Friday, 21 February 2014

Shake Your Groove Thang

It's time again for Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Friday!  And this time we have to pick out a song title and base our flash fiction on it... so, here's mine for this week!  

Sharny’s break-up had been really hard on her, we all knew it.  So, we all pooled our money, booked a few seats at a show and dragged her along to it. 

She didn’t want to go.

She whined at how much she just wanted to stay home.

Sharny wanted to curl up on the lounge nursing a bottle of Merlo and watch ‘Love Actually’ – again – and cry her eyes out.  But she had done this for the last three weeks, and I was getting concerned that the Merlo was turning her into an alcoholic; and she was starting to get the hots for Hugh Grant (and shit!  I’d hate it if she did!).

So, I begged her to come with us and have a girl’s night out.

So, she did.

The show wasn’t too bad.

There was a comedian who made us all laugh and spill our drinks a little.  Sharny actually cracked a smile;  which I’m proud to say was a real smile, and then there was a one-man-band who wasn’t as bad as it sounds.  It was a guy who called himself Mr. Percival; and he was masterful to say the least!  He had women screaming and throwing their underwear at him!  I kid you not!

Then, the magician came on.  He wasn’t too much to look at – a little geeky-looking really, but impressive.  The Great Mage Jones was his name… sounds a little like a kid’s name trying to be big, but what he did was amazing. 

He managed to hypnotise every last person in the place – everyone but me. 

How did this happen? 

Okay, he was doing his act of turning paper birds into real doves when he turned around and clapped his hands three times, shouting:  “Shake your groove thang!” All around me everyone stood up and began dancing to their own beat, wiggling their butts around. 

Young and old.

In wheelchairs and on walking frames and walking sticks.

The staff around the place and behind the bar…

Every last person inside the place got up and … well… shook their groove thang!

Laugh if you will, but I found it creepy, as he turned and glared at me.  He raced off the stage and stormed straight for my table where my friends were dancing around.  The Great Mage Jones pointed, shouting, “Why aren’t you dancing?”

“I don’t feel the urge to.” I answered.

Grimacing, he turned, flapping his long cape behind him, made his way back to the stage, glared at me again, then clapped his hands three times, “Sit down!”

As though the entire place were all sleepwalkers, they went about their usual things.  The audience sat.  The staff went back to work.  Everything went back to what was considered normal… but he glared me at for a moment before he picked up the paper doves and tossed them into the air, making them turn into real birds.

Everyone oohed and aahhed.

Everyone applauded.

A huge smiled split his face, but I knew he wasn’t happy that there was one person not fooled by him… me.

A few days later, I was reading the paper and found The Great Mage Jones was touring around Australia.  He had been around Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmania.  His biggest and best trick was one the audience didn’t even know happened called the ‘Shake Your Groove Thang’. 

I jumped on the internet and find there’s news reports of people hurting themselves at the shows because they’ve been hypnotised and don’t know what they’re doing while they’re under another’s power. 

A week passed by and The Great Mage Jones is on his way to the USA where his shows have sold out from L.A, Las Vegas, San Fran … right across the country to Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Florida, New Jersey and New York City.

“Oh crap.” I mumbled as I perused his site of shows.  His last show was in a year’s time in Tokyo.  His show was going to be the same – and his most popular stunt was going to be used in each show in each city around five times each. 

I had to find out how this trick worked!

I sought out a magician at a traveling circus in my suburb and asked the manager if I could talk to the magician, concerning The Great Mage Jones.  He wasn’t too happy about my queries, but let me.

“So, young lady, what do you wish to know?” the older gentleman asked offering me a seat in his caravan boasting knick-knacks of all kinds from wherever he’s travelled.

“I need to know what goes into the ‘Shake Your Groove Thang’ hypnosis trick.” I said.

His smile slid off his face quickly, “Who is using that?” he asked.

I pulled out the clipping from the paper, “The Great Mage Jones.” I handed him the clipping, “I need to know how to stop it before he finishes his world tour.”

“Did he get you?”

“That’s just the thing, it didn’t work on me.”

He grinned, “Good.  The only way we can stop it is to kill Jones himself.” He turned from his seat and pulled out a large book, “And seeing he’s using real magic, I have to use real magic too.”

“You mean to say…?”

He smiled, “The stuff on stage is all crap.” He tapped the cover of the book, “This?  This book is filled with really dark, true magic that will work.”

“Good.” I said, “When do we get started?”

“You go home.” He said, “I’ll take care of him.”

Another week passed and I heard on the news the magician I had tracked down was found dead in his trailer.  I sat down on my lounge not knowing how to react to this; except to feel very lost.  A knock at my door pulled me away from the set as I muted the news and turned to answer it. 

As I opened the door, I saw The Great Mage Jones standing there, “Knew it was you.” He grabbed my arm and I felt a jolt run through me, “Now, shake your grove thang.”

I couldn’t help myself. 

The song started up in my head of ‘Shake Your Groove Thang’ by Peach and Herbs. 

I began to dance…

And dance… and dance…


  1. Interesting path you took. I thought this story would concentrate on the breakup, based on your introduction. When the focus switched to the mage, it initially threw me off track, but I thought it made for a more unique and interesting story. And I want to know the darkness behind shaking your grove thing!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. There's nothing dark about this song... but it's incredibly catchy... and very much an ear-worm... I love it so much I looked for the vinyl; and found it on a big 45! And I bought it on iTunes for my iPod! :D

      Now, I'll share it for you too. :D