Reversal

Sometimes, you have to walk in the bad guy’s shoes to get the story written.  This is a case in point.  The photo prompt for this week’s Friday Fictioneers from Madison Woods gave me a few good ideas and, happily, one of them stuck around.  Originally I had conceived the story from the POV of the protagonists.   It just wouldn’t work.  I had the scene all laid out but couldn’t find the right approach, the right words.

Then I got the idea to ditch two characters, switch to the POV of the villain and try it that way.  This week’s story is the product of that process.  Here’s the photo prompt:

Madison’s take on this, along with links to all the other writers’ stories can be found at:

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/barbed-wire-and-bulls/

I hope you enjoy what follows.  I certainly had fun writing it (in the end), in no small part due to it anonymously featuring one of my long running characters.  She gets everywhere these days 😉  Thanks for reading and please feel free to write a comment.  They are always greatly appreciated.

Reversal

Veinripper’s breath is a hot and rancid thing as jaundiced eyes track the darting form of the Japanese girl stealing into his lair. She is pretty and softly curved, just like his other victims. The tight thing she wears sets his hair bristling. It shifts and blends, steals the light.

She is not like the others.

He dislocates his jaw, facilitating the guttural roar which sets his guardians on the trail of this interloper. Malignant coils of barbed wire, semi-sentient and wholly evil slither and skitter with impossible speed toward the girl. Unperturbed, she closes on him. Panic and fear escalate within as Veinripper realises she is too fast.

“Come, little one! Let me show you what Veinripper does to women.”

A faint, deadly smile parts her lips. “Your name gives me an idea.”

She settles on her haunches as his first scream bubbles up from ruined lungs. “Did you know your thorny little pets can be reprogrammed?”

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38 comments on “Reversal

  1. Sandra says:

    A compelling vignette, depicting the turning of the tables. There’s a whole back story here itching to see the light of day. Veinripper – terrific name.
    He doesn’t sound fearful or panic-stricken with that line, “come little one…etc” Has he got something else up his sleeve?

    The idea of sentient barbed wire though … masterstroke!

    Mine’s at: http://castelsarrasin.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/trespass/

    • Andy Flood says:

      Hi Sandra,
      Now that you draw my attention to it, Veinripper’s challenge does seem incongruous. It was meant to be false bravado, a cover for his fear. A classic case of me knowing what I meant and just expecting everyone else to get it too. Thanks for pointing it out. 🙂
      I’m glad you liked his name, I wanted one of those that pretty much tells you what to expect from the guy; his name is his trade, etc.
      And you’re on the money regarding a backstory. The girl is a long running character of mine 🙂

  2. An intersting and different take on the prompt. The girl is brave. Here is mine:http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/fridayfictioneers-sobibor/

  3. An interesting and different take on the prompt. The girl is brave. Here is mine: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/fridayfictioneers-sobibor/

    • Andy Flood says:

      Thank you, I’m glad you found this to be a little off the beaten path. That’s where Veinripper roams… 😉 I’m not sure if the girl should be considered brave, or simply without fear… Thanks again for reading 🙂

  4. elmowrites says:

    I struggled a bit with the first paragraph – it took a couple of readings to understand and really appreciate what was going on. But once the story got started I enjoyed it and I’m glad the girl had a few ideas up her sleeve. Oh, and sentient barbed wire is terrifying – I love it!

    I’m over here: http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/friday-fiction-soul-memories/

    • Andy Flood says:

      Hi Elmo,
      Thanks for your thoughts on this. I’m pleased you like the sentient barbed wire, one of my more unpleasant ideas (although I’ve a vague memory of it having been done elsewhere). Can I ask why the first paragraph was difficult? Often, I know what I’m on about but no-one else does. Thanks 🙂

  5. My favorite style! When the hunted becomes the hunter. I wrote that on another story this morning – but I mean it. I always root for the presumed underdog!

