Friday Fiction prompt from Ronovan Writes this week invites us to contrive a short fiction piece using a favorite line from a film.
As my favorite line from a film happens to be Eartha Kitt in “The Emperor’s New Groove” shouting “A laama! He’s supposed to be dead!” it does not make writing a story that easy so I shall have to go with Dame Edith Evans in the incomparable film version of “The Importance of Being Earnest” exclaiming in complete disdain “A handbag!?” You can enjoy her delicious pomposity in full in the Youtube link below.
I saw it there on the bench, its crocodile skin solidity strangely incongruous as the chrome and glass of the cars flashed behind it.
Like a squat old lady, alone. It looked so absurdly Victorian that I wanted to point at it and exclaim like Lady Bracknell “A haaaandbaaaag!”, but given that the rest of the commuters may have looked askance at a middle aged man pretending to be a Victorian dowager, I crushed my native impulse and attempted to ignore it.
“Passengers are reminded that all hand luggage must not be left unattended on the platform!” announced the electronic busybody over the loudspeakers.
A shard of sunlight ricochetted off the side mirror of a passing motorcycle and lit up the handbag for a moment.
At that moment the bag emmitted a loud “POP!” from within, and the more tatty corner began to ooze a viscous fluid. Arterial red, it dropped in b-grade horror movie gobbets onto the platform.
I did what any sensible man-about-town in the prime of life would do…
I screamed and ran about the platform.
A hundred heads, which moments before had been bent in silent worship over their I-phones, snapped upwards and turned to gaze upon this, what shall I call it?…”Reticule of death” which, to add to the overall horror, had begun to vibrate and travel across the bench. Pandemonium ensued.
“Passengers are advised that the platform is a strictly non-smoking area” announced the speaker superfluously while the bag dropped from the bench and began making its way across the platform, a trail of crimson in its wake.
Two hipsters, who had been but moments before locked in a tattooed and bearded embrace, fled up the stairs totally forgetting their ukulele and man bags, while a gaggle of yummy mummies who had decided to take “public transport” to coffee for the first time in a new-found desire to save the planet, dashed away in a phalanx of designer prams, mowing down unsuspecting businessmen and an elderly gentleman on a scooter.
A cohort of immaculately uniformed private school girls, taking advantage of the mayhem, smashed in the glass of the snacks dispenser and started stealing healthy soy snacks and spray-painted cartoon bottoms onto a billboard to the horror of Lucy Querrin the First Year.
Amidst the furore the train drew inexorably closer.
Suddenly a bogan, whose sleeveless “flannie” and mullet had previously intimidated the commuters, took charge.
“F… this!” he pithily remarked, booting the bag with his steel-caps, sending it flying into the path of the oncoming train where it exploded in a lurid shower of leather, raspberry syrup and assorted alarm clock parts.
“Has anybody seen my handbag?” asked a little old lady plaintively. “Why would anyone want to steal a bottle of raspberry syrup and my old alarm clock?”
“I did not answer as I was already shuffling sheepishly onto the train.”
The photo is of the mural I see each day on the train platform. I rather like the fact that is has a Haiku in the design. The cars flashed by monotonously.