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Dreams in the Womb
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She Rules the Room - Flash Fiction/Prose

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message 1: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments "She Rules the Room"

The walls are sultry red with mouldings and curtains of rustic gold… intrusive potted ferns impede the path from room to room, occasionally brushing unheeded against a coat-tail or a creamy feminine thigh. The tables are white-clothed and abundant, the ambience most exclusive… like a forbidden glimpse of a sultan’s den. A stiff tiger greets newcomers at the door, a taxidermist’s boastful contribution to a room of ice sculptures and prize-winning cakes. Beautiful long-haired women sit cross-legged at the bar, each one stroking their hair and bobbing their foot in a cross-weave sandaled heel as a man leans there to woo her. I observe with a practiced stealth, a sort of faux aloofness… for I am a leaner on walls and a silent drinker of drinks, undistracted by localized conversation.

The crystalline notes of a piano meander through the room, surreptitiously necking with the tinkling sounds of glasses and silverware… In my mind it is like a lackadaisical crystal snake, or the glittery path of a bumblebee flight, the ghostly keys glinting in light of my synesthesia as they trickle loosely through the mingling guests and trays. Out of this dry orgy of decadence, this mockery of Greece or Persia in their prime, a single woman catches my eye enough to yank my head swiftly to the left. Just then she politely breaks away from a completed conversation, breasts and earrings bouncing as she purposefully crosses the room on effeminately muscular legs.

She snugly fills a slender strapless dress of white that leaves her tan shoulders exposed to the beginnings of mental undressing… caressed only by swimming black hair that spreads across her back like a waterfall of shimmering black silk. Pendulous diamond earrings pivot the light like strobes as she moves briskly, purposefully, through the crowd… one of them exposed like a teardrop dangling above her bare shoulder, the other glinting through a veil of fine hair like starlight through porous clouds.

Her species of witch has wild, Amazonian eyes… fluorescent green like jungle ferns, or a glimpse of meadow mirages undersea… altogether embodying the wildness of tropical rivers, paradise birds and exotic instruments. On cue, a spectral pan-flute incites a chill from my neck when they shoot up to pierce me from across the room. This momentary glance reads my soul and questions my presence there, just before she looks away, continuing her path with a tilt of her head and a flip of her hair from her ear. A passing wave of audacity strikes me with a sudden fever… so uncharacteristic of my humble disposition. I feel the heat rise on my neck as I call to her and interrupt her path – almost offensively against nature, it seems – shattering my unofficial oath of silence and daring to take a gamble on my dignity.

Masking her surprise and offense with a waxing curiosity, she breaks the graceful symmetry of her path by shouldering past some man to get to my corner. My body heat rises as her form approaches, her mouth half-open and her slender eyebrows curiously raised in lieu of a verbal response. Once she is close, invigorating perfume radiates from her collarbone, and I can see that a wispy, silver-charmed necklace rests there against a sloping bed of flawless skin. A cross or an ankh, I cannot tell with a peripheral glimpse, but it is too late to risk my eyes lingering so near to her cleavage… for at present she gazes up at me with each emerald jewel of an iris, as if patiently awaiting my words to see what forces they may feign to invoke. I take a moment’s swim in her eyes… for the eyes that once shot lightning at room’s length now become a thoughtful spring to bathe in.

The maddened, wanton-poetic devil inside me begs me to ask her… “Where did you steal a young native girl’s eyes… and what audacious god allowed you to combine them with the polished weaponry of your urbane form?” But I ignore the whispered assaults on my conscience, and ask her only if she would allow me to buy her a drink. But her glass is already filled, she assures me with a sympathetic smile, and she is not to be drinking much more for the night. I politely withdraw in hidden disappointment, wondering if a mad poet’s words would have fared me any better… but my eyes have eaten their fill, even if my heart has taken nary a bite.

She disappears back into the crowd, her long, black, Rapunzel hair luring my line of sight down to her hips writhing in that slender dress… like a python’s girth dancing rhythmically in a taut cloth bag… until the human gates formed from drinking, bantering fools close around her parting grace. She was a cruise ship rendezvous, a nightclub Cleopatra… but little did I know she carried more sad farewells than an airport romance. As a childish sorrow and a scolding devil-poet begin to creep up my back to join me in a stare over shoulder, I can’t help but think that somewhere else in this jungle of a place a man is pouring some radiant fox another round, celebrating the fact that his words drew more blood for the kill than mine. Alas, some men are sorcerers… tamers of the witch… others have lips long since dried of magic.

- Taken from "She Rules the Room", Dreams in the Womb, (c) 2012-2013 Brandon Gene Petit

Dreams in the Womb
Brandon Gene Petit

message 2: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments This is a study in eyes and body language, as well as the wallflower mentality and the risks shy men take when attempting to have a way with words.

If you notice, I also take the time to describe... as best as I can... what lazy piano music sounds like in a room of "tinkling glasses" and "mingling guests and trays".

