The reflection of a man smoking in a blonde woman's mirrored sunglasses

Flash Fiction: A Sunny Desert Day

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A Flash Fiction Story

“Even though I couldn’t see them behind her mirrored aviators, I could feel the disgust shooting out of her baby blue eyes and tugging on every last rotten cell of my plaque-filled heart strings. I didn’t need to see her eyes to recognize the look. I’d seen it before after a bender at the docks with a two-bit con with a surefire thing in the 5th with some sauced Irish crumb. It’s the kind of look a woman gives a man when she’s got nothing to lose and even less to gain.

She asked me to take her to the desert for some vitamin D and a view of the dirt. I got suspicious when she asked me to bring the shovel but with a dame like that, you don’t ask questions if you value your teeth. 

A shot of giggle water and one last smoke before I showed her a lovely resting place out in the middle of nowhere. Why is there never a middle-of-the-road in the middle of nowhere? It’s where you go to either start something, or end it.”

— A hardboiled flash fiction story by film writer-director Greg McDonald of Gate5 in Los Angeles.

Backstory to the story

This photo came about while location scouting and doing an impromptu shoot in the desert. A day or two afterward when I was home and looked at the photograph, that’s when I wrote the flash fiction story to go along with the photo. I went out to scout locations for a future short film with actress Kaitlyn Clare and we figured since we’re going way out in the desert anyway, may as well do a shoot. I took the photo on one of our stops.

Nothing was planned that day and certainly this photo wasn’t. We did have a vague idea for the short film but we had no prior plan as to what we were going to shoot exactly or how or even if we’d wind up with anything that was going to make any sense at all. We managed to make a short film titled, STARTUP about every startup founder’s dream but I’m still not sure if it makes any sense. But who cares? We made a film!

The location scouting turned out to be fruitful as it was clear that the part of the desert we went to, would not work for the film we were looking to make a couple months later.

Check out the still photos and behind the scenes shots from the shoot/location scout on Greg’s Flickr page.

More on writer/director Greg McDonald.

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