I stumbled upon a new Flash Fiction prompt that uses dice to determine your weekly writing topic. There are 6 choices and I don’t have a die so I closed my eyes, spun in my vintage metal chair and pointed at the screen. It worked well. My first prompt’s story is below, the goal is roughly 1000 words, so longer than my other Flash Fiction challenges. This still only came out to about 500. I really enjoy these types of writing as I’m able to experiment with different writing styles, points of view, genres as well as flexing those writing tools.
For September 5th this is my prompt, though I changed “was” to “is”. I hope that’s okay. Yes, I realize first out the gate and already I’m breaking rules. That’s just how I roll.
2 – “There was something decidedly odd about that child…”
The motorway lit up like a Christmas tree. Burning trails of twinkling lights. It’s nights like these that get remembered. Nights like this that change lives. Searing themselves as brands into souls. Triggered memories, young feelings crawling over old skin, bringing back the moment in it’s entirety. But you weren’t there. You don’t know that things haven’t been easy.
Did you ever even care? Are you coming home with me tonight? I shouldn’t ask but I can’t help myself.
I heard what they said. I remember. Whispers, vocies from the other room, speaking as though I couldn’t understand their language. A little boy, only wanted to dance, to be free and wild untouched by the long arm of responsibility. Impossible.
“There is something decidedly odd with that child…”
Is it because you were jealous? You weren’t there. I waited for you. In that secret tree with pilfered amber liquid sloshing promises. But you never came. I still feel the bite of bark beneath me, the heat from my embarassed face, the scent of oleander on buffeting breeze. The sharp ache when I realized you wouldn’t come. I burried the bottle there, small drops clinging to the rim. The tree remembers.
My friend told me he saw you there, dancing under the bright club lights. I drank some more.
“Such a little thing,” you say, “Suit yourself, it’s said and done.” And you wonder how I can sit across from you now not trusting you. I heard what they said and you never disagreed. You were so hard to please. So, very hard to please. Where were you? Where did you go on floral scented nights? And the bells rang. And I went home.
“He’s not right…”
I fell in love that summer. Above the twinkling lights, experimenting with cigarettes and sex in the back seat of stolen cars, fumbling hands hidden beneath schoolgirl skirts. Running hard in midnight fields to capture thoughts, feeling, branding everything we could fast and hard into our souls. Not knowing those would be the last. That those would have to feed us until we died. Even with the pain from your betrayal still breaking my heart as I stood outside your door. I should have known but I lost it. I gave it. I freed it.
“There is something wrong with him…”
You smell like I remember. Rose water carefully applied. Another brand to soul, another secret memory. Are you lonely, too? I can’t stop thinking in past tense even as you’re here with me now. I gave up sleep to come here. I gave up more than I will tell. I don’t mind them now. I don’t mind the talk, the things they say, but I minded them then and I can’t erase those scars. The one where you didn’t speak. Something is still worrying me tonight.
Did you ever really love me? No, don’t come closer. I feel it next to me. This gaping hole. Had your love ever filled it? Is this, now, because of love? I can’t remember your love though I tried to hold on. Now it sits next to me, just out of reach, this emptiness that you maybe once filled. The impression of your love or what I imagined it to be. I don’t want to wake up knowing there is no future. Only burnings to be remembered. I don’t want to wake up alone again tonight.
I haven’t said too much, have I? These are things I should keep to myself. No, it’s fine. Don’t ruin the apology with excuses.
So, say it. We’re old friends. Say what you came to say. I’m listening. My soul is ready for branding once again.