Friday, March 25, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday: The Happy Story

 In light of the ever-present bleakness of the world and in response to a challenge laid down by my wife, I decided to make a happy story.  So, completely out of character and out of comfort zones, I present "The Happy Story." 

     There once was a great big, green field, ripe with candy canes and daffodils and violets and strawberries. There were mounds of sugar all over the place, free for the taking, and this sugar could not cause diabetes or cavities, for those things were unformed. The sun was always visible (except at night, but then there was always a full moon and lots of stars) and it never got above 75 degrees unless someone specifically requested it.
     The grass was always green and never needed cutting, made perfect by the Blue River’s delta. Weeds lived in harmony with the Blades, the Clovers, and the Crops. Unicorns grazed peacefully in this field alongside billy goats and triceratops. Sometimes even a rainbow would magically appear, even though it never rained in Happy Field. Beneath its wonderfully lit Arc of Every Color, the people and animals of the field would dance and sing songs while bathed in the beautiful aura.
     Conflict did not exist in Happy Field, and if you asked a citizen to define the word they would laugh or shrug and genuinely have no idea what you were talking about. There were no problems. No death or disease or depression. Those things did not exist and they never would, for Happy Field is a place for happy things. Plus, the Rules established explicitly prohibited them.
     One day, Prince John was recited a poem to his beloved Princess Helen, who blushed through the entire event (not from embarrassment, for embarrassment does not exist in Happy Field). She listened, enraptured by his melodic voice and the sweet iambic heptameter of the verse. After he finished he held her tight and kissed her softly on her lips.
     “How I love thee now,” he said, “and forever unto always.”
     “Oh I know this, my handsome prince. Never once did I think otherwise.”
     At that moment some doves swept down into the scene and sang a gentle song of love and eternal romance. Prince John even swooned. The Arc of Every Color seemed to glow brighter and the two young lovers fell into the bottomless depths of each other’s eyes.
     Life was wonderful in Happy Field, and it always would be.

Word Count: 365
The question is how genuine is this yarn?  Is it sickly sweet or teeming with sarcasm?  Does it gently mock below the surface or is it one big yawn?  If conflict doesn't exist, then how can there be a story?  Man, this is so completely different from the normal tone of my writings...


Bill said...

Did she perhaps mean you to write a story with a happy ENDING?

Anonymous said...

did i read it as sarcasm because of my tendency toward darker musings?

i found this story very amusing. Sean tries to challenge me in the same way, but it is amazing how disturbing i can be even with rainbows and sunshine.

a story doesn't need conflict to be a story; now as to whether it is entertaining or not.... However, I did find this one entertaining, having read your other flash fictions. Nice job!


this might make for a nice propoganda film flickering and chirping along before the true scene of violence and desolation comes into focus along the horizon. the colors are garish and you can see the wires animating the actors and animals...maybe some evident splicing from old reels... For some reason, Terry Gilliam comes to mind.

Paula Titus said...

I like happy endings, after the conflict makes you wonder which will win, good or evil. I agree with your previous commenter, that's probably closer to what your wife wanted - and who could blame her!? This story reminds me of that board game called Candy-Land, did you ever play? You're going to have to buy one soon since your coming little one will want to play it with you over, and over, and over, and over, and over, ....

Jay Belt said...

I read sarcasm, but it could be because of your foreword... I thought the dialogue was dripping with sarcasm, but is that because I'm a cynical person at heart and don't necessarily believe in happy endings?

It is of my opinion that you can't have a story without conflict. A tale without conflict is words linked loosely together on paper.

Not that you necessarily have to have good or evil, happiness or sadness. Some of the best conflict I've read has neither and rests in the middle for the reader to feel like soft lotion cooling their skin or the perfectly balanced butter knife on the tip of a finger.

Abbie Josephsen said...

Just because a story has conflict doesn't mean it isn't a "happy" story. I think she just wanted something a little more lighthearted, especially since your last flash fiction was pretty dark and depressing :P maybe write a comedy? Nonetheless, your writing is still good, no matter the sarcasm or tortured victims :)

Stephen Roberts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen Roberts said...

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logankstewart said...

@Bill: This was a story with a happy ending. It also was a story with a happy beginning & middle. ;)

@L: I, too, am inclined to read cynicism and sarcasm, and I wonder once again if I may be a bit cracked in the head. Ooh, what a nice idea for propaganda stuff. Dichotomy for the win!

@Paula: Aye, I see games of Candyland in the distant horizon.

@Jay: I completely agree. Conflict is a must for a story. Abercrombie comes to mind when I think of "middle of the road" type conflicts.

@Abbie: Comedy, eh? Hmmm. Interesting. That last bit was quite dark, even for me... Thank you very much for the complement!

@Stephen Roberts: Thank you so much for the information about male grooming and skin care. I did not imagine anyone would have waded through the story to find the true thesis of the piece, but you hit the nail on the head. Thanks again!