COMING TO HIS SENSESThis is what they had been reduced to now, is it? Years of life in a battered cardboard box. Jesse had left him inconsolable; an insufferable fool holding onto the last vestiges of who she had been. No one had told him that she would remain in that loft long after she had been buried. The hidden stash of mementos had taken on the chore of haunting Mark’s heart. He had to deal with it.Placing the carton on the kitchen table, he hesitated, staring at the pressed paper vault seemingly paying it homage. Thoughts invaded his mind, an inner voice urging to put the box to the curb unopened and be done with it. But Mark knew it would be harder that actually rummaging in her “presence” one more time.Mark un-tucked the folded flaps, releasing the specter of every memory the parcel represented. A Pandora’s Box of their past together; holder of every good hope for the future, and every evil that pained him. The scent wafted harshly, as if slapping him into noticing. He could smell Jesse. It was her perfume; he would recognize that fragrance in a darkened room. He remembered being with her when she bought it. Jesse wanted Mark to approve. He’d be smelling it the most after all! She wanted to please him. The widower reached into the box and extracted the vial. The cap had come off releasing her essence into the confines of package. Mark held it under his nose for a sniff. Jesse filled his nostrils. The bottle was returned to the box.“Happy Birthday, Honey. I love you.”The sound froze Mark in his tracks. It was her. Jesse’s voice filled the room. Mark saw as illumination filling a corner of the box. He reached in to remove the source of light. A digital picture frame she had given him for his last birthday. Swiping his hand across the dusty screen, he watched as each new photograph of him, or Jesse, or the two of them scrolled in static resonance. Could he have forgotten how truly beautiful she was so soon? Or was Mark deliberately trying to purge her from his thought? Thoughts that always brought her “back” to him. His thumb brushed the button on the lower right corner of the frame. Jesse repeated her greeting.“Happy Birthday, Honey. I love you.”The sight and sound of Jesse overwhelmed him. Mark felt the pangs of loss in one instance; a wave of incredible love in the next. He placed the frame on the table beside the carton. A new item piqued his interest. The Birthday Card she had made for him when she had presented him with that frame. Jesse was artistic and she could not see “paying good money for something expressing what only I know is in my heart”. Mark knew she was right. He had never gotten a store bought card from Jesse for as long as he knew her. This one was no different from the rest. It was beautifully hand crafted and painted in soft pastels (her favorite). And it did express what was in her heart. The last line before her signature told their tale all too starkly. It read, “I will love you until the day I die”. With the brightest, reddest lipstick she owned, Jesse had painted her mouth and pressed a perfect kiss over her name. Mark’s fingers touched the mark on the page. Instinctively, he held the card to his face placing his lips to the imprint on the heavy cardstock. His heart raced and his head spun. Mark could taste her! He could actually discern something in that “kiss”. He savored the taste of those lips one last time. But the words stuck in his heart like a hard stab from a long blade. “I will love you until the day I die”. Little did either know that day would come so soon.
COMING TO HIS SENSES - Part 2Every trinket and bauble that Mark removed from the box elicited thoughts of Jesse. They surrounded him, filling him with love and plunging him into a deep despair. His eyes started to well with moisture; tears for her passing that never seemed to dissipate. “I’m not ready to let you go!” he said out loud for no one to hear. One by one, Mark returned each piece to its cardboard home and gently tucked each flap of the box beneath each other. Her “treasure” was secure. Mark carried it gingerly as her climbed the steps to the attic crawl space. He slid the panel to his right and felt a rush of air engulf him. It startled him. Froze him in his tracks once more. He felt as if the gust blew right through him. It warmed him and comforted him. If he didn’t know any better he would have thought… Jesse. It was Jesse. She knew how to ease his pain, and he remembered that feeling. He felt it this time. Jesse had reminded Mark in a very sensory manner that her love for him remained as the last gift he’d ever need. Mark felt complete.
Walt, I don't realy know what to say about this other than that it is incredible. I mean that sincerely. This is an incredible piece. BRAVO!!!
Thank you Michael. I had the misfortune of living a scene very similar to the on described. Releasing it here was rather cathartic. Loved the concept of your prompt. No need to worry about being able to contribute, my friend. You did quite well.
I'll agree with Mike...incredible. You are a master storyteller, Walt.
The button felt warm to the touch as he heard the muffled doorbell ring. “Come in, it’s open” she called out. She had been expecting him. He handed her a bottle of shiraz and took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet scent of her lilac fragrance. He could see that she had cut and lightened her hair since they had last been together. She wore the cutest purple vest over her classic black outfit. They agreed to share some wine and he told her he was dying to kiss her sweet lips. He tasted a dry sweetness and the two sensed a permanent togetherness. They share a purple love.
Nothing sweeter than a purple love, even without the shiraz!
Ah...the sights, sounds, etc., of purple love. Nice!
