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Flash Fiction

Random Musings From the Girlfriend You Left Behind

At least I remembered to shut off your damn phone alarm.

If I heard it’s stupid “presto” chime at 4:30 AM I think I would have crumbled. As it was, I already felt like death: dizzy, scared, flustered, ALONE.
There was such fear in the pit of my stomach.
The dizziness might’ve been attributed to (or completely caused by) the large glasses of wine- your favorite- that I had guzzled; an effort to forget the circumstances.

That night, I had a dream that you’d texted me.
I love you.
Then,
I loved you.
“Wait, what?” I screamed at my phone. “What are you talking about?” I sobbed. I threw the phone across the room. I woke up with a jolt to the sound of it smashing against the wood floor. Although the screen was cracked, I could still make out our last interaction.

I’m super busy. I love you. I’ll call you after work.

I love you too. Have a good day. Try to take it easy.

If divorce is death by a thousand paper cuts, I felt as though I’d been resurrected, tied down, and sliced across each scar.

I just needed to get through these next few days, weeks, months… It’ll get better with time, I lied to myself.

My mind wandered yet again. Just one week ago, you were laying down beside me. You sleepily asked me to move in closer; to snuggle up. It was so vulnerable and so unlike you- as though you knew.

Instinctually, I checked my phone for a text. I had your phone in my possession, though, so that’s one of the reasons it was not feasible. But I kept on checking. Just in case.

 

Hazardous

I know the way by rote, the way the road curves over to the right after the yellow sign, the way it contours itself to the woods on the left. I move fluidly with it, pressing the accelerator through the turns and tapping on the brake when I notice the speedometer creeping higher and higher…

I’m caught by surprise, then, when the fog begins slithering its way in. At first I don’t notice; perhaps I am not paying attention as well as I should be. The turns ahead are all at once more difficult to see, and I have trouble making out what’s ahead. I slow the car down as the haziness becomes almost too much to bear.

“What are you doing? You have to move faster if we’re going to get there on time,” I hear from my passenger. He had only been in my life now for about a year, but it felt like a lifetime. As cliché as it was, I knew him better than he knew himself, and he me. We worked.

“It’s just a little hard to see with all this damned fog. It makes me nervous. If you don’t like the way I drive, you should’ve gotten behind the wheel yourself.”

“Ugh,” he rolls his eyes, reaches into the backseat and cracks a beer.

“Hey you can’t drink in here! This is my car. No way! Get rid of it.”

“Relax. There’s no one around. I’ll dump it before we get to the real road.”

 

Who was this person that I had thought I knew? Right before my eyes, but without my noticing, he had changed. He had become this. And it scared me, so I wanted desperately to slow down, but feared it was too late. I couldn’t see myself hurtling toward a cliff.

hazardous fog

 

Backyard Bonfire

Wedding dress bonfire

Sizzle.

Crackle.

Hisssssss…

The tips of the flames licked the night sky as I tearfully witnessed the ivory satin turn to ash. He would be back soon, I knew.

“Went to take a drive,” he said, “to clear my head.”

 

Just like that, my wedding dress, and all it represented, was gone.

Sphere of Dreams (conclusion)

Part 1, Part 2

 3.

The two little ones hugged; the blonde did so very enthusiastically. “You’re here!” They both bounced back over to where my parents stood.

“I’m hoping the weather holds up, Donna,” Mom called to the woman who walked a few paces behind her daughter. Everything started clicking in my brain, but nothing made sense. Aunt Donna, Laura, my mom, Dad, that little girl with her chubby cheeks…

The orb.

I was looking at the scene of my birthday party over 30 years ago. Could they hear me? “Mom!” I shouted, “Mo-o-o-o-om!” but she didn’t respond. In fact no one even reacted, save for the little blonde girl, who looked at me straight away and cocked her head to the side. I saw into the deep blue of her eyes and felt an indescribable connection. We just stood there, staring, until her attention was diverted.

“Kirsten, here’s a birthday present!” Aunt Donna said, handing over a large box covered in blue paper adorned with pictures of pound puppies and the words “Celebrate!”

“Go ahead, you can open that one now before anyone comes,” Mom said.

Within moments, the wrapping paper was torn to shreds, thrown all over the deck. “Dolly!”
Laura, standing directly behind the scene, said, in an authoritative tone, “Yes. I have a Cabbage Patch Kid too. Her name is Frieda. They will be best friends.”

