terribleminds Flash Fiction Challenge: 8 Feb 2013

My first post of my second blog… What to write, what to write… How about I jump in the deep end by participating in a Flash Fiction challenge alongside a lot of authors who are far more talented than me? Sounds good.

So here I am.

Last Friday, Chuck Wendig put out a challenge to write a bit of flash fiction inspired by one of these pictures. I chose #11, ran with it and at 963 words I’m really pushing the 1000 word limit, but hey… look at how awesomely mathy that number is! 963… Sweeeeet.

Anywoozles, here’s Glow. I hope you don’t hate it. 🙂

enhanced-buzz-wide-10515-1320426659-18

Glow

by Brian C Hall

The rain had stopped, but droplets still clung to the plastic park bench I sat on, like dew on a leaf. It was soaking through my jeans and I was sure that I’d look ridiculous whenever I stood up, but for now it was nice just to sit here. This was an important bench in my life. It gave me good things and sitting on it reminded me of those things.

I’m probably far too nostalgic for my own good, but… I miss those things.

The city park is a curious thing. Like a petting zoo for plant life, where nature has been tamed and cultivated for the whims of urbanites. A place, conveniently located at the heart of the city, where they can go and say they’ve experienced fresh air today. A soup of falsified beauty in a bowl of skyscrapers and commerce. A city park is a cosmetic surgery scar on the face of a metropolis. Still, the lake is pretty and the drive into the mountains is much too far.

She approached me, cautiously, like I was a lost dog that had a collar, but still might have rabies.

“Hi, are you Tom?”

Her words broke me from my day dreams.

“What? Oh, yeah, no, I’m… uh, Liam.”

She looked around the park, nodding to herself, satisfied with an expectedly disappointing outcome.

“Of course…”

I looked around the park with her.

“I’m sorry for being Liam.”

“Oh, no, I’m sorry. I was just expecting someone.”

“Who, Tom? You’re better off. I know Tom. Tom’s a dick.”

She glowed when she laughed. I could spend a lifetime in that glow.

“Well, in that case, thank you for being Liam. I’m Beth.”

She offered her hand and I shook it.

“It’s good to meet you, I’m… yeah, never mind, we’ve already been over that, huh?”

She glowed again.

“You’re a little awkward aren’t you?”

I rubbed the back of my neck.

“Yeah, sorry.”

“Don’t be, really… Well, I, uh… I guess I should get going.”

“Oh, wait… Would you… Well, I mean… You know, since Tom is a no show, I figured, maybe—”

“Yeah. Yeah, I’d like that.”

We walked around the park for hours, just talking, until the street lights turned on. They shined in all colors and their reflections and refractions on the windows of the buildings and the surface of the lake fluttered, out of focus, like glitter in a snow globe. The traffic lights that sat on each corner of the park were especially noticeable. Their glow, all green and red like electric mistletoes, urged me to kiss her. I couldn’t. It was too big a risk and too early to take it.

We stopped under by a tree and sat on the grass, looking at the lake. A fountain in the center danced as multicolored lights painted it.

She slipped her fingers between mine and rested her head on my shoulder.

“Do you know what that fountain reminds me of?”

“What?”

“The end of Sleeping Beauty. When the two fairies are changing Aurora’s dress back and forth between red and blue. Only with a larger palate of course.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen that one.”

She glowed again.

“Well, then it looks like I’ve got some work to do.”

Everything in that sentence meant that there’d be more of that glow in my future.

From out of nowhere men and women, painted white and dressed in robes, emerged and began dancing all around us. They didn’t make a sound but their emotions were palpable. Their faces seemed to blend between joy and sorrow and anger. Some danced wild with energy and some with soft grace.

I laughed.

“What the hell…?”

She jumped on top of me and we laughed and exchanged inside jokes in between each kiss. I was confused but she didn’t seem to be.

She raised herself up on her arms, with elbows locked and peered down at me, her hair cascading past her face.

“They’re ghosts.”

“What?”

“The dancers. They’re ghosts.”

I scoffed.

“What, like dead people?”

“No. Memories… The past. Don’t any of them look familiar?”

I looked around, but couldn’t make out any of the faces and I realized that their faces weren’t blending between emotions. They were just blended emotions. Featureless, but with feelings.

She lowered her face towards mine until her nose rested on my cheek and through the veil of her hair I could see them. They weren’t dancing anymore. They were just standing there, looking at us.

“They do look familiar. Some of them at least. The rest I don’t know.”

“Because the rest are mine.”

“Yours?”

I looked back up at her. Our noses rested beside each other and as we spoke our lips brushed.

She closed her eyes.

“We don’t like to think about it, but we’re haunted by our past love no matter how insignificant that love might have seemed. It’s like a poison, tainting the future.”

“But… But I don’t want it to.”

She leaned in and we kissed one more time. I closed my eyes and drank deep.

When I opened my eyes she was standing above me, painted white and dressed in robes, a smile drowning in sorrow on her face. She was still glowing.

“Too late.”

The rain had stopped, but droplets still clung to the plastic park bench I sat on, like dew on a leaf. It was soaking through my jeans and I was sure that I’d look ridiculous whenever I stood up, but for now it was nice just to sit here. This was an important bench in my life. It gave me good things and sitting on it reminded me of those things.

I’m probably far too nostalgic for my own good, but… I miss those things.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s