Archive

Archive for the ‘Flash Fiction’ Category

Flash fiction: I saw my father today

January 17, 2014 13 comments

I saw my father today. Though two years in the grave, he stared back at me from the mirror as I went through the motions of shaving the stubble from my face. And I wonder if he ever felt as I do today … tired, worn out, hopeless. I lay down my razor, lean forward, and hold myself up on the edge of the counter. I push the lift rod and watch the shaving cream, water, and tiny pieces of beard circle around the sink, eventually winking out of existence down the drain. I pause, wondering if I should even bother to look up, or whether it would be best to simply turn and leave and go about the day, as if nothing has happened.

He’s still there, standing just as I am. Though I’m thirty years younger than he was when he died, my reflection has taken on the years, the myriad lines of age reflecting back at me. I look as old as I feel, and I’m weary. I should leave, but I don’t. We stare at each other, the father and the son. One and the same. Despite every intention, every attempt at making myself something he was not, I am him. I have nothing but questions.

“Why?” I ask.

He looks at me quizzically, puzzled by my simple question. He runs his age spot wrinkled hand through his thinning hair; I notice my hand going through the same motion, though I feel my own hair, still thick and vibrant, not yet having succumbed to the decades to come.

“Why didn’t you tell us, dad? We know nothing. You just left.”

My throat aches as I push the words through my mouth.

He looks away, and I see his face begin to age. What’s left of his hair recedes, brows grow curly and gray, silver stubble adorns his chin. He thins, his features becoming gaunt, like that of the sick and feeble, and he hunches over. His eyes have become sunken and cloudy.

“I don’t know, son. I don’t know. I just thought I’d have more … time.”

I watch my father’s hand rise until, when it’s level with his shoulder, it appears to touch the mirror from the other side. I gaze at the reflection, until finally, I reach out and touch the elderly hand upon the glass. I feel the warmth of his finger tips spread throughout my body, and it’s then I finally grasp the unraveling of his soul, the depth of his pain, his isolation, confusion, and disbelief that life was coming to an end. A small tear forms at the edge of my father’s right eye, eventually sliding down his cheek, until it drips from his face and lands on a counter top somewhere in another world.

“I understand, now,” I whisper.

He smiles, as if relieved. “Love you, son.”

“I love you, too, dad.”

Advertisements

Flash fiction: Lost Love

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment


 

Lost Love

It was love at first sight when Ross saw her. It took forty years, and the most gorgeous blue eyes he’d ever seen, for it to happen. She was all he could think of as he took in her beauty from across the punch bowl table. Adorned in bright yellow, her full-length, one shoulder chiffon dress enchanted him. He found himself smiling; she smiled back, and he felt warm deep inside. It seemed right.

“Ross.”

The sound of his name pierced his ears like a pin prick. Gloria stomped up next to him and perched herself at his side. He winced, as much from hearing his name thrown like a dart as at the rude interruption to wonderful visions of the rest of his life just a few feet away from where he stood.

“Let’s go,” she demanded. “I’ve got a headache and I want to go home and get into bed.”

Ross’ eyes thinned as he pondered simply ignoring his wife for just a moment longer. He looked at Gloria, who stared back at him, her brow furrowed and lips pursed tightly. It was, Ross thought, his lot in life to be the recipient of her perpetual state of irritation.

“Now,” she threw at him, then turned and headed toward the ballroom door exit. He watched her stalk across the floor beneath shimmering, colorful Christmas lights, cutting her way through the employees and spouses gathered for the annual holiday party.

Afraid of what he might find, that the woman in yellow just might have disappeared from his life, he looked once again across the table.

She was gone.

“Hi,” came a sweet voice to his left. Ross turned and fell in love again. Though he’d not thought it possible, she was even prettier up close. She looked up at him, her bright blue eyes sparkling from the lights above where he’d been standing for the last five minutes.

Grace

“Merry Christmas,” she offered, after waiting for a response which never came. Ross simply looked at her, overcome by how lovely she was. When she smiled, his heart skipped.

My name’s Ross. And by the way, I love you.

Words stumbled from his lips. “Uh, Merry Christmas.” He looked down at the floor for a moment, wondering what he should say next.

“My name’s Grace,” she said as she offered her hand to him. As she spoke, Ross looked up and saw her hand waiting for his touch. His stomach dropped amid the nausea of the newly infatuated. As his eyes connected with hers once again, he finally spoke.

“My name’s Ross. And …” He paused, uncertain that he should continue. When his hand touched hers, his heart melted.

It was crazy, he thought. I can’t just say something like that. In only a matter of seconds, though, he convinced himself that he could, and that he should.

But before Ross could utter another word, a dark man with an angry face stepped up and grabbed Grace by the elbow. She winced at his touch. The man glared at Ross for a moment, then turned and pulled Grace away, leading her along behind him like a small child. Her eyes pled for Ross to reach for her, to rescue her, to save her. It was then he noticed the ring on her left hand.

She left.

Though he knew it had all been wrong, his heart broke.

She was gone.

He turned to leave and wished for a gentle tug on his arm, but it never came.

He left. And he wept for the loss of a love he never knew.

Flash fiction: Tears

May 31, 2012 5 comments

I recently learned of a style of writing called flash fiction. Rather than restate what it is, here’s a link to a Wikipedia article that describes it in some detail Flash Fiction. Generally speaking, a piece of flash fiction should be no longer than around one thousand words.

Well, I was so intrigued by the concept that I decided to write a short piece about something that’d been in my thoughts for a number of years now. So, here it is.

 

Tears

Michael and Claire were married amidst a fury of passion and love. Neither could imagine life without the other, so when it came time for Michael to leave his bride home alone for the first time, he wasn’t sure what to expect. From the vantage point of years gone by, Michael thought of that first departure and what had struck him the most about it.

Tears.

She had stood by the garage door as he’d backed out of the driveway, her face awash in tears that streamed down her cheeks. He recalled how sad he felt as he watched the love of his life wiping her eyes while she shivered beneath her robe, the chilly fall wind blowing through a gray morning.

She wept

Tears.

By the time he’d pulled out of the driveway, his stomach ached at the thought of leaving her for the week as he travelled on business. He took one last look back. Claire, still weeping, blew him a kiss.

Tears.

They were the one constant Michael could count on each time he had to leave his wife. Whatever else happened, he always knew that he’d see those lovely, blue eyes admitting her loss of his presence, if even for only a matter of a few days. They kept those times of travel bearable, for he could barely hold on while he was away from his love.

Tears.

It was time to go yet again. It was his job; he had no choice. He kissed her gently and touched her cheek, staring into her eyes, as if perhaps they would linger in his thoughts more clearly the longer he took them in. She smiled weakly, but there was no happiness to be found. Nor was there the despair he’d seen in years past. Nor were there … tears

No tears.

They were gone. He looked into her face and felt the familiar sting of sorrow well up in his eyes. Her dry eyes averted his, glancing away as if afraid of revealing the truth. He kissed her lips gently, then shuffled to his car.

Where were they today?

He sat behind the wheel, peering through the windshield as he always did. But instead of seeing his wife crying, he saw only an empty smile filling an empty face. He started the car, placed it in gear, and began rolling out of the driveway. His eyes never left her, though hers rarely caught his. He glanced behind himself as he entered the street. When he looked back, she was gone. The garage door was closing.

His tears fell.