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

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.]

Flash Fiction Friday

She was ready, almost. Her hair was sprayed and she had Dippity Do’d two perfect spit curls by each ear. Her lips were glossed over with Bonnie Bell. Her jeans, riding low, were wide and scuffed along the floor, just right. When she turned to look in the mirror, her peasant blouse gathered in all the right places. Her first ever 7th grade mixer and time to run down the street to pick up Terri, then around the corner for Karen. Their clothes and hair had been planned over too many back and forth phone calls to count and they each had a wish list of which boy would ask them to dance.

Catching some of her excitement, the dog yipped and ran circles around her feet. Before she  banged out the back door, she stopped in the kitchen, opened the baking cupboard and reached behind the nutmeg for the little brown bottle. She unscrewed the red cap and breathed in the heady sweet smell of being thirteen. Then she dabbed a spot of vanilla behind her ears, on her wrist. And she was out the the door and on to bigger things.

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

Flash Fiction Friday

I stepped over the warped floorboard on the porch, thinking its crack might wake him. The baby was bundled into her blanket– a yellow one Nana knit after Poppa died. This October night was cold and brittle, but the grass hadn’t yet frosted. It was so quiet I could just make out the horses shuffling and stamping in the barn. The ground around the house was uneven, so I stepped my way carefully until I reached the road.

sears catalog house
Steve Baker@Flickr.com

I should be able to make it to Tammy’s easily, if not quickly. Two miles straight down 14th, a left, then three blocks into town. She wasn’t expecting me, but she’d never turn me away.

“Next time he does it, you just up and leave,” she’d made me promise. But I didn’t the next time or the next.

Tonight I’d flinched before he even straightened up out of his chair and that’s when I knew it was time.

Ceci stirred in her blanket, one little fist popping through, so I folded her in more closely. I couldn’t carry Ceci and a bag, so I’d need to come back for some things. But not tonight. Tonight it was just me and Ceci on our way. Ahead, the asphalt of the road met the dark autumn night–I fixed my eyes to where they met and walked.

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