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Friday Flasher–“Agency”

Kathryn El-Assal’s excellent flash won this week’s Indies Unlimited prompt.

The picture was of a field of safflowers (NOT sunflowers as several writers noted within the context of their pieces):

safflower-field-081013-300x200

The text prompt accompanying it:

“She was always amazed by the beauty of nature. Thousands of people would probably have driven by the massive field of flowers and paid it very little mind. She needed more than that.

This is the picture she took after she stopped the car. They found her body near the middle of the field…”

Well, I got a bit meta with this one. Most likely it emerges from an over-saturation of CSI-type situations featuring mysterious dead girls. The trope wearies me, so I figured out a way to upend it. Also, I’m a big fan of lateral-thinking exercises. “Agency” is the result.

Agency @ about 250 words

Yeah, another dead girl in a field of flowers, I’m a freaking lateral-thought exercise. Go ahead with the yes/no questions. See if you can get close.

—Suicide?

I wanted end my despair attended by visual joy. Poetic, but no.

Maybe it’s to get back at my mother who will never be able to see her favorite flower the same way again—at long last paying attention to me.

Way to undermine my agency by making it all Mom’s fault. Thanks.

Check my wrists. You’ll find no desperate red gashes watering the roots.

–Murder?

There you go again, stripping me of my story and giving it over to some narcissistic ass. Ooo, why did he dump her here? What message is he trying to send? Screw that.

A hint: I didn’t die.

Oh, make no mistake, that’s my body lying there.

It was my idea to come out here, to confront Mr. Bluebeard of the dead women in his wake. Naturally, he sought to add me to his collection.

—Body-swap?

Can’t get much more lateral than that, right?

The coroner will find that shock killed her before strangulation. And lover boy was indeed shocked to find himself in there.

I input directions to the other body dumps on his phone and place it near my old body. The police can’t help but nail him this time.

Fear not: just before they flip the switch on him, I’ll swap out—to his lawyer.

I stroll from the field wearing the serial killer’s body. Cheery flower heads nod after me.

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