on the café’s door, then walked in like he had read an uninteresting festival poster, his confident walk completely unchanged.
Once he had gotten a tea — the sweet Blue Jay blend — and a healthy sandwich, he casted a hearing spell to hear if someone had found out something about Izora’s disappearance.
“Who’s that guy?” he overheard a new voice ask.
“Shush, Izora. Don’t approach him,” another voice — the manager, Lizzy — hissed.
“Why? He looks cool.” The new voice did lower its volume, but not enough for his ears not to pick it up.
“He’s a dangerous dark artist. Get back in the kitchen and do not mess his sandwich up.”
When Lizzy delivered his order, tenser than usual, Miakil winked as he thanked her. The manager’s smile tensed.
A moment later, he could see a blue-haired young woman getting chewed out for something. Their eyes met. He gave her a smile and a wink.
“Hey, you!” a gruff voice called out. “You got something going on with my girlfriend?”
He turned, his leather jacket swooshing. “I’m afraid I don’t know what you are talking about. Could you please elaborate?”
“You winked at my girlfriend.”
“I wink at many people,” Miakil remarked, his voice mild. “Besides, I have no interest in anyone. Your jealousy is unwarranted.”
“You better stay away from my girl, freak, or else.” The man showed a gun hidden under his jacket.
Miakil considered his options. He could easily erase this fool from the face of the earth and save his girlfriend the bother of having to deal with a man so jealous he would come and threaten a known dark artist over a customary wink. He could also just end the conversation and leave to see how Jaden’s breeding project was going.
The next day, there were Missing person posters with the man’s — Arthur Wellington — face scattered all around the town.
A week later, he indicated the location of the bones and the gun to a police officer, knowing that the authorities could not catch him.
“Excuse me?” a familiar female voice interrupted his meditation.
“State your business,” he told without even opening his eyes.
“I just wanted to say thank you.”
“For whatever you did about Arthur.”
“Was his death deserved?”
“You could say that…” A pause. “Whoever killed him saved me from having to risk my life getting away from his jealousy. He had enough guns to shoot up a couple of malls.”
Miakil opened his eyes. Izora stood in front of him. “Please sit with me.”
Gulping, Izora did as he requested, making sure that she did not even brush the long leather jacket she had marveled for weeks.
A few days after Izora’s disappearance, an obnoxious detective came up to him when he was having his breakfast. He could see Lizzy’s eyes widen in fear — she, if anyone, knew that he could decimate the whole café and everyone in it. However, such senseless overuse of power would not do.
Izora had no idea what to expect when Miakil told her to come along. The dark artist’s headquarters were labyrinthine and filled with strange items.
The dark artist stopped at one door. “Here are the stables.”
“The stables?” Izora repeated.
Miakil opened the door, walked up to one of the creatures and patted its sharp beak, his eyes tender.
“Why do you have a griffin?” Izora asked.
“Griffins. And pegasi.”
“They’re Jaden’s project.” Miakil looked at the scenery. “And I very much like them.”
As she took in the look on the dark artist’s face and eyes, Izora’s heart pounded faster.
Would the man give her the same look someday?
“Listen, I’ve been here for a month now. I think I have the right to know.”
“Why are you here? You could relocate anywhere, disappear from the police.”
“I like Glittering Kalimba‘s selection.”
Izora huffed. “Surely that’s not the reason. I know Jaden breeds creatures for you and Scarlet follows you blindly, but what do you do here aside from training?”
Miakil kept his nonchalant smile on his face. “You would laugh if I told you.”
Izora frowned, frustrated with the charming man she had spent a month with. “Try me.”
Miakil looked out of the window.
“Fine, keep your secrets.” Izora turned to leave the dark artist’s chamber.
Halfway to the door, Miakil spoke up, “Those creatures went extinct in wild when I was a child. We’ve spent decades to learn enough to restore and protect them.”
Izora looked at the man and the black-gray-white-purple flag on the wall. There was a gentle smile on his face. “I want to see them soar by my family’s farm again someday just like back in the good old days.”
That was the moment Izora saw that his heart did not have space for her.
Before, when she tried to leave the headquarters, Scarlet stopped her from leaving in the name of security.
When she tried to leave the headquarters to find her life again, Scarlet opted not to stop her when she swore she would not tell anyone what she had seen.
A week later, a hiker found her body two hundred kilometers away.
The next day, Miakil ate his breakfast at Glittering Kalimba like nothing had ever happened.
The detective who had spent weeks trying to locate his headquarters — and failed every time — was none the wiser of what had truly transpired.