Flash Fiction

Bloom

The Bond

Widowed young, six children, a hard life. An aged body, her mind trapped happily in youth.  She asks if I’m the new cleaner. I smile in affirmation. I was the new cleaner yesterday and the day before. My mother gave me her best years. I’m about to give her mine, unconditionally.

50 words

By Jean Reinhardt 2013

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The Well

She sat among the marigolds and asters, smacking unhappy lips together with each gulp of wine. Eye-stinging smoke rose from a cremated steak. Leaning over the fake stone well they had built together, she let her tears drop to it’s dusty, dry bottom. The last rays of sunshine washed over the carefully chosen shrubs as the old, not yet converted barn released it’s wave of bats to feed soundly on the night’s offerings. Soft whimpering drew her back towards the cottage. Paws and fur scrambled excitedly across her feet through the opening door. Following the trail of drool, she smiled at the sight of the meticulously planned, anniversary supper being devoured voraciously. That meal had gone the way of too many before it. Emptying the wine over her pool of tears, she wanted a clear head when packing. Standing in the Italian tiled hallway, she took one last, lingering look at ten years of boredom. Stepping outside to an uncertain life brought fresh beats to a tired heart. A note, hastily scribbled, fastened behind the gleaming brass knocker, fluttered as the door slammed shut. ‘Your dinner is in the dog, and your wine is in the well,’ it said.

200 words

By Jean Reinhardt 2013

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Flash Fiction under 300 words, written in real time in response to; http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/flash-fiction/

textured

Blind Terror

I hear him screeching. I must keep following the sound – ugh, what a stink. I’ve bumped into a bin. DEX, I’M COMING, JUST STAY THERE. AS SOON AS I GET THIS GATE OPEN I’LL BE WITH YOU. I don’t like being in unfamiliar territory, it’s not safe. This bolt is so stiff. Ouch, my finger. YOU STILL THERE, DEX? I CAN’T HEAR YOU. I’m pushing with all my strength but this stupid gate won’t open. Maybe I should pull instead. That’s better. DEX, WHERE ARE YOU? WHY ARE YOU SUDDENLY SO QUIET? Yuck, what’s this all over my face? It feels like cobwebs. DEX. DEXTERRRR. I’ve moved too far from the house, I’ll never find my way back. What’s this on the ground? Oh, it’s a metal bucket. My heart’s pounding in my ears, I need to get home but which way should I go? DEX, WHERE ARE YOU? I wish we had never moved here. MOM, MOM. CAN YOU HEAR ME? I’M LOST. MO-TH-ER, PLEEEEASE COME GET ME. She’ll never hear me, I’m too far away. What if someone else gets here first? Someone bad finding me late at night on my own. Maybe shouting for help is not a good idea. I’ll turn this bucket upside down and sit while I think. That’s better. Oh no, I can hear scuffling sounds from behind. Rats. I hate rats. MOM, MOM, MO-O-O-O-O-M.
“IZZY. Stop screaming. I’m here,”
“I got lost looking for Dex,” sob.
“Here he is. Hold him tight. We’ve only just moved here, give it time. You know you’ll get familiar with the layout of the place. You always do.”
I feel Dex purring in my arms.
“I wandered really far from the house, didn’t I?”
“You’re in the next-door neighbours’ shed.”

296 words

By Jean Reinhardt 2014

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640px-British_infantry_advancing_at_Loos_25_September_1915

A Blade of Grass.

I cannot separate the sounds around me, men screaming and rats screeching. In all my nineteen years I have never heard anything like it. Lifting my head is difficult but I am not in pain. Why can’t I move? Why was I in such a hurry over the edge? My mother always told me “Look before you leap.” I should have heeded that advice. Her face is before me now, scolding and smiling at the same time, an arm’s reach away – if only I could move.

I am falling backwards. Someone is pulling me down. There is still no pain. Is that a good thing, or not? Boom, Boom, Boom. I hate that sound. The only time my body moves is when the shells hit the ground around the trench and I am shaken like a rag doll. A large clump of earth lands on my lap. One single blade of grass, as green as Ireland, stands up defiantly in the heavy French clay. Home – brothers, sister, porter with friends. I would never complain again about the privy in the yard, shared by forty of us, if I could be there now. It would be sweet smelling compared to this. I cannot even laugh at my own joke, my face is so stiff – but inside I am smiling. I know that I am not going to make it and my last thoughts are of a privy. Come on, Michael, think of something better than that, you big fool. The blade of grass, keep looking at it, a good memory will come. Ahh, yes. Rosie O’Brien, my first kiss. An innocent, gentle meeting of lips on the soft, green bank of the Dodder. The memory of the flowing water calms my racing heart.

Have I closed my eyes? It is so dark now, but the midday meal is due soon. What time is it? What month is it? What year is it? Think, keep alert – I remember now. It is Easter 1916. I am in a trench in Loos. I wish I was home in Dublin. I wish I could still hear the screaming men and the screeching rats. I wish —

In memory of Michael O’Neill (died aged twenty) Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 8th Battalion, who was killed in action, Loos April 29, 1916.

363 words

By Jean Reinhardt 2013

Image source: Creative Commons, Wikipedia.

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8 Responses to Flash Fiction

  1. snarmadhaa says:

    Hi,
    Nice stories. Liked all three, particularly the first.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dancingshark says:

    last one was sad but an excellent storie.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “The Bond” really touched me. I read it a few time. I used to work with people suffering from dementia, and my grandmother was in the early stages when she passed away, so I have a very soft spot in my heart for afflicted people and their families. What a perfect little story.

    Liked by 1 person

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