Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Flash Fiction: "The Bench"

"The Bench"

If I hadn't been so concerned about whether my plumbing was working properly, I wouldn't have sat so long on my favorite bench. The day was calm enough at Manito Park and nearly warm for fall. 

I could see Doc Harkness as clearly as if he were sitting in front of me on his rolling stool, the sun backlighting both the red and yellow leaves behind him and his earnest expression.

"You've got cancer, Em." His vowels stretched out past my ability to comprehend.

How was I supposed to tell Jack? He had hollered at me as I made my way out the door just this morning. "Pick up the grandkids on your way home, and don't forget my rye bread." Our lives were so ordinary. We were both retired. He had his football. I had my knitting. He read. I cooked, and I was supposed to call the plumber.

Instead I had stopped at the park on my way home from the doctor. Jack, rye bread, grandkids, even the plumber, all forgotten. I nudged one of the yellow leaves with my foot. What was needed now was a good spaceship to take me away from all this. I could spend my last months on a planet where everyone swam in a blue sea full of blue light. I spread my hands wide, as if the cancer swimming in my blood were visible. One month? Two months? 

I watched another several leaves drop down on the ground. The turn of seasons. It's just that I thought Jack would go first. The sun shifted behind a cloud and the air grew chill. I should go home. I should tell Jack, but I sat on the bench and watched the leaves fall, one by one. 

My cell phone rang. 

"You coming home?" asked Jack.

"Yes, dear. I didn't get the rye bread, and I don't want the grandkids today."

"Well, come home. I miss you."


Today is Tuesday, so that's the day I'm to write a post for my travel blog. Or work on any number of reports with deadlines. Or quilt. Ooops! I'm guessing that writing for NaNoWriMo is loosening up my writing. Sally from Sally's Scribbles, had commented on my post for Veteran's Day. I visited her blog to find this neat little writing challenge called Writer Wednesday Blog Hop. The challenge is to write a flash fiction inspired by the photo, the title, and five key words (day, calm, stool, vowel, spaceship). Participating writers then post their story and read what others have written. Somehow my story "The Bench" (329 words) came along.  Yes, it's FICTION, meaning my health is just fine, thank you! Read what others have written?