I turned when unfamiliar voices started coming closer: several other families, kids who I didn’t recognize, cousins who I hadn’t seen in ages, aunts and uncles who looked so different. My parents greeted them all, then the majority of the adults said “Happy birthday,” as they headed back to the parking lot, leaving their toddlers to yell and run on the beach, right in front of where I stood.

birthday party

The kids all played unorganized games of tag, newcomers just joining in as they came, the children squealed with laughter. There were no specific, thematic activities planned, like nowadays.

Imaginations abounded, and yells of, “I’m a cat!” “I’m a princess!” “I’m an ice cream sundae!” competed with crashing waves.

I took another look at my family, who stood on the deck next to the familiar cabana, for the first time noticing that it was painted yellow, not purple.

My gaze turned toward the water; the calm sound contradicting the excited children. The silver orb was over to my left, though I hadn’t seen it until just now. I felt a pull. It was a sensation that I HAD to climb aboard. In the doorway that had been opened for me, I glanced back for just one more look at the children playing.

There she stood, grounded, staring at me amongst the flurry of other toddlers, all chubby-cheeked and pig-tailed. Not a word escaped her lips, but I knew.

WE knew.

I returned to my vessel to see that there was now only one button on the console. It was labeled “Home.” I pressed it, then closed my eyes while the ship started shaking again.

As it subsided, I opened one eye, and saw the pale green of my bedroom walls surrounding me. The television was still on, repeating the same movie that I had been watching earlier. I sat up, the remote in my hand to turn it off. Before I did so, however, I felt the need to watch the man, who looked less weary and sad than earlier. As he entered the orb once again, I saw it: my yellow hair tie, which was wrapped around the lever.

He turned to the camera and winked.

 

 

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This story was created from the prompt, “Get into your time machine, press the start button, zoom back and witness yourself  at play” by Anne Kelly-Edmunds, 8/4/16, with whom I have the great pleasure of having as a writing instructor/facilitator at the North Shore Public Library.

Using this “story spark,” see where your own writing takes you! I would love to hear your ideas… Comment below or leave me a message.

Storytime Sunday

Hum

The monotonous hum of the bathroom fan seemed intolerable at first, as I tried to complete the work I’d set out to do; yet, as time wore on, it became less noticeable. Thinking back to that inauspicious day, however, all I can hear is the droning sound of that fan.

Candice was showering. In fact she had been in there so long, I began to imagine how unattractively wrinkled her fingers must be. I considered several disparaging remarks about her “old-lady hands,” said with love, to hit her with when she appeared out her pleasant little spa. In reality, her hands were beautiful: soft, youthful, not an imperfection on them, save for a tiny freckle in between her right forefinger and her thumb. God, how I had once been so infatuated with that diminutive marking

But I needed to focus.

The finance world was abuzz with talks of mergers among several important companies. This could mean big money, or huge losses; I had to play my cards right.

Hum

A crash coming from the other end of the house interrupted my concentration.
I leapt up, a feeling of inexplicable foreboding suddenly running rampant at the base of my stomach. “Hun? Candice? Everything okay in there?” I could not hide the urgency or panic in my voice.
There was no answer. There would never be an answer.

The most difficult part about losing someone is the knowledge that you will no longer share in the memories to come. When Candice left me, however, she took with her the memories we had once enjoyed in the past as well.

I don’t hate her, I just don’t understand what happened, which is the feeling that the doctors at the hospital say I need to suppress. “There is nothing to understand,” they incessantly, yet patiently, explain.

I recall the exact moment when I knew my life would never be the same. The door to the bathroom was unlocked. Always demure and extremely modest, Candice secured any entry, as though we may be under attack from an army of peeping toms. As I opened the door, the sound hit me right away: the dull hum that would never escape my psyche. I called to her again, my voice echoing in the small, windowless room. Pushing the shower curtain to one side revealed a torrent of lukewarm water being consumed by the ravenous drainpipe. Unsure of my next move, I called out to her again, shutting the water off. Moving through the hallway of the small ranch in a matter of steps, I scanned the bedroom. Empty. The other rooms in the house were unchanged also. How could this be? To this day, I wonder the same thing.

The rest of the experience is somewhat a blur to me. That phrase, “Who is Candice?” repeated by people who I thought were my friends, the skepticism in my parents’ faces as I tried to explain my hurt and confusion, and, finally, my admission into the hospital that I now call home.

Although everyone persists that Candice was never more than a figment of my over-active imagination, I know that she is real, and she’ll come back for me. We will prove them all wrong.

If only that damn humming would stop.