Friday Flash Fiction: Dick and Jane

The British Fantasy Society recently sent me a copy of A Dick and Jane Primer For Adults. As the title suggests, the thread that links the stories together is that they all use the style of the American reading primers, Dick and Jane, but with stories designed for adults rather than children.

There were some really good stories in there and I wanted to have a go. The idea seemed custom built for flash.

By which I mean to convince you I haven’t gone mad by posting the story below…here goes:

Dick and Jane go to the woods
By Neil Beynon

See Dick run. See Jane run. See Dick run after Jane. See Jane cry. See Jane run and cry. See Dick chase Jane across the field.

Spot does not run. Spot does not understand. Spot watches them from the long grass. Spot sniffs. See Spot sniff. See Spot drop low in the grass. See Spot’s fur stand on end. Spot can smell something bad. There is someone else coming from the woods. See Spot bare his teeth.

See Dick and Jane run. See Dick run. See Dick’s face. See the past, gone forever and etched in eternity in young Dick’s mind:

See Dick crawling through the forest undergrowth. See Dick behind the tree. Hear the whispering. Hear the strange sounds. Hear the voice you recognise and the words you do not.

See Dick peering round the tree. See what Dick sees: See Jane, his older sister. See the other person – so tall and so pretty. See the skin bright in the shadows. See the fingers like bone and the nails so red. See Jane’s head rolled back, see her neck stretched tight. Feel the ball in the pit of your stomach.

See her kiss Jane’s neck: apple red on sandy gold. See the crimson smear as she looks up from Jane. Is the smear lipstick? Is the smear something else? She sees you Dick.

See the smile on her lips. Hear the invitation in your head.

Hear the whimper that escapes your lips.

See Jane cover herself in shock. See Jane recognise you. See Jane push the tall lady away. See Jane pull her clothes together. See Jane run.

See the tall lady. She is no longer smiling. Run Dick run.

See Dick run. See Jane run. See the tall lady follow. See her smile at them running.

The tall lady likes it when they run. Sometimes they get away. Sometimes they do not.

Still, those are your options: run or stand.

See if you run.

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