Baggage is a happy accident that became my first foray into flash-fiction (250 words or less), and was published in the Lake Winnipeg Writers' Group magazine, Voices, at the end of May, 2012. After being recognized across the country, and across the Atlantic in England, this was the first time my work was ever published in Manitoba.
Actually 'work' might be too grandiose a word with regard to Baggage. I was just goofing around at the computer when I decided to see that, if I wrote nothing but pure dialogue, how far could I go without any narrative whatsoever - not even any 'he said' or 'she replied', or anything of the sort. So I set my mind in neutral, and wrote down the first thing that popped up, and then replied, and continued on in a progression of what I felt was logic. When I was finished a page and a half later, I could see that I had a complete story, with a beginning and an end, and an admittedly very little bit in between. Okay, maybe it wasn't the sort of thing I would usually write, but there it was, literally in black and white. From start to finish might have taken ten minutes - add maybe another half hour for editing.
Still, I'm a creature of habit, conservative by nature, and this, if anything, was an anomaly. I was more bemused than anything when I set it aside and returned to what I was supposed to have been working on all along, if I hadn't given in to my natural tendency to procrastinate. When the LWWG's competition came out about a day later in the Guild's newsletter, stating that it had a venue for something so short, I included it on a whim with what I considered to be my serious entry - which just goes to show, never underestimate the power of a whim.
A word of caution for the faint of heart: there is language.
CW Lovatt – 23/12/2011 – 24/12/2011
“Why would you do this?”
“Take my heart and break it into a million pieces.”
“What’s so special about your heart? People get hurt, it’s just the way of the world.”
“But I love you!”
“Love! Is that what that was? How can you stand to be so pathetic?”
“I would have done anything for you!”
“Exactly my point!”
“But what about all those times we spent together? I thought you were happy.”
“Look, I’m not that person anymore, okay? Things change. I change – you change – everybody changes. What’s so difficult to understand about that?”
“I don’t believe you.”
“You better believe it, buster; we’re done!”
“I hate it when you use that tone!”
“Yeah? Well, I guess you’re in luck then, ‘cause you’ll never have to hear it again, will you?”
“How can you be so flippant about this…so fucking cold?”
“Am I? Maybe I am at that. Maybe I’m the coldest, cruelest bitch that you’ll ever meet. Why would you want anything to do with someone like that?”
“Because it’s not you, that’s why.”
“Oh, but it is, mister. You’d better believe that it is! Oh God! Now what are you doing? Are those tears? You gotta be kidding me!”
“Look, this has been real, but there’s somewhere I have to be.”
“You’re forcing me to do this, you know?”
“Hey, is that a knife?”
“You don’t have the balls!”
“You said it yourself – people change.”