I'm so glad @VinMcCarthy keeps coming up with these flash fiction challenges (the original card is here). I've been a writer for a while, but these challenges are forcing me to try out different voices and ideas, so it's been a workout for some of my under-used creative muscles.
I call this one: Toss Up
"See, when you flip a coin, it creates two realities. One where the coin lands tails up, and another one where it lands heads."
In one, Caroline goes with her friend to the bar. The music is loud, the dance floor is crowded, and the beer is overpriced.
But in the universe where the coin lands on heads, they go to the pub that Caroline spotted out of the corner of her eye. It's a dive, and they know it. Her friend doesn't like it. Caroline promises they can leave after one drink (they've already paid, there's no point in wasting it). Cranky friends aren't her idea of a fun night out.
But Caroline does use the restroom before they leave. There's a sly woman named Charlie there, trying to snap one of her piercings back into place. It's in the back of her neck, punctuating the spry arc of her shoulders.
"But it's not just two, because what if..."
Caroline likes Charlie. They have nothing in common, and they have everything in common. They might run away to Spain together. They might start a bee farm together. They might adopt a flock of oddities or children or cats.
"Because what if the coin rolls away?"
They might fight too much. Forget to pay bills. They might break up and kiss and make up and split over and over and over again.
"What if the coin lands on its edge?"
They might not say anything to each other, in the bathroom of the dive bar. Caroline might offer to help, but she might not.