I was rambling around the blogosphere in search of opportunities to promote my short story collection, Becoming Someone, when I came across Lisa Burton Radio. I must admit I didn’t immediately grasp what it was about, but when I did – Wow! Lisa is a robot created by Craig Boyack with a Thursday slot on his blog. Basically, she’s a fictional character interviewing other fictional characters on a fictional radio call-in show translated to text. Once I figured that out, I didn’t hesitate to ask if one of my characters could join in.
With my assistance, Steve, the creepy central character of my second novel, Underneath, phoned Lisa for advice at a stressful point in his relationship with his partner, Liesel. In fictional time this was in early spring, several weeks after their cosy Christmas retreat from the world and shortly before the Easter deadline for reconciliation imposed by Liesel. By the real-world calendar, the post went live at the end of last year, but I thought it worth an April revival. Whether you’ve read the novel or not, do pop over and see what you think.
This week’s flash fiction prompt is for a 99-word story around the phrase beggars can’t be choosers. Steve did so well with Lisa Burton, I thought I could let him handle this too.
She hammers on the door, pleading, begging. It’s too late. She’s made her choice.
I’m not without pity, but her desperation soothes me, cancels the pain from when I was the one in need. From when I begged and Liesel chose.
She gave me two options, both impossible. If she left, I’d lose everything; if she stayed on her terms, how could our love stand the strain?
When she’s calm, I’ll go down to the cellar, take her some food and some clean underwear. I’m no cook, but she’ll relish whatever I give her. Beggars don’t get to choose.