It also brings new characters and stories into being. In fact, today I just wrote a third piece about a woman named Detective Cassie Tucker. She came into being from a 100 word flashfiction piece on Stevie McCoy's #TuesdayTales challenge. We had the word "legion" and the following photo to write on.
Cassie stared across the humped white backs of abandoned cars in mute frustration. Scuffed footprints marred the pristine snow covered spaces between them. Only the “road closed” sign hung in stiff silence, frozen solid, undisturbed.
She flicked the safety off her Sig and advanced slowly, holding her breath to hear anything in the winter silence. Snow dragged at her feet, thick enough it would take a legion of snowplows days to clear.
Cassie paused beside a silver Lexus and dropped her shoulders, sighing in defeat. No more footprints, not even tire tracks.
The kidnapper and the little girl had disappeared.
My writing twin asked me which WIP Cassie was from and I said I'd made her up just for the flash. But she'd planted a seed, because for last week's #FridayPictureShow hosted by Jen DeSantis, I added another 100 words for Cassie to the following photo.
It emerged from the golden wheat like a breaching submarine, dragging a wake of sunflowers with its heaving body. Cassie paused at the flower show to stare, a smile curling her lips.
“I’ve seen flower beds with head and foot boards, but never a flower caddy.”
“What are you talking about? Isn’t a caddy what the Brits call a cart?” Pierce quipped, laying one hand at her waist. “That’s just a bigger version.”
She laughed, reveling in his touch and the levity. It had been so long since she’d found joy in anything.
“I’d say it’d win best in show.”
Then today, again on #FridayPictureShow, Cassie made another appearance in 100 words to the next photo.
The mannequin lay in the wooden boat, rocking stiffly on the oily surface. Huge bug-eyed glasses reflected the multihued shimmer and brightly striped tights covered the legs under the torn skirt. The model’s hips and legs lay twisted ninety degrees from its shoulders, giving the body a broken look. The nails on the hands had been painted the color of dried blood.
Uniforms waded through the greasy water to retrieve the boat and its grisly contents.
“Shit.” Detective Cassie Tucker snapped her phone shut. “We got another one.”
Detective Daniels raised his eyebrows. “Another mannequin?”
“That’s not a mannequin, Daniels.”
And Voila! A new story is born. Where will Cassie go? How will she find her Happily-Ever-After (I am a romance writer, after all)? And since I tend to write paranormal, what fantastic creature will she encounter? Don't know yet. Have to see what other flashfiction pulls out of her. :)
Just a quick side note: I was the overall winner for #FridayPictureShow for Cassie's Mannequin story. Woo-hoo! Thanks to the judge and host for that one! :)