Flash Fiction: Civility and Simians

This week is my monthly writers’ group, Quills and Quibbles, which meets at the Harrison County Public Library. Each month, we pick three random words as a writing prompt. The story can be about anything, but you have to include those three words. This month, the prompt is:

  • monkey
  • civil
  • mauve

So let’s see what I can come up with on the fly, shall we?



If nothing else, the monkey was civil. He looked me in the eye, a calm expression on his face, and stirred the tea in the china cup set beside him. He contemplated me with an air of disdain, tugged at his necktie, and addressed me directly.

“You realize of course, madam, it’s nothing personal.”

I glared back at him, straining at the restraints. “It’s personal to me.”

The straps which held me in check were incongruous with the demure mauve wing-back chair to which they were attached. Such was the way of our simian masters. Brutal details woven through a tapestry of gentility.

“Well, you were demonstrating for equal rights. Our society balances on a precarious system of checks and balances. We need those strata. You need them. Otherwise, we’d be flung into utter chaos. Otherwise–”

“Otherwise, you can’t keep your death grip on power and privilege. You’re wasting your breath, hairball.” I smile in satisfaction as the look of primal rage passes his previously placid facade. I’ll pay for that taunt, but at least I got the satisfaction of seeing it get to him.

“Well, then. If I’m wasting my breath, there’s really no point in continuing yours, is there? We’d hoped we could come to some sort of understanding. You’ve gained a lot of influence, for one of your kind. You can be unusually articulate for a human.” He grimaced, and rang the copper bell next to his teacup. The two orangutan who had led me here were agents, polished and pressed in neat suits. The gorillas who entered to remove me were clearly executioners.

“Propriety and politeness, Miss Parker. They’d have taken you much farther than the path you chose. Pity you humans don’t understand the concepts.”

glyphAnd there you have it. A super short story, written in ten minutes. While it’s not terribly original (Thank you, Charleton Heston!), it does have some potential, with some editing and a better ending. Even if it’s never anything more than this, it’s good practice coming up with dialogue, characters, setting and motivation in a small space.

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