I've always fancied myself to have a mild case of synesthesia (for lack of a better word... but look it up anyways) and I thought it pertinent to convey the atmosphere through the piano ambience in this way.

message 3: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 98 comments As part of a flash collection I published was one of my stories called "Strains" about trying to capture the quality of sounds as from when they were experienced in the womb through the membrane of the mother's skin.

message 4: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments Marc that is awesome! I've often thought about such things and I would love to read it. Reminds me about a book I read on synesthesia, which proposed a theory that all newborns have synesthesia and most lose it as they age and develop.

message 5: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments I've also explored ideas about the womb in my writing, though largely in metaphor. In one of my prose poems I speak of hearing thunder as though one was hearing vibrations through the womb.

message 6: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 98 comments Brandon wrote: "I've also explored ideas about the womb in my writing, though largely in metaphor. In one of my prose poems I speak of hearing thunder as though one was hearing vibrations through the womb."

I used to write stage plays and wrote a 2-hander for mother and unborn child addicted to heroin in utero! It was pretty heavy emotionally, but lots of metaphors as I had the child parenting the mother from within.

Embryo development is fascinating. I used a book by Lewis Wolpert The Triumph of the Embryo for a lot of my research for that play. There are lots of scaffold cells that die off once they have served their purpose to help cell development further down the line. And of course we are born with an innate ability to swim in water which we soon lose

message 7: by Kenny (last edited Jan 14, 2014 10:03AM) (new)

Kenny Chaffin (kennychaffin) | 133 comments Well not flash fiction, but sort of...a poem from yesterday. :D given the topic, can't help but share:

On This Day

I think of being born 61 years ago
emerging from my mother’s body
a whole and perfect child.

I wonder what she’d think
to see me on this day
a bum-legged mule forging ahead
step after step after step.

Kenny A. Chaffin – 1/13/2014

message 8: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 98 comments :-)

message 9: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments Wow, Marc, that sounds like a wonderfully controversial and intriguing idea!

Kenny, I like the poem, in all its well-executed brevity. The contrast between youth and age will never cease to fascinate me, as it is nearly impossible to ponder time or life's existence without visiting that ultimately poetic relationship. Well done.

message 10: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments Since we've moved to the topic of the womb in writing, this is my title piece for Dreams in the Womb, in which the theme is an infant "dreaming" and having premonitions and visions inside the womb.

Prior Knowledge -

My nubile heart resounds into nurturing fluids and my form grows heavy in the dreaming void of the womb… my eyes are sealed shut but my fetal head now busies with thoughts as it curls into my chest. Behold the first inklings of consciousness, in their amoebic state, probing the darkness pursuant of a sentient spark; an infant’s first grasping handfuls of love, fear, and jealousy… or at least the primitive roots of such.

The celibate oceans of prehistory foresaw this moment, and specters of their waves crash in my mind as my being is briefed on the story of life. The loving figures I will meet in life already laugh and coo to my partially responsive senses, for I had glimpsed their faces in a nebulous premonition. Only now does time begin to settle and adopt a logic digestible to mortals, and with reluctance cosmic dreams are forgotten and preparations are made for the intrusion of terrestrial daylight.

Residual thoughts from the void scatter at last during that ceremonial shriek… the thunder clap of new life being jolted into existence. A once superior spirit is injected into a casing of flesh and given form with which to carry out life… a form that will suffice as a vehicle through the prosaic realms of matter and substance. With every step further into time’s obsessive scheme, I drift farther from the truest of all knowledge… and only the far-off promises of death can hope to return me to my rightful throne. With misted newborn eyes, I know heaven is real… though I forget as I age and I must find my way back to dreaming origins.

- Brandon Gene Petit

message 11: by Marc (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 98 comments Very lyrical and beautifully written.

"The celibate oceans of prehistory foresaw this moment" is an absolute knockout line

message 12: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments Thanks Marc. That's especially reassuring, considering it's one of my "wordier" pieces, in some respects.

As far as that line, which is my personal favorite too, I always wanted to take the image of the Earth's oceans before any discernible signs of life evolved, or perhaps only jellyfish swam there, and compare it to the idea of human birth... as a symbol to show how far life has come, and to seemingly condense billions of years of evolution into a mere glimpse of a moment. ;)

The fetus glimpses life's entire story in his dreams in utero, but then his memory is wiped upon birth and he starts all over again as a simple human life form.

message 13: by Marc (last edited Jan 14, 2014 02:41PM) (new)

Marc Nash (sulci) | 98 comments yeah that totally works for me as a concept

As to prolixity, what is literature if not a pleasure in the word?

message 14: by Mark (new)

Mark | 146 comments Mod
I am not sure if it's a good idea to post any work here in its entirety. Non-members can probably read it and thus you may lose your first publication rights.

message 15: by Brandon (new)

Brandon | 9 comments I never post anything that isn't already copyrighted and published. I have my own self start up publishing label and I published all my peices under that label.

message 16: by Brandon (last edited Jan 20, 2014 09:52AM) (new)

Brandon | 9 comments I hope I didn't sound like I was snapping back at you, Mark, after all you have a good point. But I've pretty much given up the search for a traditional publisher... Not because of discouragement or fatigue, but simply because I like having creative control in my own hands. But yes, posting your work online can often be some risky business... For a lot of reasons. I try not to do it too often, and I'm selective about which pieces I post. :)

message 17: by Mark (new)

Mark | 146 comments Mod
Sure, Richard, you are the best judge of your own strategies.

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