Today is International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Wretch Day. In honor of the holiday, please accept my pixel-stained flash piece, and all the other flash fiction stories I’ve posted over the past year.
“Maybe dinosaurs ate them.”
Alice looked at her little sister in disgust. “Dinosaurs didn’t eat flowers, dummy. Flowers hadn’t been invented yet.”
Meg looked up at her. “You’re not smarter than me just because you’re older.” Anyone watching would have recognized a long-standing sibling disagreement, if there had been anyone left to watch. “Dinosaurs did so eat flowers, so maybe we can too.”
“I’ve never heard of anyone eating flowers. I don’t know if people can do that.” Alice screwed up her face, trying so hard to remember whether people could eat flowers. She was kind of hungry, but somehow flowers just didn’t seem right. Meg ripped a handful of blossoms from the shrub and stuffed them in her mouth. She spit them out again before Alice could do more than take a breath to yell at her. “Ick. Dinosaurs definitely didn’t eat flowers.”
“Dinosaurs ate other dinosaurs,” Alice replied with all the certainty of an older sister who’s nearly eleven, almost. “So that doesn’t help, because there aren’t any more dinosaurs.”
“There aren’t any more airplanes either,” Meg retorted. Alice wasn’t sure why that mattered, since nothing ate airplanes. Or maybe something did, and that’s why there weren’t any more. Their mama was supposed to be on an airplane coming home, only the airplanes all stopped. The internet stopped too, and that’s what they noticed first because the iPad went dark in the middle of a cartoon. Their babysitter said some words Meg wasn’t supposed to know. Alice wasn’t sure where she went after that. She told them to stay in the house, but after a couple hours in the dark they got bored and went outside.
Meg stomped around like a T. Rex for a few minutes, while Alice tried to listen to the grownups. She was the big sister, after all, and she needed to know what was going on. That’s where she heard about the airplanes. They all fell out of the sky, Mr. Neely from down the street said. He was out in his yard talking to Mrs. Singh who lived on the other side of him. All the houses were dark, so people were standing around in the street. Alice wondered what they’d do when it got dark.
Then Alice wondered what she and Meg would do when it got dark. “Meg. Enough dinosaurs.” She grabbed her sister’s arm and tugged her back toward the house.
Meg started to object, then looked at Alice’s face and stopped mid-complaint. “What do we do? Where’s our babysitter? Where’s Mama?”
Alice decided they should stay in the house until Mama got home. Mama always told her to be responsible, and that would be the responsible thing to do. Something outside made a horrible noise, like when she dropped a plate only much, much worse. Alice peeked out the window. Somebody she didn’t know has smashed the Gonzalez’s door in across the street. Maybe they couldn’t stay here after all.
Alice dumped the schoolwork out of Meg’s backpack, the green one with the allosaurus on it. She put in two bottles of water, some Oreos, and a whole bag of Goldfish crackers, plus Meg’s favorite stuffed animal. In her own she put the biggest knives from the kitchen, the things from her mother’s jewelry box wrapped up in a clean towel, and clean t-shirts and underwear for both of them. She left their cell phones because they wouldn’t turn on.
The forest started right behind their house. She and Meg could go out the back without anybody seeing them. She knew how to get into the old mine shaft; she spent lots of time running around in the woods. Hardly anybody knew it was there, so she and Meg could hide from the monsters that ate airplanes. They had food and water and clothes, and they could take care of themselves until Mama came back.
That’s what dinosaurs do.
This one differs slightly from the usual twitter flash. Same time limit (an hour), but different source for ideas, and it wasn’t written on a Friday.
From me – spring flowers, dinosaurs
From Nick – Forest, airplane, abandoned tunnel