Image: source unknown
“Can you see?” He tightened the blindfold. She could not. She crossed her wrists behind her back without being told, and the cuffs locked into place. The cold metal stressed her flesh, and she sat for two full minutes before realizing that he was gone.
She couldn’t believe he’d done it to her again. He was going to get his just desserts.
At least he hadn’t tied her to the chair. She spent forty minutes blindly groping her way along the walls to the staircase. She navigated each step precariously in four-inch heels, and found him sitting in his den. Just where he was the last time.
His voice was congratulatory in the darkness: “Good work, pet. You found me.” (120/129)
Behind the Scenes
After another week's hiatus, Ram the Sunlover is again filling in for the absent Panserbjørne with another Flash Fiction Friday prompt. In addition to the photo above and a 129-word limit, participants were asked to include a semordnilap, or a word or phrase that spells another word or phrase when read backward. A semordnilap differs from a palindrome in that a palindrome must spell the same word or phrase when read backward.
As I enjoy a fun challenge, I immediately began thinking of examples of semordnilaps. The obvious ones - saw/was, dog/god, star/rats, stop/pots - were too easy, and I dug around for more obscure word pairs. I considered using straw/warts, as in "last straw/warts and all". It didn't seem to fit the story. I also considered diaper/repaid, but I couldn't make "diaper" fit the story. I eventually settled on stressed/desserts, although the use of "desserts" does seem a bit melodramatic in the context of the story.
After completing the story, I thought of drawer/reward, a pretty obvious word pair that could have fit beautifully into the story. I hope one of my fellow Flash Fiction Friday participants used it.
In retrospect, while I enjoyed the new dimension to the concept of the required word, being forced to include two different words was a bit of a limitation. Had there been one single required word, I might not have had to use the majority of the word limit in the fashion that I did; I could have thrown in the one random word and structured my story in a more natural fashion. This, when coupled with the relatively short maximum word count (especially when compared to that of the April 6 challenge), made this week's Flash Fiction Friday particularly challenging.
The title has a double meaning: While "Hunting Game" brings to mind thoughts of Karamojo Bell hunting elephants in Africa, in the context of this story the unnamed protagonist, searching out handholds, is the hunter. Her Master, awaiting her arrival in the den, is the game. Regarding the alternate meaning of the word "game", I selected a title that directly references the familiar game shared by the two lovers.
The Marvelettes' "The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game". It's pretty obvious, but in my mind, everything about it fits.