Friday, July 2, 2010

Flash Fiction Fridays

Here it is, the exciting start of Flash Fiction Fridays. Enjoy! (I hope.)

Death Doesn't Wait

The red light gleamed when I pressed the record button. I sat back in the stiff wooden chair and squirmed  before deciding on a position. "I've never done this before, taping myself, but as my fortieth birthday has approached, I feel a need to justify what I know and what is coming." I breathed in. "I can predict death."

"I know. It sounds ridiculous, but it's true. Oh, it's unfortunately true." I glanced away at my finely manicured hands with royal passion splashed upon the fingernails.

"It all started in fifth grade and a boy. He sat behind me in school.

He kicked my chair.

'Stop it,' I hissed.

He kicked it again, harder, scooting it up an inch.

'Stop it!' I moved my chair and desk as far forward as I dared.

I could hear him moving his chair, too, closer and closer to mine. Kick! Straight against the back, jostling me forward.

'I hope you die,' I blurted the words and continued to spew the prophecy, 'By an asthma attack while mowing the yard.'"

I sat back in my wooden chair and swallowed the lump in my throat. "He moved later that year. He had asthma, and in sixth grade, we were told he died...while mowing the lawn. He had an asthma attack. As an eleven-year-old, I believe I killed him. I provoked his death. It was my fault."

A sigh tumbled from me. "He was only the first. Death pursued me, whispering into my ear.

'Six months to live...more or less. Say goodbye to your grandpa while you can,' Death would tell me.

Then, my grandfather died. Just a few days shy of six months.

'Five years for your grandma,' he would whisper.

Then, she died...five years later."

I shook my head. "A cousin, a friend's uncle, a classmate…all dead, and I knew and said not a word."

My voice trembled. "Then, there was Michael. He told me he was going to join the army, and I begged and pleaded for him not to go. He would die over there. But, I was wrong. He didn't die in some hell hole with suicide bombers and terrorists. He died on a base in North Carolina. Unfortunate circumstances during a training exercise. I guess I'm not always right.

Death spoke again, whispering into my ear like a lover, 'You will not see much past forty, so live while you have the chance.'

I did all I could. I traveled. I read books. I devoured fine foods and watched movies. Yet, I did all this alone." I shuddered, glancing wildly around for Death's shadow.

"I can feel him behind me. Death follows me. I'm forty, and there is little time." I wrapped my arms around me, embracing myself.

"I slowly pushed everyone away because I didn't want them to die. I didn't want them to watch me die." A tear trickled down my cheek, and my heart fluttered in my chest.

"I just wanted—"


Nicole Zoltack said...

Oh, I loved that! What a great piece of writing. It takes a lot of skill to write good flash fiction, and that was excellent. :)

Cats! said...

Loved it! I may follow you on flash fiction fridays and do them myself. I love writing flash fiction.

Aubrie said...

Chilling! This was very entertaining to read. :)

Unknown said...

This is the first flash fiction I have ever read. Thanks for an excellent introduction to this form. I may even try my hand at it. It is a little reminiscent of Poe-Tale, Tale, Heart-style not story line.

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed the piece.