    ~Susan (Here’s mine: http://www.susanwenzel.com)

    • Andy Flood says:

      I’m glad this spoke to your tastes. I think we all like an underdog, although in honesty, the Japanese girl in this piece is a character I rarely write that way. 😉

  6. oni1138 says:

    you are an inspiration my friend 🙂

    • Andy Flood says:

      Hehe, now that’s overstating things 😉 I’m very happy you decided to get involved though. I hope you have a lot of fun with the whole process. I know you’ve got stories to tell and writing chops to use, so go for it! 🙂

  7. Excellent story. I too liked the name of your villainous victim and the turning of the tables in such a subtle and repulsive manner was quite ingenious. And it is well written also! What a champ! Sounds like an interesting little novel you have going…
    Here is mine, much tamer,
    http://fictionvictimtoo.blogspot.com

    • Andy Flood says:

      Hi Lindaura,
      Thank you for your kind support. Domino’s methods are sometimes subtle, sometimes less so. Veinripper called for a ‘special’ approach… 😉
      While this isn’t part of any existing projects, a lot of the flash ficiton I’ve written since joining Madison’s group has helped inform several new ideas, guiding me to what may well be a much better take on Domino, Masden and Cherry’s ‘future-noir’ flavoured world. Yours was awesome this week 🙂

  8. siobhanmuir says:

    Oh nicely done! Turnabout is fair play and he just got his. I really enjoyed this, Andy.

    Here’s mine:
    http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com/2012/04/another-200-words-for-fridayfictioneers.html

    Siobhan

  9. Gary says:

    Brilliant as always, Andy. Such a dark tale, I love the way you seem to easily switch from your usual style (concerning the character’s usual exploits, I mean) to this villain’s POV – feels like he could be a demonic serial killer in your cyberpunk universe.

    I look forward to the day when you have time to write longer stories again, you’ll have an awful lot to work with! 🙂

    And here’s a little plug for my own effort this week:
    http://garybaileywriting.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/fridayfictioneers-hunterhunted/

    • Andy Flood says:

      Such shameless commercialism, Gaz 😉
      Seriously, though… thanks for your thoughts on this. Your familiarity with some of Domino’s previous outings gives you a different take on this, perhaps. I think you’re right about Veinripper… he might have to be re-purposed/shrink-wrapped and shelved for a future project. His name is just too good to kill off 😉

  10. Lindaura Glamoura stated my feelings to a “T”– Well done!

    Mine: http://www.vlgregory-circa1800.vpweb.com/blog.html

  11. writelindy says:

    Yes your dark side came out. I love the description and pace and what you managed to do in just a few words.

  12. Atiya says:

    I do not know where to begin with this awesome supernatural tale. You use a sickly villain and pit him against this little japanese girl who by all accounts should be scared witless. That she kept coming completely set me up for your last line. Even though you made it almost expected, it still was such a great line. You need to expand this into a much bigger project. I would buy it and tell all my friends. Great share, here’s mine, another supernatural twist: http://remakingme-atiyatownes.blogspot.com/2012/04/flash-fiction-clearing-wire.html

    • Andy Flood says:

      Wow, now that is some very kind and positive feedback! I love writing this sort of story, even small scenes like this one are great fun to me. That it resonates with others is just superb. If ever I get to publish something, I’ll tug your e-sleeve so you can publicise away 😉 Thanks so much for your kind words.

  13. About as full a story as I’ve seen come out of Friday Fictioneers. Veinripper is a solid villain, and the Japanese girl is plain awesome. Your language is delightfully dramatic, perfect for drabbling.
    Like Sandra mentioned above, it was a tad confusing that he became afraid of her, then challenged “Come, little one!” anyway. I would have rather had a more impactful tables-turning twist.
    I’m only nit-picky because it’s so awesome, by the way. Loved it, and I’m looking forward to more!

