About eight years ago, I wrote a piece of flash fiction (1,650 words) about an author haunted by one of his literary creations. I titled it Kill Your Darlings and forgot about it.
Found it in my slush pile a few months ago and today I did a complete revision. I made it a little bit darker, but still retained a little of the humor (the narrator is somewhat sarcastic). Now I'll run it by my three editor friends and get it ready for its rejection slips:
Here are the first 240 words of my final rough draft before its final polish:
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Sitting in the window of my favorite coffee shop, I watched Reggie coax his battered Dodge Van into a parking slot. I glanced at my watch and knew something was wrong. Not only was my eccentric friend on time, he was actually a few minutes early. When he got out of the van and started looking about, I assumed he forgot that I told him I would meet him inside the cafe.
My wave through the window caught his eye, and he waved back. As he walked to the entrance, he still looked about himself with a worried look.
Inside, he shed his coat, and eased his bulk into the seat across from me.
“Skittish, aren’t you?” I asked as he motioned for the waitress.
“Fred, you are not going to believe what I think is happening to me. It’s … it’s incredible and I want you to tell me I’m just losing my mind.”
“Okay. You’re just losing your mind.”
“Don’t make me laugh,” he said, anger flashing in his eyes.“I think I’m in some serious kim chi.”
“Okay,” I said. “Spill.”
“First let me order something. I’m starved.”
He called the waitress over and ordered breakfast suitable for three men.
“Eating light today,” I said.
“Stress puts me off my feed,” he replied. “This has me all worked up.”
I bided my time as the waitress put a little coffee in Reggie’s cup of milk and sugar and wandered away.