Here’s my second round entry into the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest last year. Again, the rules are 1,000 words, 48 hours to write an original work of fiction based on prompts for GENRE, SETTING and RANDOM OBJECT.
GENRE: Mystery (which I’d never written before)
SETTING: Physical rehabilitation facility
RANDOM OBJECT: Fried chicken (What is it with me and food?)
“Mr. Belardi, wake up. It’s time for lunch.”
A yawn stretched across the patient’s scratchy patch of white stubble.
“No, it’s Letty. Brought your favorite — fried chicken.”
“Who the hell are you?”
“Letty, the day shift nurse. Same as this morning. Same as yesterday. Let’s get you upright so you can eat. Kevin’s gonna work on your core today.”
Letty freed his left hand from the Velcro restraint and repositioned the bulky sling protecting his right arm. As the bed cranked into its upright and locked position, she pushed the tray table across his lap.
“Not here.” The forty-something black woman busied herself with the triptych of charts and monitors behind his head.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” He flicked the plastic spoon with his good thumb.
“Use it for the mashed potatoes. You can eat the drumstick with your hand.”
The purple starburst of bruise that surrounded his right eye contorted into an angry scowl. He stabbed the spoon into the sodden white blob.
“Can I at least have a goddam fork and knife?”
“Not after what you tried with Ben last night.” The nurse had a good thirty pounds on him — none of it fat. She wasn’t afraid of a scrawny, ex-mechanic with a broken wing. “You watch that language around me, sir.”
Continue reading Mr. Belardi – NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest, Round 2 (10/2017)