Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday Poem:Clicks

Okay, I lied. This isn't a poem exactly although it has the stuff of a prose poem about it.  It's a Flash Fiction story I entered in the recent National Flash Fiction Day competition

It didn't win. Oddly enough someone called Janis was a runnerup for the national prize and then won the Wellington regional one, so you could say I was onto a winning idea at least! Might even shimmy along for a while on her fabulous coat tails...  (I should say I did not in any way have this Janis in mind when I wrote about Janis and Tommy and their little problem.)

Congrats to you Janis Freegard (also a Tuesday Poet) - I'm really looking forward to reading your story, I know it will be a treat - and to the other winners, bravo. Here's mine...


Janis made him listen to the clicking sounds in the kitchen wall. They stood face to face, their noses almost touching. He could smell the Brussels sprouts she’d eaten for dinner. Her lips were tight on her teeth when she spoke.
‘What is it?’ she said.
He listened. It was silent at first, then there was a small click, and another. ‘It’s nothing.’
Janis emitted a click of her own. ‘It’s not nothing, Tommy, but I can’t think about it now. I’ve got work tomorrow. I’m off to bed.’
It was three days of this before he got the electrician in. The wiring was fine, it seemed, but mice were mentioned. Tommy went out and bought traps and a tin of poison. He laid them strategically then poured himself an early beer.  They didn’t listen to the walls that night, and Janis laughed at something on TV. When her mouth was relaxed, it reminded him of that actress in Friends.                         
A week of traps and he didn’t catch one mouse. The clicks were louder and more frequent and Janis spoke stiffly again. She said that Bill at work had borer, and then she went off to read in the bedroom.
The next day, Tommy bought a pest bomb. He sat smoking outside while it did its thing, but afterwards the clicks were even more frenetic. They made him think of Janis typing up his CV for the job applications. She was Jennifer Aniston every day back then. He called her Janiston for laughs. Her hair smelt of frangipani. 
Tommy got the axe from the garage. It didn’t take long to demolish the wall, and the ones either side for good measure. Then he waited, one thumb on the blade, the other clicking time with the clock.

Mary McCallum

1 comment:

Janis Freegard said...

Great story, Mary! (and not just because there's a Janis in it!)