One of the interesting people I follow on Twitter is an excellent gritty writer called Thomas Pluck. He is frequently giving a shout out to Flash Fiction Friday. It is a Ronseal name so I won’t insult you by explaining it. This week’s challenge was a road trip. I started thinking back to some of the fun times I had when I was younger and I kinda adapted one of them by adding killer ducks. Yeah, I know. There is something wrong with me. If you are still here please read it and let me know what you think. Oh and the title was inspired by one of my favourite RHCP tracks.
There were no classes on a Wednesday afternoons. Something to do with organized sports and exercise. Not something that was likely to have an effect on us. Mario’s 125 had blown again. This time the single piston had carved out enough metal to ensure that the cylinder could not be bored out for the umpteenth time.
There wasn’t anywhere in our pretentious little town to get second hand bike parts so this meant a trip to Chelmsford and the bike breakers. It is an odd place to go if you are not from the area. Despite the history of being one of the oldest recorded towns in England and having been the country’s capital for a whole nine days, it looks and feels like a new town that is eager to play with the bigger boys.
We parked at the supermarket. It had an odd policy of charging people to use their car park unless you spent money and left within a certain amount of time. That just isn’t very friendly, but I can guess why they do it. What could a group of teenage boys do? We had no choice other than purchase mountains of junk food and go down to the lakes for a chill out and mess around.
Remember those Monster Munch crisps? It turns out that ducks and seagulls both love them. Having a twelve pack of them led to the inevitable crisp hurling competition. Further and further they went. Terry never could stand to lose at anything. I remember him forcing somebody to play Street Fighter on the Nintendo until about five in the morning just so he could win. I’d gone home hours ago and didn’t really care as it was just a bit of a laugh, but we all still chuckle about that. Licking the corn puff crisps to add mass was Terry’s way to ensure he won. By the end of it his hands and face were covered in crisp gunk.
The funniest moment of my entire life was about to happen. All of the birds seemed to realise that Terry was a walking corn snack and they swarmed towards him. It was hilarious. He was jumping about trying to shake ducks and seagulls off of his arms. At this point I was actually on the floor crying with laughter. Like all things in life though, laughter fades. In this case it faded to silence, shocked and appalled silence.
There was something strange about the ducks. Not just their overly aggressive rush to eat crisps, but something else. I couldn’t put my finger on it at the time, but thinking back on it night after night I’m fairly sure it was their eyes. Ducks do not normally show so much emotion through their eyes, and I’ve never seen any animal show hatred like that. Perhaps that was just how my mind rationalized the events that followed, humanizing the duck to explain how they acted.
I have a phobia of ducks now. More specifically that ducks are watching me. Bizarrely this is called Antidaeophobia, who’d have thought there was a word for it. People laugh when I tell them. I feel shame every day.
The ducks were watching me as they closed in and attacked Terry. At first I thought it was just to see if I had any food, but now I know differently. As they opened their mouths I could see their teeth. I didn’t think ducks had teeth. What about that old saying “rare as duck’s teeth?” It turns out there is a rare carnivorous duck from South America. At least there is rumoured to be one, nobody other than locals has ever seen one. Not and lived anyway. It has been said that something has devoured whole parties of explorers, and naturalists have gone missing leaving only nearby webbed tracks to mark their passing.
The police didn’t believe my story. They took me in to test for illicit drugs, that was how absurd my story seemed. Mario didn’t fare as well as I did. He’d always been the laid back chilled out one, but something snapped in his mind that day. Since then he has mainly been a soup dribbler. I go to see him once a week. I feed him his lunch and clean him up a bit. On the way home I wonder if some part of him knows I’m there, or if his mind just recoils all-the-more for seeing me. The doctor (before that day I’d have called him a quack, but not now) says a familiar person might help break his fugue, but I’m not so sure. Maybe I’ll leave him in peace for now.
It turned out that the trauma I suffered that day was covered by some obscure clause in an insurance policy I had. It was a lot of money, but I’ve spent most of it now. It isn’t easy to assemble a team and transport them to Bolivia. Especially when people think you’re mad and want to be paid in advance.
This is my journal. If this is my last entry then I have not made it back. If you find human bones please compare the bite patterns with those documented in the x-ray attached to the inside cover.
Beware the Ducks…
12 thoughts on “Road Trippin’”
“(before that day I’d have called him a quack, but not now)”
Nicely done! I enjoyed this story…the ending especially! Welcome to FFF!
Thanks for the kind words.
Ducks and Swans – bastards! a great first FFF – here’s hoping it isn’t the last
Shades of Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds…. very well played, Tony! Sent chills through me… thinking of those beady little eyes… black with hate!…
Glad to see you join us here at Flash Fiction Friday, Tony… hope to see more!
Erm, WOW! I’ve always loved the way Hitchcock built tension so if one line has any semblance to his work I am a very happy BUnny. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
Wow – this was brilliant! I loved the camaraderie that turned to horror – and the ending was fabulous! It was a nice length, too – some flash fiction can get a bit long!
Bravo on your firstsubmission to FFF – more please!! 🙂
Cheers for the kind words.
Tony, you cracked me up… love this one.
Cheers. I’d not have written that if I wasn’t following and enjoying your work.
Hah, really enjoyed this, Tony. Nicely done. Excellent tension and tone 🙂
That means a lot given how much I enjoy your work.