Earlier this week, I watched a short presentation by illustrator, artist and author Christophe Niemann on How to Overcome the 3 Fears Every Creative Faces. To avoid the fear of running out of ideas, Niemann (and others) suggest taking time for “silly, free-thinking experiments”, away from the desk, out in the world. Today I took his advice and dropped into the Melbourne Museum, which is celebrating its 15th birthday by displaying not a birthday cake, but a model of the cake used for Scott and Charlene’s wedding in the soap opera Neighbours (1987). The following (very) short story/’flash fiction’, resulted from some silly free thought.
It’s a wedding cake.
Whose wedding cake?
Scott and Charlene’s.
Who’s Scott and Charlene?
People on television. They’re not real.
Why is their wedding cake here?
Because once upon a time, everyone wanted a wedding like theirs.
The bride and groom.
What are they doing?
Why have they got their eyes closed?
Because if you opened your eyes, you’d never go through with it.
Why is the cake white?
I don’t know. In some countries, white is the colour for funerals.
It’s an illusion. A lot of it is just empty space.
Why are there flowers on the cake?
Because flowers are like love: they wilt and die.
What are those little white balls?
Pearls. Fake pearls.
Why are there fake pearls on the cake?
Because it’s all too easy to mistake rubbish for treasure.
Did you and Daddy have fake pearls on your wedding cake?
Are you crying, Mummy?
No, sweetheart. I’ve just got something in my eye.
Can we go and see Phar Lap now?