Friday, October 29, 2010

Chow Min

Min shoved his hands deep inside his pockets and hunched his shoulders against the biting wind. Lights flickered sporadically as ancient fluro signs zapped and fizzled weakly advertising their run down premises. 
He passed the nightmarkets where tiny fish were captured and suspended in plastic bags along a wall, brightly lit for display. Rows of bedraggled birds in bamboo cages  fluttered and ruffled their feathers. Min shuddered and involuntarily scratched his arms. One of his eyes began to twitch but halted as soon as another breath of icy wind hit his face.
The spicy smells of street vendors wafted about him, enticing his stomach to convince his brain to stop awhile. 
The rhythmic shuffling over overly large shoes down the pavement produced a bent figure; her brown, crinkled face peering between a wooden poll. She balanced two large buckets as she walked but seeing the hungry look on Mins face, she pulled out a tiny stool and sat, relinquishing the weight of her baggage to the sidewalk either side of her.  Efficiently she opened one of the pails. The burst of smell assaulted Min, his stomach responding loudly. She grinned toothlessly up at him offering his a styrofoam cup brimming with noodles.   Wordlessly, she thrust bamboo sticks at him and accepted his coins. 
Min closed his eyes in rapture as he slurped the noodles, hot and soft. He closed his mouth around the cup and greedily gulped at the contents. He heaved a contented sigh as he finished, his worries monetarily forgotten.  Still hungry, he peered into the cup but was disappointed to see only a  thin oily film laying over the broth that remained. His heart hammered as he noticed  a glint of steel reflecting from the liquid. 
He tensed his body and twisted, thrusting the liquid out of the cup into nothingness. He twitched and shivered, suddenly exhausted by his fugitive status. The old lady stood, frowned at him and shook her head.
Min flicked a tickle on his ear with a swipe of his hand. His eyes bulged as an animated feather boa slowly wound its way around neck. He dropped to the ground gasping, his legs kicking wildly until his body went rigid. Mins face phased from bright red to a dull sheen as the last breath left his body.  The welt around his neck in crept over his face in angry red fingers as his allergic reaction to feathers spread. His face puffy and grey in death. 
A slender leather clad figure dropped dramatically to the ground. Flicking its head up, it looked around and through the hooded mask, winked at the old lady.  She spat on the ground and gathered her things. “You shame me. Pettiness does not make one great.”
The figure stood and strode over to the corpse and retrieved the boa and wrapped it around its neck and then scooped up the cup to examine it.
“The shame is on him. I have been hunting this offender for weeks. Always the same. Bite marks on the cup and sometimes whole chunks ripped away.
The old woman heaved her load onto her shoulders and glared at the figure. “Styrofoam cups do not need avenging, Tyron.” 
Tyron stood proudly and thrust the cup towards her. “I stand for those who cannot defend themselves.”
“I wonder at times why the league still allow you to operate Tyron.”  The old woman shook her head again and slip slopped down the pavement, searching for more hungry customers.
With a whisper of leather, Tyron leapt up the wall and scaled  the heights of the city, leaving Min sprawled in the gloom, a wet noodle flaccidly protruding from his mouth; a small signature feather thrust up his nose.


Did I mention I was in a really silly mood?  Maybe its the stinky year nines I have had to endure, editing their english homework and submissions all week?


Prompt -Include this theme in your story… In most parts of the world, Halloween is celebrated – in some form or another – this weekend. Your challenge this week is to write a horror scene ( or something horrific) using a wet noodle, a styrofoam cup and a feather.

Story inspired by the [Fiction Friday] prompt at Write Anything and submitted to JM Strother’s #FridayFlash  via TwitterThis story will be recorded and posted up for Spoken Sunday via Audio Boo


Sam said...

I love the idea that there's someone there to protect such things as styrofoam cups which, you are quite right, are often abused and discarded quite brutally. Great use of the prompt!

Anonymous said...

A very atmospheric piece and agree with Sam. A great use of the prompt.

TCPannone said...

Yes Sam is right. Excellent.


A Writer's Vein said...

I like the silliness. Horror should have a touch of humour to take its edge off anyway. That humanity always laughing at the most inappropriate moments. Thanks for a great story.

Ruchira Mandal said...

This was fun actually. Very original, very visual, and a bit quirky.

Eileen Andrews said...

Ha! that was great fun! Very creative use of the prompt. Was a tough one this week.

tanya bell said...

Love the silly, I struggled a bit with the horror side, being a bit od a scaredy cat myself, i like how you twisted the theme and made it your own. Reminded me of the old 80's series 'round the twist' which is quite fitting after a day spent with stinky boys! see my contribution here

Laura Rachel Fox said...

Annie you are an absolute nut. Who else could write a horror story about a styrofoam avenger? And you pulled it off! I want to laugh at the premise, but the story comes across so serious.

Dark Angel said...

Excellent piece. I thought at first he must be a murderer or something. Love the title, too.

And you're not the only one who got a bit silly with the prompt. Mine is at:

John Pender said...

A Styrofoam cup doesn't need avenging. That's great.

Anonymous said...

Memo to self- don't be mean to styrofoam cups!

Steve Green said...

Gave me a good giggle this did. We need more heroes like this to defend the poor inanimate objects that can't look out for themselves. :)

Icy Sedgwick said...

This is a truly inventive response to the prompt! Fantastic descriptions, I was right there with him (up until the boa came alive, that just freaked me out)

Rebecca Emin said...

This is so clever and very original as well. Must admit I did think 'huh?' at one point but I think that was meant to happen! Well done you.