Jen’s Entry – Flash Fiction Challenge: Spin The Wheel Of Conflict

Last week, I mentioned a Flash Fiction Challenge on one of my favorite blogs, terribleminds. I went ahead and gave it a shot. I chose prompt #7: The apocalypse has arrived. Story could be any genre at 1,000 words.

 It isn’t too late to enter if you’re interested!



By Jenna Willett

         Dear God! The world must be ending. The apocalypse is here. We are all going to die. 

         I wonder how it will go for me. Death by asteroid? Zombie? Panicked soccer mom trying to get the last box of Kellogg’s Froot Loops?

         I shudder and stare in disbelief at the empty shopping mall before me. I don’t understand. It’s Black Friday. Where are all the stampeding, belly bag toting bargain hunters? The gum smacking, Orange Julius slurping teenagers? The nail clawing, get-the-hell-out-of-my-way shopaholics, like myself?

         I anxiously glance behind me through the plated glass doors. A Macy’s bag eerily drifts across the vacant parking lot. It skips and bashes itself against the cracked pavement, coming to a horrific landing in a puddle of oil-clouded water. I gasp and turn away.

         Good God! I think the world has already ended. The apocalypse has already come and gone. Everyone but me has died. 

         I stumble away from the doors and retreat into the mall’s vaulted hall, bejeweled with trinkets and precious cargo. My TOMS (Red Canvas Women’s Classics, size 7, purchased on sale, thank you very much) squeak against the tiled floor. I halt, petrified the sound may draw the unwanted attention of whatever calamity has terrorized our planet. Perhaps an army of grotesque monsters in serious need of a tan and spritz of eau de parfum?

         A light flickers in the Crate & Barrel next to me. I look over and take comfort in its familiar ambient glow, wooden planks and prestigious display of plates and cutlery. I reluctantly move on, quietly as possible this time, cautiously staring into each abandoned store. Nearly all of them have oversized posters promoting unbeatable sales: “50% Off!”, “Buy 10, Get 1 Free!”, “Free Tote Bag! (min. $100 purchase).” The signs remind me of the witch in Hansel & Gretel (“Come inside, little dearie. I have so many sweets and goodies and yummies for you!”). I almost take the bait. Instead, I keep walking.

         Why, God, why? The world isn’t ready to end. The apocalypse can’t happen yet. I’m too young to die.  

         I hug my beloved Louis Vuitton purse to my chest. Beneath my fingertips, I feel the bulge of its strategically packed items: wallet, phone and coupons–all bare essentials for a day like today, Black Friday–the best day of the year. It’s everything a well-bred American consumer wants. Sales, sales, sales, with a dash of fanaticism and bone grinding competitiveness.

         I shake my head sadly. After today, the delightful term “Black Friday” will take on a much bleaker meaning: doomsday. The blackest of black days.

         I miserably stroke my purse, quietly promising it everything will be okay. I swear, it nestles closer to me, taking comfort in my false platitudes. Sobs well up in my throat. To think of my cherished Louis Vuitton ransacked and left for dead like me…Oh, the horror. The horror! First me, then my purse?

         No, God, no! The world can’t end. The apocalypse can’t happen. I can’t die. 

         But, what if this is the end? What if I do die? Here and now, in this godforsaken, but oh so glorious shopping mall? Nobody will be around to hear my screams, or wipe away my tears, or hold my hand. Nobody will be around to assure me they’ll use my discount for that other Louis Vuitton I want. (“Shh, don’t you worry, honey. I won’t let that deal go to waste. Rest in peace.”).

         Clickety, clack! Clickety, clack!

         The sharp smack of stilettos against the tiled floor is so unexpected, I fling myself into the closest store–ironically, a Forever 21, two things I’ll never be. If today is, indeed, the apocalypse, I’m going to perish at the unfair age of 19–an almost adult who’d been to Bloomingdales, but never Tiffany’s; who owned a pair of Michael Kors pants, but not a pair of Prada heels. Oh, Prada!

         Crying, I sprint to the back of the store. I can’t help but stop at a clearance rack to admire a top that’s on sale for $2. $2! Thanks a lot, apocalypse, I think bitterly, I’ll never see that rock bottom price again. I sniffle and take the top with me into a changing room. I slip it on, close the curtain and slump to the ground.

         Clickety, clack! Clickety, clack!

         The high heeled marching feet grow closer and louder. I press my hands over my ears and start singing my favorite song, Madonna’s “Material Girl”. Living in a material world–material, material-al-al

         Clickety, clack! Clickety, clack!

         Oh God, the world is ending! The apocalypse is here! I am going to die!

         The heels come to a halt outside the dressing room. The curtain jerks open. I cry out and shield my purse from the gruesome…model? I frown up at Heidi Klum’s doppelganger. She stares back with eyes not quite human.

         Aliens. That’s how the world is going down. Death by runway bombshells.

         “Heidi’s” gaze slides to my Louis Vuitton. I tighten my hold on it, silently daring her to try and steal it.

         Another alien—Miranda Kerr?–arrives. I gape at them, wondering if perhaps they’re not doppelgangers at all, but the real deal. Maybe they’ve been on Earth this whole time, blinding us with their beauty and fashion genius while secretly building an army to invade the human race?

         “Well?” Miranda asks. “In or out?”

         Heidi looks at me. “She is fabulous.”

         I smile through my fear. Heidi Klum thinks I’m fab. Sweet.

         But?” Miranda prods.

         “But I’ve been looking for that purse forever.” She points to my Louis Vuitton. I clutch it closer, appalled at the idea of giving it to her, even if it means saving my Juicy Couture ass.

         Heidi kneels down and kisses me on both cheeks. I’m not sure if I should be scared or awed. Then she moves her lips to my ear. “Auf Wiedersehen.”

         I collapse.

         Dear God, the world has ended. The apocalypse has arrived. I’ve died… 


3 thoughts on “Jen’s Entry – Flash Fiction Challenge: Spin The Wheel Of Conflict

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