Hey! Look, it's a blog post! And not only that, I've got a story for you today kids. Once again, I've found some fun over at Chuck Wendig's Wacky Wigwam of Words blog. It's Friday, therefore it's time for some flash-fiction. He's been toying with aspects lately, and today is the epic showdown of ultimate aspect destiny. Enter the Thunderdome and behold your opponents: Subgenre, Conflict/Problem and Element to Include. Each of these lists has 20 options. Choose one from each list and write your story. 1000 words or less.So these are the rules this week. I chose to roll a 20-sided die to select my aspects, and here is what the fates brought me.
1) Subgenre: Twisted Fairy Tale
2) Problem/Conflict: Get the band back together!
3) Element to Include: Unicorn
They almost go together too well.
Someone Like You
by Jamie Wyman
Goldie’s stiletto heels clicked up the cobbles with a grace and fuck-you precision that can only come from years of practice and paragon levels of bitchcraft. As she came up the path to the Three Bears Cabaret she could see the line of people spilling out the door and around the squat building.
Auditions today, the paper had said.
Goldie simmered. The Bears could try, but they would never be able to replace her. Unlike those miscreants with their glossies in hand, Goldie belonged here. She’d helped build that stage. Her blood, sweat and tears drenched those boards. She had stopped hearts with her covers of power anthems. Audiences wept at her torch songs. With Brion, Drew and Bump behind her, Goldie had made magic happen.
And now they were holding auditions? If Brion wanted to play his little games, he could, but he would never find anyone as good as the blonde bombshell on the warpath. And it was time to remind him.
With her chin held high and her heavy-lidded eyes focused, she stomped up the stairs to the stage entrance. The front door was for common folk and marks to be parted with their cash, not for someone of Goldie’s caliber.
Backstage, the other performers prepared for tonight’s show. Auditions or not, this was still a business and the Bears had to get their money. A few dwarves stitched at tears in their costumes while one of the flying monkeys combed his fur with languorous delight. As she glided through the dressing tables and vanity mirrors, Goldie took care not to step on Ant and Grasshopper as they sped away from Puss. Clearly he’d already had a few whiskey sours because the insects were well out of reach and his boots were on the wrong paws.
“Goldie!” a voice called in surprise.
The songstress took a long, admiring look at herself in the mirror. The spangled sheath gown—as lustrous as her name—artfully clung to every tight curve. She’d gone with a smoky-eyed siren look for tonight. Her long lashes veiled the exact color of her eyes, and Goldie’s lips gave a perfect, glossy pout. She had piled her blonde locks high atop her head, a few thick curls tumbling down to frame her flawless face.
She smiled. Brion would be groveling within a quarter of an hour.
In her reflection she saw the small, auburn-haired dancer gaping.
“What are you doing here?” she asked. “I thought you quit.”
“Shh, darling. Mama’s home.”
Goldie stalked away, a path clearing around her. She relished the shock and fear plastered on the faces of her coworkers. That was why no one would replace her: stage presence.
As she thunked across the stage, Drew looked up from tuning his bass and Bump’s drumsticks clattered to the floor. Goldie didn’t acknowledge them. She owed them nothing.
The door to Papa Bear’s office was blocked by the business end of a horse, its tail garish lavender. Goldie gave the flank a sharp slap.
Hooves clicked and the beast shifted to the side. Brion’s head jerked up.
“Just what the hell do you think you’re doing here?” he rumbled.
Goldie batted her long lashes and slid herself onto the burly boss’s desk. “We have a show to do tonight, don’t we, baby?”
Though Goldie did her best to smoosh her cleavage into his face, Brion didn’t look away from her eyes.
“You left,” he said, voice creaking with hurt and fresh anger.
“Isn’t that what all the best bands do? They break-up, they get back together and in the end they’re better than ever?”
Brion shifted his gaze. “We start rehearsing tomorrow. I suggest you stick around tonight and learn the flow of the show.”
Goldie swerved, her more pleasing parts jiggling as she moved to fill Brion’s line of sight. “Come on, you can quit this little game you’ve got going.”
“What game would that be, Goldie?”
For the first time, the diva’s confidence wavered. Brion’s eyes were cold and soulless. She saw none of the passion they’d shared, none of his anger, or his delight. Just…indifference.
“Baby?” she breathed. “You and me…after everything you and I have made together. Everything we’ve been together? You could just walk away from all that. All of this?” She swept a hand to present her lithe curves.
“You left, Goldie,” Brion said.
“You act like it’s so final!”
“You fucked the Pied Piper in Bump’s bed, trashed the bar and burned half of the dancers’ feather fans before you stormed out of here saying you were never coming back. If anyone made it final, it was you.
This wasn’t going how Goldie imagined at all. She put on her best, brightest smile. “I’m here now, aren’t I?”
“You’re not welcome now. We’ve found a better singer and someone who’s less likely to stab a customer with her heels.”
“What? This nag?” Goldie looked over her shoulder and for the first time took notice of the unicorn behind her. The beast gleamed with ethereal charm, its horn a spiral of pearlescent light.
The unicorn dipped its head and tossed its lavender mane. “That’s right, sweet cheeks.”
Goldie turned, ready to unleash hell on the creature, but before she could it speared her up-do with its horn and tore the wig from her head. Screaming, the diva tried to jerk away. Her heels caught on the rough wood floor, she spun and tumbled down. As her bony ass hit the ground, her falsies burst from the gown and revealed her flat, hairy chest.
“Run on home, little boy,” the unicorn said smoothly.
Sputtering with impotent rage, Goldie picked up what was left of herself and limped onto the stage. She kicked out at Bump’s drums and knocked over his cymbals with a deafening crash. The ruckus followed her all the way out the door.
“Pops,” Bump called. “Damn drag queen broke my chair. Again.”