CLOSE CALLShe sat quietly, feeling her blood pulsing through her veins – especially at the right temple, where her headaches always seemed to start. Redial.And his voice filled her ears.“A headache?” he asked. “You know what you need to do, right?”Closing her eyes, listening to his soothing voice, she could see herself resting against his chest. The pulsations in her ear were no longer her own, but that of her lover’s heart beat. Feeling the rise and fall of his chest with each breath, she slowly inhaled the familiar scent of him; exhaled the stress of her morning.So close, was he, she could still taste his kiss on her lips.“I love you.”
Wow; really nice.
I love this one Paula. Short, very sweet and all inclusive even seeing with her eyes closed.
Paula, where does that stuff come from? You have a remarkable flair for flash fiction. That scene was very sensual in it's simplicity and the brevity made me want more. Thanks for bringing your words to FLASHY FICTION!
Thank you, gentlemen! :)Good prompt, Mike!And Walt...I appreciate your encouragement to give Flash Fiction a try...and for cheering me on. As for where the flash fiction comes from? As with my poetry, I find myself wrapped in inspiration. :)
She looked fantastic, nothing new there. It was exactly a year from when we started dating. Now we were pretty much inseparable. Tonight we were celebrating that year together.It was a nice restaurant, better than we would normally go to. Not five star, mind you, but the kind of place where voices were subdued, waiters well trained and tablecloths and napkins were white linen. I loved a good meal more than she, food more of a necessity for her. Though, this one she seemed to enjoy. The bisque was velvety smooth with just the right tang of sherry. Her shrimp pasta was not overbearing in its size and had just the right amount of red pepper and garlic. Just the aroma of my veal chop set my head to spinning; perfectly tender and medium rare. Dessert was her favorite part; no matter how full she claimed to be, there was always room for dessert. Blueberry crumble with ice cream for her and the creme brulee for me.When the last dish was cleared the waiter left us alone with our coffee. That small table in the dimly lit corner became suddenly isolated from the world. I marveled at the smoothness of her hand in mine as I spoke with shaking voice.My world hung on that intake of breath, hand to mouth, tear in eye..... No other sound registered but that of her whispered reply.
'tis certainly the Valentine season. Love is in the air. I liked the way you alluded to the senses in a very subtle way.
And Mark! You too have brought a new element to these pages. You seem equally adept at flash fiction as you are with your poetic pursuits. Keep them coming.
And I hung on that last line! Well done, Mark!
Okay!! You ALL, each and every one above this comment...you ROCK!! I'm super impressed. I really don't even dare to place a word down here. They'll all pale...Its been awhile, a long while, since writing fiction! See Hear Feel Smell Taste:"Words, so many words," she thought, turning them over in her mind, testing them on her tongue. She felt the air dimming to day and the dark of night receding to shadows. Placing her arms about her shoulders, she shivered with the chill of early air, not yet warmed by the pungent burning of wood, in their wood stove. She knew that if she could hear something, other than the churning of her own mind, and beating of her heart, she'd feel sane again.She sensed his silent breath patterning across the pillow. It smelled of slightly soured milk, the curve of his lip suggested sweet uninterrupted dreams. She wondered, pondered what the dreams of babes held. His small body, twitching slightly, perhaps he chases a butterfly, maybe he's netted a frog...Mind has wandered to sunnier days and led my skin hungry for sun. Days of crystal blue, ocean lifted day-dreams...(a little time elapses)..."Mama, do you hear it?" He asks, blue eyes wide with joy.Startled to present, I'm surprised to find his wakefulness. I search his face and listen intently. There in the midst of morning a new song in the making."Yes, baby, I hear it!" A bird's voice lifted in the merriment of a heart hoping for Spring. It rung with a new sound not heard in the depths of ice and Winter and he heard it. It brought him from sleep. ******************************************************Incidentally, this as you can tell, probably, is just heightened non-fiction. It was what happened this morning. My first waking moments shared with my son talking about the beautiful song that bird was singing. This is best as I can do at this late hour though. Hope you guys like it. :)
Ha I switched P.O.V., hmm... slightly red with embarrassment here!
I'm so glad you "gave it a try" Hannah. I always enjoy your poetic words and this flash fiction has quite a poetic flair to it as well. Very nice!
Thank you, Michael!! :)
I'm sorry I've been MIA, but I was working on a project and I let it go last night SO... here I am! I will see what I can do with this lovely prompt, Mike!
Was it finally quiet enough to hear the cardinal’s song? I had just finished cleaning up the thick bacon grease that had hardened like wax at the bottom of the microwave bacon cooker, grateful that it was able to drip down into the bottom of the container rather than my children’s stomachs. I placed the lid back onto the old coffee container and washed my hands. Outside the window over the kitchen sink, a ray of sunshine sprinkled on the morning dew. Perhaps today the rain would subside long enough for a walk. That’s when I heard the familiar chirp of my favorite red bird. Now I knew today would be good. I took a sip of orange juice and headed out the door.
Marked summed it up perfectly. This short piece really did capture a moment in time. Made me want to go and clean my microwave and have some orange juice too. Nice job Laurie!
Very good; all senses accounted for and a great capture of that moment in time.