Category Archives: Flash Fiction

Grandma

I spy my toes mid-stretch in downward-facing-dog.  I stick my tailbone out slightly and give in to a deeper stretch.  Usually, at this point, I’d close my eyes and exhale.  Though I can’t stop the breath releasing through my lips, my eyes remain open.

I look down at my toes.

They are like my grandmother’s – big and sausage-like, constrained by chalky, calloused skin and bare nails.  I remember her beefy feet bare and peaking out from under her curled legs, while she catered to her one addiction in this life – reading biographies of famous people.  She used to say that it was better than fiction, what lucky people could have.

But she didn’t always think that.  She used to read fiction; mysteries by Agatha Christie were her favorite.

I have a few novels by Christie, a strange, kind of homage to my grandma.  My shelf overflows with all kinds of fiction – romance, mystery, horror/thriller, science fiction, short stories, and poetry.

But no biographies…

No, not yet.

We both always loved a good story and a good bullshit artist.  I couldn’t tell you why she moved away from the joys of fiction just as I couldn’t tell you why still live in the land of fiction and novels.

I’d like to think that it’s because, even after all this time, I still believe in a little bit of magic.

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Flash Fiction – Time’s Echo

Image credit: Pixabay/Wordswag

I have a collection of notebooks that I’ve scribbled in over the years.  Some of it is just silliness, but other pieces are surprisingly okay.  Here’s a  piece of flash fiction I wrote awhile ago and later updated.

As I’ve said before, there are some things (and some people), you never stop writing about.  Some of this is true – I did hear a voice on a bus that reminded me of someone.  And I never crawled around under bridges with him…though sometimes, I wish I had.

Time’s Echo

I felt a sea of pins gliding over me, pricking up goosebumps over my usually calm span of skin.  All it took was a tone, a breath, a word – and time’s hand pushed me into memories of you.  

I heard your voice on the bus today, wishing while I turned that he’d look like you.  I’ve missed your dimples and laughing eyes, though I can count on both hands the years you’ve been gone.

He sat in the back of bus.  Surrounded by the smiling faces of friends, he recounted some tale of another night’s conquest.  But the words didn’t matter and barely registered in my mind.  I heard instead, your words – told in teasing rhythms, punctuated by laughter, and paused only by deep dimpled smiles.  He had your voice.  It’s clarity echoed in my heart and plucked the strings that hold me together.

My knees still bear scars from climbing under the old bridge with you.  Rushing over stones and brambles until we found the big rock at the edge of the marsh.  We rested our backs on its smooth face and lay in the sun, framed by swaying cattails and hidden by the fog rising from shallow waters.  You whispered poetry against my neck, teeth and tongue marking tender flesh with each word.

The man at the back of the bus turned and looked at me, his stare cutting through the haze of memories.  My heart beat a pattern of loss against my chest and my fingers probed the hollow of my neck, searching for the mark that has long since faded.

His lips split tanned skin into a smile that could never compare to the crooked brightness of yours.  Between three fast breaths sucked in through my nose, I allowed my lips to curl into a sad answer to his smile.  Dark hair fell over his shining blue eyes, as he turned back to his friends and continued the soft torture he afflicted on me.

But I wanted him to –

I closed my eyes, straining to memorize the rhythms that died with you.  I wanted to press my ear to his lips – hearing him, hearing you – capturing a piece of you inside myself.