Flash Fiction: Something Borrowed

Amelia Groves challenges us to write a 150-Word Story on ‘Something Borrowed’ that strangely has to reference a purchase. This is my take on the prompt. I initially wrote without attention to the word count, which led me to over 200 words! I painstakingly chopped off words to make it exactly 150 and now, I can’t decide if I like it as much as the unaltered one. Anyhow, tell me what you think of this piece – or what it made you think of.


 

You don’t get to have a conscience. I numbingly wear my pants. I knew the first time was going to be hard, but I didn’t think it’d be this soul-crushing. I guess the Christian guilt never really leaves, does it? 

“You look as though you’re dying to have your body back,” she says.

My pensiveness dissipates. I turn my head towards her. Her rueful expression perplexes me. “Sorry?”

“No, it’s just that you seemed miles away. And I was…” She looks away, “nothing…”

I pull her close. “Don’t be silly! I was just thinking about how I was gonna be late for my next appointment,” I say. “Why would it be about you? You were… are perfect – best I’ve ever had.” I wink.

She blushes. “You should grab a cab.” She hands me the cash. Extra hundred – smooth!

The only use I’ve had for my performing arts degree, apparently.

Death Amidst Wanderlust

“Are you alright, my dear?” the lady, in the seat next to mine, asks. “You look like you’re about to die. Are ya afraid of flying or something?”

I consider her for a second. She seems like the overtly chatty type. After months of solitude I thought I would be more open to such social interactions – I thought wrong.

“I am, actually. About to die,” I say. She jerks her head back, shocked. “I don’t mean it like I am going to blow up this plane or anything. What I meant was that,” I swallow, “I am dying from a terminal illness.”

“Oh,” she pauses, “I am really sorry. I must now seem so crude for the earlier comment.”

She probably expects me to waive off her callous remark in return. I simply ignore her.

“Cancer?” she asks. Relentless.

“Hep V.”

She superimposes her hand over mine. The warmth from the contact; it almost breaks me. I pull back my hand and cover my mouth to suppress the gasp that escapes my mouth. I can’t recall the last time someone touched me. A single tear drop rolls off my left eyelid in response.

“Why aren’t you with family at a time like this?” she asks.

So I tell her.  Continue reading

Something New

This creature strikes me.

Her floral maxi dress flutters to her every movement. She lets her unrestrained moves carry her, almost to the point of oblivion. It seems as though nothing could stop this dancing contradiction – definitely not the stares from those clad in mini-dresses and mascara.

Perhaps it is her ostensible innocence; or the fact that her aura evokes nothing but feelings of sunshine and butterflies; or simply because she is clearly not part of the ‘hopped-up’ theme every other person appears to have adhered to.

I am drawn to her.

I approach her with a silly smile and light sticks as offerings. The whites of her teeth reflect the colours of the lights as she takes them from me. She extends them above her head and waves them to the beat.

“Cops!” someone screams.

I take her hand in mine and we run out of this abandoned house.


Written in response to Amelia's 150-word story challenge.

The Ingenious Mind of Jake

Writing 101, Day Eighteen: The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. Mrs. Pauley had fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict her from the house she’s lived in for forty years. Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.


I look at my kid sister sitting beside me. This little scallywag is growing up fast – I can’t even believe her first tooth dropped yesterday. I mean, she’s only six! I think mine started falling off at seven. Anyway, I have been scaring her about her teeth. I told her that they’re all going to come off within the next few days, and that she’s going to look like the crazy ol’ Mrs. Pauley. I’m an evil genius, aren’t I?

Speaking of Mrs. Pauley the Loony; she’s the neighbourhood nutcase. She used to sit by her porch almost daily, book in hand, waiting for some poor little soul to walk past her estate. Once I was walking home from school, and that maniac screamed at me about how I’m going to grow up and leave my parents and never call them again. What does she know? She’s just a crazy old lady. Anyway, when she wasn’t screaming at random people, she was always screaming at her husband. I don’t even know how that poor old man survived all those years. Thank goodness, he kicked the bucket a few months back. I can only picture him floating towards heaven with a crazy gleeful smile pasted on his face. I would too – if I had to live with that one.  Continue reading

The Man In The Mirror

Writing 101, Day Seventeen: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

Parts: One| Two|


Prologue

He finds a piece of parched paper on his desk by the window. He picks it up. It is a letter, he realises. With perplexed curiosity, he reads the letter addressed to him. 

**

June 25, 2014

Dear Journal,

It has been five days since I found the letter – and I am still haunted by it.

For the larger part of my life, I have been portraying myself to be the way I wanted to be perceived. I am certain that I am not the only man in this universe who has done this – or am I? The point is, this portrayal – this betrayal to myself – has been eating at my soul. This letter has rudely stripped me of my protective walls, and I am afraid I am floundering. Continue reading

You think you know a guy

Writing 101, Day Seven: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Write it in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers.


I was looking at him for the first time in two months. Shocked beyond belief, I stared at him wordlessly. I could not even cough out a simple ‘hello’ or ‘come in’. I just held the door for him as he walked in.

“Can you help me with this?” he slurred as he struggled with his bags. I took one from him. He had told me he needed a place to crash just for the night, but I was getting worried that he had ideas of moving in instead. We silently made our way to my room, careful not to wake anyone.  Continue reading

Alas, assumptions may not translate to truth.

Writing 101, Day Nine: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.


Denise

So, the universe has made itself clear to me. Any ideas on motherhood shall cease to exist from now on. I am barren. I can’t have babies. Nada. What does it say about me if I’m mostly relieved? I mean, yeah, obviously a small part of me will mourn the loss of the option. Oh my god. Am I hearing myself? I sound like the Ice Queen. Jesus. I should probably blame Him. He made me this way, didn’t He? It isn’t my fault that I’m innately ambitious, career-wise. Is it my fault that I have the motherhood instincts of a toothpick? Trust me, I nearly murdered my sister’s kids with my bare hands the last time I spent the day at her place.

My train of thought dissipate as I feel a tug. The body connected to the hand I was holding had decidedly stopped at his track. I look at him with a mixture of petulance and curiosity. He does not look away from a figure on the bench. His eyes moisten with tears. His teeth chatter slightly as his jaw twitches involuntarily. Continue reading