He picks up the electric guitar. The change of the sound hits me in the gut. Even my goosebumps are amplified. It feels like audio sparks going off. The power is spreading out from his guitar, down the stage, over the crowd. But not all of the crowd. A group of traditionalists are trying to drown out the music with their boos.
The guy next to me shouts traitor. A surge of powerful anger runs through me, jolts me into action.
‘Shut up or leave.’
Because I like it. I love it. I know I’ve seen the future. I’m electrified.
I wrote Judas for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly flash fiction challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Click here to read more stories inspired by the photo prompt.
Dr. Kay talks over her like she’s not there. The intern leans over to check the scales, careful not to look at her naked body. He does not want to be here, thinks what they’re doing is wrong. But he needs the internship to get a pass.
Dr. Kay’s getting impatient.
‘Too low. Got to keep an eye on it.’
Dr. Kay shoos her away.
‘Is she allowed to get dressed?’
‘No, we’re not done.’
Dr. Kay chuckles.
‘She’s used to it.’
The intern bids goodbye to his morals and silently mourns the loss.
(Inspired by this week’s Micro Bookends. I ignored the picture prompt so I cannot enter the competition. I got a story out of it, though, so I’m happy.)
His flat seems quite large, lots of doors going off the corridor. It smells brand-new, clinical. He leads me into the lounge.
‘I need the loo, actually.’
‘Third door to your right.’
I pass the kitchenette. It’s full of stuff you’d expect to find in a lab. Bizarre.
I open a door. I must have counted wrong. I find myself in a ballroom full of life-sized mannequins, all with their arms open in welcome. Only they’re not mannequins. I stifle a scream. He mustn’t know I found his sick taxidermy project.
Sybil’s home for the summer. She finds her hometown provincial, close-minded. She’s learnt so much – most of it outside of the lecture halls. She cannot wait to exchange experiences with Rebecca. They’ve been in touch via text, but it’s not the same. Like, how can you share how much better fresh mint tea is in a few words? She got up early to buy mint at the market.
‘Hi Billie. What’s that smell?’
‘I prefer Sybil now.’
‘Right. Aren’t you glad to be home? People at uni are so intense.’
Billie takes fresh mint, chops it up and sweeps it into the tea pot. To be honest, I thought she meant PG Tips. Do I complain? The atmosphere is strained already – I’ve failed to call her Sybil twice. I can’t wrap my head around it. She used to hate her name. But she’s an adult now, adults don’t have names like Billie. Apparently.
She hands me a mug. Unsweetened peppermint tea. I want my friend back. Billie liked sugar. Sybil drives me up the wall.
Teachers always say I don’t read enough. But when I do, they punished me. I don’t want to explain, in writing, why I loved this book. How it made me understand something about myself, about other people. What’s the word I want? When you get people have reasons for behaving the way they do? I may not like it, but I can see where they’re coming from. Life isn’t fair, some people don’t deal with it well. I understand that now.