Thursday, December 21, 2006

Flash Fiction

The Trip

They’d thought of the trip months before. Then their lives were wired to serve one purpose. They competed to prove their love. They went to extremes of passion and jealousy. They’d met one night in a taxi queue, booked into a hotel at 3.00am, emerged sleepless at 9. With her sleek black hair and arab face, she was a goddess. And he felt a god.

She lived with her sick mother and that made life difficult. They looked forward to getting away: he came from up north, and she had never been. It would be perfect.
Then things changed. She’d called off a few times and, when they were together, it was different. Somehow a light had gone out and all that seemed so important began to slowly die.

As they drove north, he told stories, though he had questions he was too afraid to ask. She stared out the car window, like a doll, or a sleeping princess. He wondered what alchemy could bring her back. At Loch Awe they stopped and sat on the grass. Reeds waved like drowning arms. He’d talked, then paused for breath.

“John” and it was like the first thing she’d ever said. “I think we need to stop seeing each other”. He searched for something to define the moment, but the water was flat. She stared into the distance, munching her sandwich in a matter of fact way. Come on, she said at last, and stood up, brushing crumbs from her legs.

Later, he lay against a rock as she gathered stones. He saw her bending, her face framed against the sun, and he wished himself in the deepest part of the sea, so that, as they used to think, his dead eyes would show pictures of her, smiling like that.

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