To cleanse the palate between finishing The Scale of the Shadow Dragon and moving ahead on another draft of the second book, I jumped back into a weekly flash fiction contest.
Microcosms is a Friday weekly flash contest run by Flash Dog @GeoffHolme. There’s a theme that gives multiple elements. You spin the wheel and get three elements to fold into a 300-or-less-word flash.
This week, the elements were drawn from the new LEGO movie. My wheel-spin yielded this: adolescent sidekick/warehouse/SFF.
Dinner was late last night and it’s all your fault, Geoff!
Enjoy “Plot Device”
He gives you the warehouse gig because he knows what’s lurking in there.
You asked for it, though, asked to take a more active role. After all, you’d earned your black belt before popping your first pimple. Certainly you can handle more than merely cuffing the criminals once he’s incapacitated them with excessively-showy roundhouse kicks. You’re not complaining or anything, but you think you could figure more in the crime fighting.
“Fine,” he relents—pretends to relent, rather. “You want to go it alone?” He scans the commissioner’s alert log.
“Alone? No! It’s just—” you try to argue. You still consider the two of you a team, but the more puberty does in shaping your cheekbones and carving your scrawniness into muscle, the more impatient he’s grown with you. He doesn’t ruffle your hair like he used to.
“Commotion at the warehouse,” he reads, as if he’d picked it randomly.
He tosses you the keys to the Chiroptera Copter and ducks into the Secret Lab. You hear the click of the lock behind him.
Your shadow stretches into the warehouse. Something enormous and alien slides over oily cement. Out of the darkness, a snaky appendage whips around your ankle and hauls you toward the rafters. It rumbles with a hunger that could swallow the moon. You barely make an appetizer.
The alien maw slams around you, and you realize what’s been going on all along: you were never the sidekick. You were placed here to give the hero a backstory. Your demise will make it harder for him to bond with the real sidekick, the pluckier one, the more baby-faced one. One that won’t upstage the rugged handsomeness of the hero.
Yep, loss lends layers, like the easily dissolved parts of your spandex costume.