Flash Fiction Friday
What is Flash Fiction? Well, since you asked, Flash Fiction is a story that is usually written in 1000 words or less. It’s a man of many masks. Part-narrative or part-poetry, a brisk winter walk, an intense fight or a somber mood -it is fiction that expresses a moment or a millennia. It is pure writing.
You’re walking down a road, unpaved and weather-beaten. Not a soul is in sight -no one, nothing, save the trees and you and your path. Dandelions almost border the rocky, windy, over-grown path and in some places it’s hard to tell that there ever was a dirt road there. As you shuffle along, dust motes and dirt form little clouds around your feet, floating up and down, sparkling in the late-morning sun as they fall. You keep thinking about Charlie Brown’s friend, Pig Pen. He was always surrounded by a cloud of dust. Rocks fly away beneath your feet as you shuffle more, trying to make your cloud bigger and more animated. A bee buzzes passed your ear, then another, and you duck wildly. Too bad nobody sees you, because you look like a cartoon the way you flail about. I don’t see you. But I am still down the road a way.
The breeze feels so perfect today -the perfect mix of warm and cool. The tall, Bluegrass is waving and dancing on the winds, almost beckoning you into the woods on either side of your path. A wave of nostalgia washes over you and you’re almost tempted to take the invitation, but you’re on a mission. You’re coming to see me.
There’s a bend in the path up ahead. You remember it now. I will be there, just around the bend, and you quicken your steps a little. You’re almost there.
Your trusty, old camera swings about your neck with your quickened pace. It has been a while since you really put that sucker to work. Film has become so antiquated, you think, but it is high time you bring it back. You take off the shutter cap and pocket it. Might as well start snapping some shots, get into the mood. There’s a short, rickety length of horse fencing here on your right that catches your eye. It would make an excellent first subject of the day. Pausing there, you take in a deep breath and glance around the perimeter of the woods. Better make sure that no hungry bears or scary gnomes are watching.
Satisfied that no eminent or make-believe danger lurks nearby, you step off of the path and kneel parallel to the first fence post. You want a long shot of the fence and you’ll really get some depth and highlight the falling rails from this angle. As you capture your first shot, another bee buzzes passed your head and you jerk away. Dammit. That one will be blurry for sure. This is when a digital set up would come in handy. You shoot again. This time your aim is rock-steady. You stand up and examine the old relic from a different angle. The wood grain is both smoothed over and splintered. In one spot, it looks like someone had been trying to carve out a hole with just a tiny pocket knife. You imagine a young, country boy waiting here at this fence for a ride into town. How many hours must he have spent standing here. You zoom in and snap a shot of the hole. Close up, its splinters look quite like a starburst or a sea anemone trying to escape.
After a few more shots you’re satisfied that you’ve warmed up enough and, stepping back onto the path, you’re on your way to me again. It’s taking you longer than you’d thought it would to get to me. But I am patient. I’ve been here already for quite some time.
You look like Pig Pen again and, noticing this yourself, you put the lens cap back on the camera. Just a few more feet and you’ll be able to see me. I’m just around the bend.
As you turn the corner I can see you. You look so small there in front of me and I see you gasp and stop in your tracks as you lay eyes on me. You’re so excited that you tear off your lens cap and miss your pocket while trying to store it. You don’t care, though. You just stand there, snapping photos of me. Then you move closer, slowly, never taking your eyes off me. How surreal and lovely this is. You walk up to face me and take in my entire facade. I tower above you. I am tall.
“Looks like you have been waiting here for me for quite a long time, Old Blue.”
Blue. It has been a while since anyone has called me Blue.
You bring your camera back up to your eye and just keep on snapping photos. I am your muse, your model. I stand firm, but my bones creak with the wind and I can feel time and old age running their course. You don’t care about age though. You want to see more and begin to circle around me, looking for a way in, a way to see into my soul. You know that you’ve only scratched the surface and are glad that you brought along extra film with you. There is still plenty of light left in the day and I am not going anywhere.
“Well, Old Blue,” you say as you circle back around in front of me, “I guess there is only one way in. I’m ready if you are.” The question your voice seems to carry on the wind as it pushes my door open. I have been ready for a long time, Friend.
You see that I am ready, but you know that I won’t last out here very much longer. So, you walk on in.
It has been so long since you’ve been home.
Inspired by the 100 Day Writing Prompt -“If you were and old house…”
Flash Fiction Friday is meant to stir up the writer within. Unedited. Raw. Fast writing.
1000 words or less. Just letting your fingers follow your imagination.