Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday Flash Fiction: In The Beginning

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of original flash fiction. This week rounds off the mystery theme for November. Got a guess? Shout it out!

In The Beginning
Word Count: 600

“Boggs looked at me and said a single word: Genesis. That’s when I realized we were onto something huge, but we needed to start from scratch. We needed to make something our own. So we did.” Carlton took a dramatic sip from his whiskey sour.

“That’s not how it happened at all,” said Owen.

“I was there,” said Carlton.

“We were all there,” said Owen.

“Well, how do you remember it?” asked Carlton.

Owen took a sip of his spritzer. “Well, okay,” he said. “It was a day just like this, twenty years ago. The four of us met over dinner at a business conference. Everyone smelled like cheap beer and hotel shampoo.”

“Only Owen would notice the way we smelled,” Steve added.

“Don’t interrupt,” said Owen. “So we had a few drinks and started talking about our projects. Carlton had managed to impress some investors with his personality, but he didn’t have anything to sell them.”

“Under-prepare, over-deliver, I always say,” said Carlton, provoking laughter.

“So we had some access to venture capital, maybe,” said Owen. “We just needed something to spend it on. I remember, Steve, you were trying to sell that ridiculous show about a harvester that teaches quantum theory to toddlers.”

“It was Chaos Theory,” said Steve.

“Whatever,” said Owen.

“It was called Strange Tractors, and I still think that project has legs.”

All four of them laughed at that.

“Anyway,” said Owen. “We all could see the potential in each other. And the energy, and the passion. We needed an outlet. I was pitching banking software.”

“And thank God we didn’t go into that market,” said Carlton.

“Hear, hear!” shouted Steve.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, don’t interrupt,” said Owen. “So we’re pitching ideas, and none of them are sticking. Then I look down the table at Boggs. Now, I’ve known Boggs since undergrad. And he’s always been like… like… well, like Boggs, you know. He may only say three words all day, but they’ll be the three words you needed to hear. So I looked at him and I asked him what he had to say on the matter. And Boggs… He scratched his beard. He swirled the ice around the bottom of his glass. He held that glass up. He looked out at the room. And then he said the word: genetics.”

“That’s not—” started Carlton.

“Don’t interrupt,” said Owen. “History was made that day, gentleman.”

“He didn’t say genetics,” said Carlton. “That’s ridiculous.”

“Sure as I’m sitting here,” said Owen. “Certainly makes more sense than genesis.”

“It means beginning,” said Carlton. “It was a perfectly good word for Boggs to say. We’re barely involved with genetic research. How does that make any sense?”

“Actually,” Steve piped in, “I was pretty sure he said GeninTech.”

“Really?” asked Carlton.

“That’s why I suggested it for a company name,” said Steve. “We didn’t really have a business plan when we went to the investors. We just had a name—even though we changed it three months later. But it showed them we had determination. That’s how I remember it, anyway.”

“Seriously?” asked Owen.

“Well, yeah,” said Steve. “But, I thought it was Boggs’ idea all along. Wasn’t it?”

They all looked at the other end of the table.

“Wasn’t it?” asked Steve.

No one spoke. The shadowy figure at the end of the table set his glass on the coaster in front of him. He scratched at his beard.

“Honestly,” said Boggs, “I was just trying to order another gin and tonic, but let’s tell it your way at the press event next week.”

Edited by Carolyn "We Did The Valley Girl Thing Already" Abram.

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Abby (aka AgatheAthena) said...

My guess for theme: the titles are the first words of the first five books of the bible/torah which you name in the first sentence of each story.

Kasey Hames said...

I agree with Abby. Thankfully there were a few more clues this year than last. :)