Thursday, September 15, 2011

NPR Three Minute Fiction - "Unwanted Guest"

The goal of this writing competition was to create a piece that could be read aloud in three minutes, with the conditions being someone enters a town and someone leaves a town.    My entry is below.

Here's the winner


Old man Marv lived on the tattered fringe of Laketown.   He didn’t like people.  He didn’t like sunny days.  He didn’t like birds or bunnies or any other critters.  When the projectile punctured through his roof, it was pretty safe to assume how Marv would feel about it.

Marv didn’t like waking up from his nap.   He didn’t like the rubble cluttering his living room nor the cavity in the ceiling.   His usual response to things he didn’t like was a litany of profanities and vigorous fist shaking.  The spit soaked words never passed through his lips.

An object that resembled a tin coffee thermos rattled and rolled through the debris until it came to rest on the floor.  With a little whoosh, a slit opened and stairs unfolded.  A man, the size of a paper clip, emerged from the opening.

For a few hour-long seconds, neither one moved.  They just looked at each other, trying to make sense of the situation, and failing.

The tiny man ended the stagnation by swinging his arms in a beckoning motion.  Marv creaked and crackled his way to the floor, so that his face was mere inches from the intruder.  Though it appeared as if the man was shouting, it was barely a whisper to Marv.

“Where am I?”

“In my living room.  You smashed through my roof.”  Marv responded coarsely but softly, assuming a loud voice might overwhelm the miniature figure.

“Sorry about that. Can you be a little more general?”

“Um, one-oh-eight Kittyhawk Drive, Laketown Minnesota, United States of America, planet Earth.”
This did not seem to please Marv’s visitor at all.

“What is the year?”

“Twenty eleven.”

“What time is it?”

“Just after four in the afternoon.”

“What’s your name?”

“Call me Marv.”

“Look Marv, my name is Rob Lightfoot, I also live here in Laketown, on the other side of the water tower.   In about twenty minutes I’m going to try an experiment that has obviously failed miserably.   I think we still have time, and if we hurry, I may be able to stop myself. “

“Why should I help you?  You’ve gone and spoiled my afternoon.”

“Well, if we are successful, this whole thing will never have happened.  Your roof will be whole, you will be sleeping, and you will be blissfully unaware of my existence.”

“I’ll think about it.”

Across town, a rather average sized Rob Lightfoot admired his invention in the backyard. In mere moments, he would escape from Laketown and its cronies and through some miracles of physics, travel to a different time and place.   He climbed in and was about to hit the glowing “Launch” button when heard the sound of a car pulling in the driveway.   Whoever it was, they were going to have to wait, indefinitely.    Rob laughed as the shrinking sequence commenced.  He wasn’t going to miss Laketown one bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment