Hi. I wrote flash fiction. Here’s what I came up with:
I never ceased to amaze myself at my capacity for idiocy. I thought I’d reached it several months earlier when I’d made an absolute fool of myself by being That Girl – you know, the one who stupidly confesses undying love to a guy without realizing that he’s Just Not That Into Her. And by him being Just Not That Into Me, I mean he apparently found me to be the worst sort of snob and thought I’ve made it my life’s goal to ruin his friends’ lives.
But somehow – I wasn’t sure how – it had managed to get worse, because said Object Of Stupidly-Placed Affection was now happily chatting with other members of his tour group for the town’s annual Haunted History Halloween Tour – a group that was settling down in my living room to watch to my brother and some of his friends act out a scene from The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow.
I, meanwhile, was hiding like a coward, pressed against the wall just inside the doorway to the kitchen.
“So, is this an introvert thing?” my brother’s amused voice interrupted, “Or a Type A thing? Did we switch to the wrong color cups?”
“Shhhhh!” I grabbed his arm, pulled him into the kitchen with me, and pushed him into place along the wall nearest the door.
“O-kay.” George smoothed his Hello! My Name Is….Ichabod name tag that I’d managed to crumple, then looked at me strangely. “You know, Daphne, this is weirdly anti-social, even for you.”
“I am not anti-social,” I told him. “I just don’t like being around lots of people.”
“You were doing just fine with the last two tour groups,” he protested. “Maybe a little boring with some of the,” he switched to a higher pitched voice, “This house dates back to 1758.”
“Three.” I corrected him without thinking. “1753.”
Being the sort of younger brother who was used to dealing with a sister who could make an idiot out of herself a good bit of the time, George decided the best course of action was to wait for me to explain why I was hiding in the kitchen like the world’s worst spy. He rocked forward and backwards on his heels, patiently watching as the caterers filled more plastic flutes with apple cider.
With a groan, I banged my head against the wall and confessed. “It’s a boy.”
“A boy?” My poor brother looked even more confused.
I scrunched up my nose, feeling awkward and stupid. “Remember last Christmas when I spent a couple weeks with the twins and there was that guy…? And then I sort of ran into him again over the summer when I was helping Aunt Cathy and I kind of….you know….” I waved a hand through the air.
“Blurted out that you loved him?” George finished.
I felt my face rapidly becoming redder than my cranberry sweater. “Yes. That.” I jerked a thumb in the direction of the living room. “He’s here for the next show.”
Being the kind, supportive little brother he is, George responded by immediately leaning past me to see out the door.
“George!” I tried to yank him back.
“Hang on. I’m trying to figure out which one he is.” He slapped at my hands. “I’m guessing none of the middle aged guys or the kids. So that leaves, uh…dark hair with glasses or blond and ridiculously tall?”
“Dark hair.” I admitted. “Glasses. Brown jacket.” Dreamy eyes. Cute smile with dimples. Smart. Funny. Confident. And not a member of my fan club. “What is he even doing here?” I groaned. “He lives like an hour away.”
“Going out on a limb here, but he probably has friends or family who wanted to walk through old houses and look at Halloween decorations,” George deadpanned, “You know, like everyone else in the living room.” He slid back into his place beside me along the wall. “Daphne? Question. Have you talked with him since the, uh…?”
“The Incident?” I supplied helpfully. “I sent him an email.” In hindsight, it was one of those stupidly awkward introvert things I have a bad habit of doing. Writing emails was easier – I could read what I wanted to say and analyze it to make sure I hadn’t said anything stupid. Of course, with how things had been going, Logan probably believed it was some sort of sign that I thought I was too good for human conversation. I clenched my fists, my mind mentally coming up with the Holier Than Thou judgments he must have proclaimed at my stupid attempt to explain myself. God. How is it possible to know the worst qualities about a guy – have those things drive you absolutely batshit crazy – and still be head over heels for him?
I’m That Girl, and I’m pathetic.
Not that it mattered, because… “He never replied.”
“Someone once told me,” George lowered his voice, “That I deserve to be with someone who sees the real me and that it’s a waste to care for someone who won’t.”
Using my own words against me. Damn him. I put on my best fake glare. “Not fair, Georgie.”
He rolled his eyes and grabbed my hand, tugging me away from the wall. “Come on. You’re the narrator and we can’t start without you.”
He was right. I couldn’t hide in the kitchen. I was twenty-seven years old and, like it or not, I needed to be a grown-up. I wasn’t the first person to fall for someone who didn’t feel the same way. I wouldn’t be the last. Besides, if I wanted Logan people to stop thinking I was intentionally snubbing them, then I had to figure out this small talk thing sooner or later. It might as well be sooner. I took a deep breath and let it out, then plastered my best imitation of a friendly smile across my face. “Okay.” I paused, then added, “Just hit me if I start sharing too much trivia about the house.”
Word Count: 1028.
Yes, it’s a modernized, gender swapped Pride & Prejudice. (Yes, this is legal; Pride & Prejudice is in the public domain). Yes, I have my reasons. I was originally going to share my thoughts on why I wrote this how I wrote it, but I’ve changed my mind. Art should be interpreted by the reader, and I’ll let you to draw your own conclusions and interpretations.
I ran this by a few people prior to posting it here, and not everyone realized it was gender swapped Pride & Prejudice, so in case you weren’t sure who everyone is:
Daphne – Mr. Darcy
George – Georgiana
Logan – Elizabeth
“The Twins” – Bingley and his sisters.
Aunt Cathy – Lady Catherine
The scene is inspired by the moment in the book when Darcy returns to his home to discover Elizabeth is there on a tour with her aunt and uncle and awkwardness ensues. It also makes reference to many of the other events in the books. Basically, if you think you see a lampshade, it’s a lampshade. Why? Because lampshades are fun.