The Faber Academy have started a competition called #Quickfic. Details at this LINK.
You get a prompt and a few hours to come up with a 250 word story based on the prompt. I gave myself fifteen minutes.
I paid scant attention to TS Eliot's influence. (I even got the quote wrong and thought it was "In the beginning was the end") but here was my fifteen minute effort.
The kitchen was an awful mess. There was the broken bowl and the chicken curry near the feet of the corpse, which could just be seen sticking out from underneath the fallen larder press.
It all seemed cut and dried, accidental death, until the little girl told the officer her Dad’s last words: “This is NOT an accident.”
That was the start of it.
His obsession was the domino effect, how he had spent years building intricate chain reactions, firstly with the aforesaid dominoes, then growing ever grander in conception, culminating with the destruction of a block of flats by a feather, and three thousand five hundred and ninety three intermediate steps.
This last one had been so spectacular that he had seemed unsure how to top it and thirty years of constant activity had ground to a halt. Or had it?
The reconstruction of his final moments had moved from the police, the coroner, journalists, fellow domino-effect aficionados, to You-Tubers and animators who all had made various Heath Robinson type attempts to recreate the chain reaction which had followed his slip on the spilt curry.
#deathbydomino had been trending on twitter for months, with tweets along the lines of “and then the domino shot from the toaster and knocked the bag of flour from the shelf above”
Everyone knew his method: “You start at the end and build backwards’ but no-one suspected the truth.
It had all been an accident.