eileen_alphabet (eileen_alphabet) wrote,

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Flash Fiction Challenge: The Unlikable Protagonist

This week's Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig is 'You’ve got up to 1000 words to write a tale featuring an unlikable protagonist that still remains readable and compelling.' This is my try.

Link to the challenge: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/02/10/flash-fiction-challenge-the-unlikable-protagonist/

Meyer turned away from the counter, where the chewing-gum-chewing young lady was preparing his latte, and ran his gaze over the interior of the coffee shop. He frowned. A young couple had just grabbed the table he had wanted and the rest of the place was packed.
The woman sat down and started gently pushing and pulling a baby carriage to rock the baby to sleep, while her boyfriend or husband brought the menus. Apparently they were planning to stay for a while and eat.
The woman looked tired, which was only natural for a new mom. The man, who walked up to the counter to place their orders, smelled vaguely of sour milk and baby spit-up. Meyer turned his head away from the smell. He understood their need to get out of the house, go to a café and pretend that they were still young and free, but his was annoyed that they had to sit here and take up all the space with their baby carriage. If it hadn't been there, there would have been enough room at the table for a third person.
He found a scrap of paper in his pocket, along with a pen, and quickly scribbled the phone number of a young lady of his acquaintance. Then he reached out and took his latte, while at the same time, letting the paper slide into the man's pocket.
Meyer idly wondered what would happen. Would the woman find the paper and be furious? Or would the man find it first, and be intrigued and try to call the number? Meyer was rooting for the last option, which promised the most drama, since the young lady, who the number belonged to, was of a most persuasive nature. He could already imagine all the domino tiles falling, one after another, ending in the destruction of the relationship.
He went outside with his latte and took one of the blankets that was lying on the chairs. He shot an accusatory look at the young couple, but they didn't look at him, hadn't even noticed him. If, against all likelihood, they did not blow up over the phone number, but simply thought it a bad joke, they wouldn't remember him and even if they did, they would have no idea what they had done to deserve this. From their point of view, they had simply gone into a coffee shop and sat down at a vacant table.
Meyer turned away from the window and sipped his latte. It was on the lukewarm side of 'not warm enough'. He frowned. He was going to drink it anyway; lukewarm latte was better than no latte and he needed it, but now he would have to spend his coffee break figuring out what to do about the barista.
Tags: flash fiction challenge, protagonist
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