She held out a heart like a cold beet,
skinned & pickled, with two tiny hands
at the end of stems which held a little heart also,
with tiny hands which held another
on and on
through the blunt scene
of hearts hurled blindly down halls, against
rising water, against nail-dotted walls
against computer screens, against chests
or slashed up,
against heaving, sweat-slick breasts…
we experienced a love that was new
there was at least that, if not the rest.
Thub-thub, the beet droned and its stammering-
it moved through us like hammering
as our animals lay down beside us, in gardens
or in grass- in a kind of memorial
we imagined their death
in terms of sacrifice & lest we forget
when we should have seen it coming,
seen them faltering & starving
neatly dropping at our feet while we ran on
not noticing their hearts were beat-
we had been running all this time without them.
Behind a sinking, healthy & back-lit sun
A sort-of-game played with your feelings
That is why you are this person.
One team wore white, like brides & napkins
Their lips shimmered dully
an aversion to thorns.
A second team is everything the first team could only hope to be
The team loves you, and their hearts match their red socks
and the way they held you
and still getting dust in your eyes
the sand kicked up to last, and last, and last…
You can’t imagine how they loved you into becoming this person.
Your split-lip self was a consolation prize
& You were not supposed to go down like that
& You are turning to face me in the library
And you do not show your face
it clings fast to your skull
your hand curling out of a cloak
into begging & being
the bloated fingers
of a man
Hooray! I’m the Third Runner Up. Thanks to the folks at Flash Friday who keep the contest running week after week. Fun little writing community with a lot of talent to go around. Pleased to be a participant.
To all the doubters who think flash fiction is “nice” because people just don’t have time to write or read a proper story? I dare you to read even ONE story from this past week’s contest and claim that again with a straight face and/or without lightning crashing on your head. These writers are good.
As for you dear crazy flash fiction people! You clearly, like me, have some kind of serious flash fiction obsession problem. I couldn’t be more grateful to you for commiserating with your fellow Flash! Friday addicts here week after week. Thank you for joining us! Come back Wednesday for the champ’s interview; come back Friday to do your awesome thang all over again.
Judge Craig Anderson(you should see the post-battle mess of his poor brain!) says:Who knew that a simple stone shack on a deserted island could house so many…
It later occurred to me that had I awakened that morning not as a hysterical prisoner of damp and twisted sheets, but having instead been deposited by some dreadful means into the scene of a recurring nightmare. I shouldn’t have regarded the day’s events as any less extraordinary, for by that afternoon, I would find my circumstances so frightfully confused that I wondered if I might have fared better as the doomed victim of my own tragic hallucination. Disturbed as my condition was, the prospect of a watery grave had grown increasingly attractive, and I wished desperately to be stirred into the reality of that slight, trembling boy balanced precariously against the cliff’s edge, whose terrible anguish had the haunted, distanced quality of a dream. Resignedly helpless to the brutal activity of crashing about the jagged rocks, salty thunder swirling inside my skull- consistent with the unforgiving manner with which the wind had taken to whipping about my helpless form. As it happened, the day could not have got off to a more unremarkable start, save the noisy rattling that had quite suddenly begun in the old house, startling myself (and, I believe, the house, for she groaned as if to explain that she, too, had slept fitfully).