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Flash Fiction #91: It`s my party

by Cailleachna 

Posted: 02 April 2006
Word Count: 594
Summary: How's about the theme Party Piece for the week 91 challenge. Up to 600 words by next Saturday midnight.

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The sound of the crowd faded out, as Michael focused on the question. Possible answers swirled around his brain, and then Theresa nudged him in the ribs.

"Time's up, honey," she hissed, and barely missing a beat, she stood and faced the impertinent reporter. "Mr Merrick welcomes the opportunity to take his position amongst the leaders of this party. His past - indiscretions - don't really have anything to do with his ability to see where change is necessary and take action to affect it."

"Okay, thanks - Theresa, is it?" the woman replied, then continued, "Mr Merrick, how would you answer that question?"

"My husband -" Theresa tried again.

"Is perfectly capable of speaking on his own behalf, I'm sure."

"What's your name? And what paper do you work for?"

"Maybe we could move on to the next question?" Michael asked timidly. Theresa elbowed him again.

"Shut up, darling."

"My name is Susannah Tremaine. I used to work for the college paper when Michael and I were students."

She stared straight at him, and Michael blushed. He'd recognised her, and had been hoping to say something to put her off this line of questioning. But Theresa had jumped in feet first, as usual, and made it worse. Now the photographers were turning to the woman, clicking furiously, hoping to catch a decent picture of the so far media-shy female who'd claimed to be able to wreck Michael Merrick's political career in the space of a sentence or two.

"Am I to understand that you are responsible for the media circus that's been following my husband for the last fortnight?" Theresa bellowed.

Michael placed a steadying hand on her arm and stood up. Theresa turned to look at him.

"Darling, do sit down!" she snapped. "You need my backing at a time like this."

"I need you to be quiet, Theresa," he replied under his breath. "This is my Party, not yours." Shocked, she took her seat.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he began. "For a couple of weeks now, you've been hearing rumours and implications about my past behaviour. This woman placed a story in a tabloid journal, and you all picked it up and ran with it. You've all been pursuing her - and me - to get an exclusive on the sordid details. The truth of the matter is this - the story was a fake. I was hoping that it would be enough to wreck my chances at the ballot."

There were gasps of surprise from the crowd.

"I intended to sabotage my own chances because the fact is - I don't want to help lead this party. I'm not ready for it. I'm too young, I'm not ambitious enough to push for such a public position at this stage of my career."

He paused, and glanced at Theresa, who was clenching her fist in fury, her eyes fixed malevolently on him.

"The reason that I'm revealing this now is because I realised I don't want to be ousted on the basis of a lie. It was foolish of me to think I could go through with this - but at the time, I didn't see any other way. There were certain people who wouldn't let me simply stand down. In view of my actions, I would now like to do just that."

There was stunned silence for only a moment, and then the buzz of questions began. As Theresa stepped forward into the crowd, totally unsure what to say, Michael was slipping through the curtain at the back of the stage.

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Comments by other Members

Prospero at 10:44 on 02 April 2006  Report this post
Hi Sharon

I thought this was really good when I first read it and I think you must have tweaked it since then as it now reads even better.

Well done.


old friend at 12:45 on 02 April 2006  Report this post

A nice piece that is well-written and reads well.

What I liked about it was that it left me wondering what had happened before, whether this was true or false and was there any more to come?

Michael sounds like a real idiot to have let things come to this point. However what Michael does NOT sound like is a Politician!



Anj at 18:38 on 03 April 2006  Report this post

An honest politician who knows when not to over-reach himself - very refreshing ;)

Great story


crowspark at 21:15 on 04 April 2006  Report this post
Hi Sharon

Nice writing which brings out some interesting emotional background.

Liked the opener,

The sound of the crowd faded out, as Michael focused on the question.

Refreshing that a politician is this honest. The domineering wife was effective. I wondered about the relationship with the reporter, whether she was in cahoots with Michael.

Great ending with the wife stepping out into the crowd and the husband slipping quietly backstage.

Thanks for the read.


Dee at 12:34 on 05 April 2006  Report this post
Sharon, I enjoyed this.

"Time's up, honey," she hissed, and barely missing a beat, she stood and faced the impertinent reporter
Ultra picky, I know… but your third comma is in the wrong place.
"Time's up, honey," she hissed and, barely missing a beat, she stood and faced the impertinent reporter
Also it might read smoother without ‘and’ twice in the same sentence.

Michael asked timidly.
As we’re in Michael's POV, perhaps you could show us his inner thoughts or feelings instead of using the adverb.

Great surprise ending. I was expecting all sorts, but not that!


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