Flash Fiction—Open Road

Flash Fiction Month IconI continue to write various odd little pieces for Flash Fiction Month. Those interested can click on the Flash image to the left to see the Flash Fiction Month page on Facebook, complete with its prompts and links. This piece comes closer, in my range of styles here, to “normal” narrative than the past few, which were more experimental. I hope that you enjoy these posts. I very much like seeing your comments, so please leave one and let me know what you think.

Speaking of thinking, something I probably do too much, I’m thinking about gathering the various prose pieces I’ve written here since May, revising, editing and collecting them into a book. This would be a variety of flash fiction, experimental prose, and similar explorations from the blog. What do you think? Would you be interested in a collection? Would you and your friends buy it? Let me know…

Open Road

She lifted the weight of his head from her pillow. It surprised her with its lightness. All this time, she thought it would be too heavy to move, a dead weight, murdered by an invitation to love.

She took a break from her labors, quit her job and stuck her thumb out for a ride, figuratively speaking. In time someone picked her up at the bar, but she got out at the next corner after his whiskey breath became unbearable.

The next day she woke up alone, the pillow fluffed without the indentations of past lovers. She felt joyous, danced out into the street and skipped down to the coffee shop. Double-shot latté and she roared down the road out of town.

This took her to the beach on a foggy morning. Shreds of litter caught in the seaweed amid the strips of kelp bits and bits of broken shells. She held a mirror to herself and stripped down, swum naked in the cold sea.

When she got out a man stood there, but she ignored him. He watched her get dressed, her wet skin soaking her clothes.

“I’ve got a heater in the car,” he said.

“I’ve got one in my glovebox, and I know how to use it,” she replied.

He looked blank, but her gun was loaded. He turned away.

She drove up the coast until the state line, crossed over into a new consciousness and later slept in her car by the side of the road.

She found that even without her telephone, she did not want to die. In the morning, she opened the steamed windows and took a peep at the dawn. She drove to the first fast food stop and bought breakfast on the go, without even opening her door.

Love should be like this, she thought. Not the lie of fairy tales and romantic comedies, but the road story love, a stoney path underneath the moon where you could stumble and fall before the light would penetrate deep enough that you yourself could radiate the night.

No, that was the same trap, she realized. She just wanted to keep on riding down this road, wherever it would take her.

She called him about a week later, told him she was alive, all was well, he could sell or throw out her stuff.

“When did you leave?”

She would have told him never mind, but he didn’t anyway, so it would have been redundant.

“Before you woke up, about a week ago.”

“Oh.”

“Didn’t miss me, I guess.”

“You know, we’re rehearsing. It’s all about the movie now.”

“You’re a life-draining emotional-energy hog, did you know that?”

“It’s the part. Method acting is like that. We start shooting next week.”

“The script sucks.”

She liked her new screenplay much better. She thinks of shooting him, but knows it wouldn’t be worth the effort.

Dalmatian Sunset, photograph ©2007 Michael Dickel
Dalmatian Sunset, photograph ©2007 Michael Dickel
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