Flash Fiction: Don’t Mess With Our Lion

My flash fiction offering for this week’s challenge from Terribleminds. This week the challenge was to use a randomly generated title. The titles were generated here, which creates kooky American military operation names. The title I chose from my five was:

“Don’t Mess With Our Lion”

The doorbell rang and Julie’s heart began racing. When she opened it and found that it really was Ray waiting on her porch her heart skipped a beat. He looked perfect and with her parents gone overnight to a conference for her mother’s company she knew they could have a perfect evening.

“Hey, come in,” she said and was going to say more when they were suddenly interrupted.

“RRROOOOAAAAARRR!” someone roared from behind her and Julie remembered the evening wouldn’t be completely perfect.

Of course it was her little brother Leo. He had his hands raised, fingers scrunched up, and his teeth were bared in what he thought was a fierce face.

“Wow, scary,” said Ray raising his hands in surrender. He was cool and nice; Julie’s heart fluttered again.

“Sorry Ray, this is Leo. Ever since he learned about the constellation ‘Leo the lion’ he’s decided he is a lion too,” Jenny explained.

“You won’t eat me, will you?” Ray asked Leo.

“Grrrr,” came the reply.

Julie took her little brother’s hand and started to lead him upstairs. “Leo I told you I’d let you watch movies in my room tonight, but you can’t come bugging us. Ok?”

Leo didn’t answer but he let her lead him up the stairs. He still kept his claws up though, and gave quiet little growls as they went.

“I’ll be right back Ray, you can relax in the living room,” she said as she disappeared upstairs.

When Julie came back downstairs she found Ray lounging on the couch and she marvelled at how cool he looked just sitting there. He was so relaxed; she was ready to exploded from the excitement.

“Cute kid,” he said. “You want to watch a flick or something?”

Definitely “or something” she thought, but instead she sat down next to him and said, “sure.”

They found some sci-fi thing that looked ok and even watched a bit, but neither was really thinking about the movie.

It all started slow and slightly awkward as such things usually did. Julie snuggled in close to Ray and put her head on his shoulder. He put his arm around hers.

Soon his arm had drifted down to her waist and her hand was resting on his chest. He felt strong and he smelled nice.

From there they moved to kissing and their hands began roaming more freely. By the time the movie was getting through its first act the two teenagers were in a full-on heavy make-out session.

Julie would never deny that she was as excited as Ray at that moment. There was a pounding in her ears and she couldn’t tell if she liked what was happening with their mouths or hands more but she knew she liked it.

When Ray started trying to unbutton her shorts though, she suddenly got scared. “No. Wait. Stop,” she said, pulling back from his mouth.

“Come on, don’t worry,” he told her and gave her one of his great smiles. But there was a hunger in his eyes that scared her more, and his hands kept trying to work off her shorts.

“No Ray, I’m not ready,” she said trying to grab his hands and push them away. But he was strong.

“You’ll like it,” he said. His voice sounded so nice but those hands wouldn’t stop.

“No!” she shouted and pushed away from him with her legs.

Ray stood up then and all the niceness was gone from his face. “You can’t stop now!”

“Yes, I can,” she said, but she didn’t want to ruin everything so she added,”let’s just do like we were. You know, kissing and stuff. It was nice. I like you.”

Ray looked disgusted as he said, “Kissing and stuff? You cock-teasing bitch. You were promising more than that.”

Julie felt devastated, the exciting pounding in her chest turning into a clenching pain and she thought she might cry. Before either of them could say more though they were both surprised by a sound.

“RRROOOOAAARRR!” little Leo shouted from behind Ray.

Ray turned and saw Julie’s little brother standing there with his fierce-face on and claw-hands raised. With complete contempt Ray pushed Leo away, pie-face style.

“Get lost retard,” he said.

Ray was turning back to Julie, the lion forgotten, when, quick as a flash, Leo launched himself head first into Ray’s crotch.

Julie had seen Leo do that to their father once in a playful way and their father had yelled in such surprise and pain. He made Leo understand he should never do that again, because it hurt people.

Leo had learned his lesson and he put it to good use. When Ray yelled in surprise and pain Leo jumped with all his fierce little might and landed on Ray’s foot. When Ray reached for Leo with one of his strong hands, Leo bit it.

Terrified about what Ray might do, Julie grabbed the phone that was beside the couch and quickly dialled. “911 Ray. You better get out of here,” she told him. She was still scared, but she was angry too.

Ray looked shocked but all he said through a wince was, “fuck you both,” and then he started to leave.

Julie was watching him go when she realized someone was talking to her.

“911. What is the nature of your emergency?” the voice from the phone was asking.

“Oh, I’m sorry. There was a guy here who wouldn’t leave. I was scarred, but I think it’s ok now. Our lion chased him off.”

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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Don’t Mess With Our Lion

  1. Cute idea and fun story. I liked it.

    If I could offer a suggestion… sometimes the story reads as if you are “overdoing” it whereas a little less would be more. For example,

    “Julie had seen Leo do that to their father once in a playful way and their father had yelled in such surprise and pain. He made Leo understand he should never do that again, because it hurt people. Leo had learned his lesson and put it to good use.”

    Maybe something less but tighter like: “Julie had seen Leo accidentally attack their father this way. But Leo had evidently learned this was the one exception to the rule, ‘never do it again.’” Or something like that.

    I love these challenges. It’s important to keep writing (and editing!). Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading future challenges!

    • You, or anyone else for that matter, are always welcome to offer suggestions and constructive criticism around here. In fact, I’d beg for it at the beginning of every post if I didn’t worry that it’d come off as desperate for attention!

      As for your specific suggestion, I’m definitely going to keep it in mind in the future. I have to admit that when I look at the example you give pulled out of the story and left to stand on its own like that I can’t help but think – yeah, not so good that there.

      I think I might try to make an editing technique out of this. Pulling out parts of the story and putting them into a new file to look at all on their own. I bet it’d be easier to notice bits of text that don’t read so well that way.

  2. One of the best books for editing that I LOVE is “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King. It helped me break editing into pieces.

    It’s so hard for me to edit myself because I am too close to the story! It’s always a work in progress. Keep on writing!

  3. I love that Leo was very much a lion at a most opportune time. The tension-building was great. I was getting uncomfortable toward the end, until Leo saved the day.

    • Thanks Ellen. I worried after I posted this (though I find I can’t help worry about something anytime I let others read anything I’ve written) that some might find it too uncomfortable a situation to read about, especially given the goofy nature of the challenge. This very well might be the case for some who’ve stopped by to read it but it sounds like I hit the tone just the way I hoped I would, at least with you.

  4. I’ve been doing these FridayFlashFictions for about a year now, and I think they’ve really helped my writing improve. Keep writing, and read the stories of the other writers who post fics. Practice makes perfect! :-)

    • I definitely will be keeping with the writing. No going back now. I really like that these flash fiction challenges attract lots of attention – I try to read through as many of the entries posted in the threads at terribleminds as I can each week. Seeing so many different takes on them is great and I always find there’s something to learn or think about from all the other writers who participate.

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