Excuse me while I work out some scenes outside my head:
She’s been gone six weeks now, and I’m losing my mind. She calls me every day, tells me she misses me. I tell her we’re all doing fine. I hate lying to her, but that’s what she needs to hear.
Maybe when she gets home, I can take off a while and get my own head in order. It was really bad a week ago. I noticed a bottle of wine she has in the fridge. I’d say someone saved my life that night, but it was really just that I hate wine. I was also too tired to go to the liquor store.
Or was I too depressed?
Now that would be ironic. Depression saved my life.
Six weeks. Probably two more to go, maybe more.
Someone save my life tonight. I’m going to shower.
Somehow I scraped out some time to do a little something for the latest Carrot Ranch Communications prompt.
I Saw Her Again
I ran into her the other day. She looked great. She got divorced and quit smoking a few years ago. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look so happy and healthy. We talked and laughed just like we used to all those years ago. No topic was off-limits. No joke was too tasteless. She was just as brilliant and funny as I remembered. Somehow I hadn’t realized how much I missed her. Suddenly it occurred to me in all the excitement I had forgotten to hug her. So I reached over to her…
And then I woke up.
Written for the Carrot Ranch Communications prompt “a rainbow in a puddle”.
She Gave Me a Rainbow
I always hated the time after a rainstorm. I was just trying to dry off in peace while the schoolkids would run around the park I called home. They’d splash in the puddles and make all the noise they couldn’t make while cooped up inside. One time a little girl couldn’t catch her friends’ attention so she turned to me. “Look!” she yelled at me, pointing at a puddle. Something in the water was making rainbow colors, something she apparently had never seen before. I couldn’t help but smile and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I had.
Some flash fiction written for the Carrot Ranch Communications prompt “a rock in the road”.
“A Rock in the Road”
During a stop one day, a kid asked me for my pen. It was nice, and I didn’t want to give it up. So I asked him what he had for me, knowing he’d have nothing. He ran around the corner and came back with a rock that he obviously just picked up from the road. “Magic,” he said. “Bring you luck.” You could tell that pen was like gold to him. Giving it to him brought me a rare smile during that hellish year. I lost a few bucks, but I got the better end of the deal.
Written for the Carrot Ranch Communications prompt “rattling”.
It seemed like he never stopped rattling the change in his pocket. From time to time someone would get annoyed and ask him to stop.
“Sure thing,” he’d say. “I’ll stop just as soon as I’m dead.”
Years later at his funeral, I couldn’t help but rattle the change in my pocket. As people turned to look at me, I pointed to his casket and said, “It wasn’t me. He lied.”
He would’ve liked that joke.
Written for the Carrot Ranch Communications prompt “Ending”.
On a winter evening in the December of their lives, they reflected on how they had gotten there. They had been born many miles apart and were now many miles from those places.
Their lives hadn’t been fairy tales before, and they never exactly wrote one together. Would they do so now?
The conversation began to die down, and that question would no longer wait.
“Why didn’t you ever marry me?”
“You wouldn’t let me.”
“Will you marry me now?”
The question lingered in the air. After so many years, the answer would have to wait a little longer.
Flash fiction for the latest Carrot Ranch Communications prompt.
Content warning: Death
Footprint In the Sand
The next day we decided to walk by the scene again. There were still two half-empty water bottles lying there. No one had noticed them in the chaos, and now they were probably just seen as litter. There were lots of footprints around, most of them smudged and indistinct. One stood out, though. “Doesn’t this look like the tread from those fancy boots he always wore?” It definitely did. We wondered if that might’ve been left by the last step the man took, but neither of us decided to ask. We just picked up the bottles and walked away.