    Here’s mine (also complete with semi-sentient barbed wire!): http://the-drabbler.com/trespass/

    • Andy Flood says:

      Thanks for such complimentary and honest feedback. I’m mega pleased that you think Domino is awesome, largely because I agree, without any hint of bias whatsoever… ahem…
      Veinripper’s ‘false-bravado’ attempt to rally himself really didn’t come off right. This is something I need to watch in my writing, my assuming that I’m making sense. In point of fact, I rarely do.
      As to the method of ‘tables-turning’, I wanted Domino to go in almost softly, softly but carry the other guy’s ‘big stick’.
      Odd moment of collective consciousness type stuff that we should both opt for some semi-sentient barbed wire… must be something in the water… 😉

      By the way, I left comment on yours but I’m not sure it went through. Perhaps your site detected a trespasser? 😉 I’ll check again but just in case, yours was darkly funny, well written, chilling and saw the invention of the world’s first eco-sociopath. All in a day’s work. Nice.

  14. Madison Woods says:

    My favorite story so far. I loved everything about this, especially the POV. Good call to swap to the bad guy’s.

    • Andy Flood says:

      Aww, thanks Madison, That’s high praise indeed, as I know you read all the postings. This really means a lot to me, particularly as this features one of my fave characters. It’s great to see her getting such a warm reception. Veinripper’s nasty yellow eyes served me well, it seems 😉

      • Madison Woods says:

        I try to read them all, but the more we have on the list, the less likely that’s going to be done every week, LOL. So far this week is looking promising because I gave the link early so some got a head start and posted Thurs, which gave me time to get a head start. Might do that every week. Glad you’re going to be using these characters more. They’re really good ones!

  15. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Andy,

    Veinripper’s demise was beautifully crafted. The ending reminded me of the old lawyer’s maxim; ‘Never ask ask a question in the courtroom that you don’t know the answer to.’ Come to think of it, Veinripper would be a good name for a lawyer, too.

    A great, tightly woven riff on the photo prompt.

    (Thanks for you kind comments on my submission:)

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Andy Flood says:

      Hi Doug,

      Your lawyer gag had me smiling. Thanks for some very complimentary feedback. I’ve been a lucky guy with respects to feedback on this one 🙂
      Take good care,

      Andy

  16. janpoulton says:

    Hello. So glad that Domino has been involved in this weeks story from you Andy. I thought she may have met a worthy adversary in Veinripper but I should have known better. 🙂 I thought he was a brilliant character and may be worth bringing back again somehow if you expand on this story in the future. I love the image of the ‘malignant coils of barbed wire’ suddenly taking on a life of their own. A clever take on the picture prompt. I feel that your thought process to arrive at this story has been worth all the hard work as it is both imaginative and shows great writing skill.
    Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I’m very pleased that you understood the effect I was trying to create. 🙂

    • Andy Flood says:

      Hi Mum,
      Thanks, as always, for your love and support and welcome to the Friday Fictioneers. I’m pleased you liked this one and the use of Domino. Veinripper seems to have been a popular villain. I may well write a longer version of this at some point 🙂 Parental bias or no, thanks for your kind words xx

  17. tedstrutz says:

    Yikes… so this chick’s name is Domino? I will have to check her out. Good story… some cool images like the barbed wire slithering and skittering…

    I enjoyed your introduction, and liked what you came to use.

    • Andy Flood says:

      Hi Ted,
      You’re always very generous with your feedback and I just wanted you to know it’s appreciated 🙂 I’m so happy with the reception this story received, especially the reactions to Domino. I suspect Domino will be making several appearances on my blog over time… 😉

  18. I do like a girl who can fight back. Good use of Veinripper’s point of view, too, and his growing panic is nicely captured. Will look out for more about Domino!

    My entry for the prompt it over here: http://joannakneilson.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/flash-fiction-friday-wire-pilgrimage/

  19. Andy Flood says:

    Hi Joanna,
    Domino’s certainly one of my favourite characters, and this seems like a cool arena for her to occasionally battle in. Thanks for your kind feeback and congrats on your very cool take 🙂

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