A Step Out of Time

This is another Flashfiction February Piece, where the challenge was to convey an emotion without actually naming it. I went to a dark place with it, and tried to verbalize a struggle that many experience. I want to say more, but I feel like it would spoil it. Check the tags if you don’t want to be blindsided.


It seemed to Dani as if she were moving in slow motion, while the world kept on as it always had. She was behind in every conversation, her head full, each word she spoke, a battle.

There were entire moments when everything was normal, and then she would see something, think she should tell Graham about it, and a weight would press down on her chest, leaving her struggling to breathe.

People kept saying that it would be okay, but watching the world move so fast around her, she still couldn’t foresee a day where she wouldn’t wear black.


If it wasn’t obvious, the emotion was grief.

Precious Cargo

The word of the week is EXCHANGE and I will admit this one is a little weird.   I went with the definition of exchange, as an exchange of goods.  I have to admit, this is not my favorite six, and sometimes you write something and just go, ya, okay, that’s odd.  This is that story.


There is something about using the barter system that makes me feel like a peasant in the Middle Ages, a drug dealer or a spy.

As I stand on the darkened street corner, waiting for the guy with the goods to make it to the exchange, I think that today we are leaning more towards drug dealer.

He finally shows on foot, looking around furtively as he crinkles the top of the folded paper lunch bag with one hand, and is that what I think it is?

He asks if I have the stuff, and I pull the plastic covered pages from the inside of my jacket, hesitant to expose them to the low drizzle starting, and startle when he wretches them from my grasp, shoving the paper bag into my flailing hand. 

He fingers through them quickly, as I desperately try to get into the bag, relief forming as the delivery seems unaffected, exactly as I wanted, but when I go to say so he is already walking away, so I cradle my precious paper bag in my arms and speed walk home.

Finally there, I delicately lift my precious out, looking into the curious eyes of a perfectly adorable kitten, worth every comic book, and I wonder what possessed the man to put her in a rolled-up paper lunch bag…


For anyone wondering about the paper bag, this one is actually based on reality.  When I bought my first cat, the man at the pet shop put it in a lunch bag, rolled it up and handed it to me. I was three, and the confusion about how the cat was going to breath as I took the bag is one of my first memories. 

Forever Yours

This was a micro fiction challenge, under 250 words, but written in the form of letters. It was supposed to be a challenge in terms of character voice, and I am not sure I nailed it, but these are two unsent letters. It’s another one that is not so happy. Sorry guys,


Greg,

You are my best friend, my person, and I will go to my grave with my biggest regret being that I don’t have the courage to send this letter.

I have loved you since we were six years old, and you found me crying on the school yard, and gave me the dandelion you picked to make me happy. You were always doing that, our entire lives, little things to make me happy, and I have loved you for each and every one of them.

I wish I was braver, but the risk of losing your friendship, the best thing in my life, was just too much to gamble. I love you Greg, and I always will,

Your Friend,

Tommy


Tommy,

I’ve loved you since we were six. That day in school when I saw you crying, it hurt my heart, and I knew that I’d do anything to make you happy. I’d even pretend that I didn’t love you, so that I could stay with you, and be your friend.

I wish I’d read your letter a lifetime ago, before I got married, before I had children, before you were no longer with us.

I wish I could tell you that you were always the one good thing in my life, no matter how bad it got, and if you weren’t brave, then I was a coward, because I said nothing either. I have loved you Tommy, my entire life, and I always will.

Forever Yours,

Greg

Not All Those Who Wander…

Ok, I have to admit, that this one was a bit of a wild ride for me. The prompt was “You are an explorer searching for the lost city of Atlantis. Tell us about your search in the form of a log or diary”. I started out with the idea of the end of the search, they haven’t found the city, but are running out of time. Then I just went with it. Pretty happy with what I came up with


Day 856

This is it.  The final month of the expedition.

I thought we were over when out grant ran out, or the first benefactor threw in the towel, but we persevered. 

Now we are 856 days into a 120-day search for the lost city and I finally have to admit it’s over.

The money has dried up, and our rations won’t stretch any further.

In 23 days we will have to head home….

Day 858

I guess I always thought this would flop quick, and then when we got the extensions, that we would find the city.

It never occurred to me I was going to be going back home and explain a 2 year and change gap on my resume.

Oh, yes, I double majored in history of ancient civilization, and languages, with a minor in geography 3 years ago.  What have I been doing since then?  Well that’s an interesting question, ever heard of Atlantis, because I definitely didn’t find it!

Day 863

We found something. 

It’s official, Atlantis existed, and we are on the right trail.  Now, all I need to do is find it in the next 16 days, and we are golden…

Day 870

We found another artefact.

We are so close now, I can almost feel it. 

I sent word to all our previous sponsors, but it seems like they lost interest.

I can’t believe we are going to have to turn back after coming so far.

Day 875

6 days left, and the artefacts we have found…

We didn’t find the city, but these alone will change the face of history. 

I just wish we had more time.

Day 877

We are turning around tomorrow, a couple of days early, because….we are lost.

Apparently navigation is fried, and according to our navigator we have probably been following unreliable signals for days, if not weeks.  Which means it may take a while to get back, and  when we go, there will be no way of knowing where we were.

Day 877…Later

The crew doesn’t want to turn back.

We put it to a vote, it’s unanimous, we are continuing, we might not have the supplies to get back, but we will find Atlantis.

Day 888

We found it.

Oh my god we found it, and it’s… indescribable. 

This changes everything.

** These pages from the log of Dr. Clara Savannah were recovered by the crew of the Divergent, a science vessel studying currents in the Southern Ocean.  It appears that this was the Doctor’s last entry, the rest of the log is too badly damaged to be sure, though the date it was written corresponds to the that of the last recorded GPS signal for the ship.  Recovery efforts have yielded no results, likely due to the navigation error referred to by Dr. Savannah in her log.

Sixteen subsequent expeditions have been launched to discover the lost city, and so far only three have returned safely.  The lost city of Atlantis remains lost.