Flash Fiction Friday

Elle leaned against the fender of the Plymouth watching fireflies blink over the field across the highway. She had pulled onto the shoulder over an hour ago with a flat tire; it was nearly nine, but the air was still close. Her tank top stuck to her back where it had been pressed against the vinyl seat. She pulled her hair into a pony and rolled her neck.

Doug Kerr @ Flickr.com

Forty-five minutes to home and now she’d be later still. Sighing, she kicked a gravel from her flip flop and shifted onto her hip. A tow truck slowed on the other side of the median and pulled into the emergency turn-around. She waved and he flicked on his flashers. As the driver pulled up behind her, she straightened. Smoothed her hair for whatever reason. Wiped sweaty palms on her skirt.

“You gotta spare?” he asked. The name stitched on his pocket said Wayne. She’d called for a tow, knowing the spare was circa 2000, same as the car, and probably shot to hell.

“Cheaper to fix it than have to drive you to the station and wait until we find a new one.”

“Well try then, I guess.”

Fifteen minutes later she was on the road again, Wayne following her as he’d promise.

“You’re right. She’s a bugger,” he’d admitted. “I’ll follow as long as I can back towards town in case this one blows.”

Two exits before her own, Wayne flashed his lights. She saw him wave as he pulled off the exit, so she gave her horn a couple sharp “thank yous” and hoped he heard. Most of the time she used a fictional husband to keep mechanics (and electricians and plumbers) honest. But Wayne’s quiet smile and the careful way he made his way over made her drop her guard from the first.

“I don’t get it,” she had told him while he worked. “This is the second flat I’ve had in the past month.”

“Probably potholes,” Wayne said.

“Shouldn’t be–I drive to work the same way every day.”

“Well, then, maybe you need to take a different road.”


[The flash fiction “The  Spare”, 2016 draft, appeared first on This Is My Symphony.]

Flash Fiction Friday

Green is my heartThe rug was rolled and pushed with the bed up against the far wall. A chest of drawers sat catty-corner the door,  drawers emptied. She hadn’t painted a room since they tried to sell the house after the kids left for school, so she poured the paint into the tray with a too-quick slosh. Dipping the roller she started laying on wide swaths.
The latex stung her nose and made her eyes water. She reached and stretched and bent and dipped. The gray walls disappeared more quickly–and easily–than she had imagined.
“Prickly pear” the paint chip said. She hadn’t bothered with any other paint swatches once she read the name. Just the shade for a fresh start.
A roll up for all the times he’d slept at the office.
Down again for the nasty voice mails.
Another roll for bottles stashed behind the nightstand.
Back again for the smell of Listerine.
“Prickly pear” they called it. Prickly for her heart. Pears–unripe and bitter–for the leaving. And the paint fumes made her eyes tear again, just a little.

[The flash fiction “Green is my heart”, 2017 draft, appeared first on This Is My Symphony.]

Flash Fiction Friday

She sat next to the bed in the same chair where she had first rocked the boys when they were teething and sleepless and then years later waited for them to come home, trying not to watch the clock hands make their way towards midnight. The shades were down, but she could see the August afternoon peeking in around the edges. The air was quiet and the AC had cooled the room until it was almost damp, cellar-like. She thought she could smell the damp earth crumbling beneath the house.flash fiction

She stared straight ahead, not moving. Dry-eyed, even now. It might be some sort of good luck that If she kept still enough, she wouldn’t break. If she focused on the closet door across the room, she might slow time. Maybe even turn it back–back to when she rocked those babies and fretted over teenage wildness.

“Mom?” It was Joe, whispering in the hall.
“Mom?” he said a little louder, daring to crack the door.
“No.”
“But, Mom … “
“Joseph Daniel, leave me be.”

And so the door pulled back, knob turning gently into the latch. Down the hall she heard dishes sliding onto the table, heard the silverware drawer rattle, smelled onions and garlic. But none of it for her. They kept their voices low, for that she was thankful.

“Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to forget,” she whispered to the dark.

[The flash fiction “Remembering”, 2016 draft, appeared first on This Is My Symphony.]