So I’m really getting into the whole flash fiction thing. It is super fun creating vignettes in so few words and seeing how differently people interpret the same prompts.
I’ve already mentioned Micro Bookends (which I won a few weeks ago), but another one I’ve started following is Flash! Friday. Their limit is 190-210 words and they give you a story element and photo prompt to work from. This week’s prompt was quite inspiring so I finally got my shit together to write an entry (rather than just idly daydream about it) BUT then life got in the way before I could whittle my 469-word first draft down and enter it by the deadline. *massive sad-face*
I’m so gosh-darn proud of it though so figured I’d share it here instead. The title isn’t quite right and it’s still twice as long as it should be – but since I’m not submitting it I don’t have to trim it back any more now, do I? Enjoy!
Story Element: A fleeting moment
Fare Thee Well
Louis tried to weave through the thronging crowds, slippery with perspiration and dank with the musk of rain-dampened wool. In his haste he pinballed from elbow to shoulder to hip to back, leaving a snarling trail of curses in his wake.
He narrowly missed clipping a behemoth of a pram (two yowling toddlers strapped belligerently inside) by crashing through a gaggle of brawny youths. He barely noticed their jeers as he corrected his course and pushed on toward the barricade.
There it is! The procession! I’m not too late!
The crowds were thicker here. A desperate glance; a tree! But is it close enough?
I’ll try anyway.
He clambered up the tree and launched over the barricade before his resolve could waver. “Evangeline!” he cried, as he stumbled to his feet and ran toward the group of adventurers preparing to embark, zeroing in on the feathered cap nestled jauntily in the pile of hair he longed to stroke once more.
Firm hands grasped his shoulders and tried to restrain his dogged momentum. “Annie! Please!”
The feather quivered. “Louis?” a sweet voice called out incredulously. “Louis? Is that you?”
“Evangeline!” he called again, tears pricking at his eyes.
A diminutive figure pushed her way to the fore and joyfully ran towards his subdued, bowed form. “Louis! What are you doing here? What will your parents say?”
Her hands on his face. He smelled her sweet fragrance and dropped to his knees as the guards released their grip. Words and sensations swirled around his head as the desperate energy that drove him here retreated to his pounding heart. This was it. His last goodbye. What words would come?
He stared into her eyes, willing his feelings to write themselves on his face.
“I love you,” he uttered simply, unable to say more.
Her eyes softened and sparkled. She ruffled his hair and caressed the side of his face, letting out one of her delicious, musical peals of delighted laughter.
She leaned down and kissed his cheek. “I know,” she breathed into his ear. “Goodbye, dear Louis.”
A straightened back, a blown kiss, and she was gone. The world faded away as Louis slumped in the quickening rain, unfocused eyes gazing numbly at the ground where she had stood. When he next looked up the crowds had cleared, the square empty save for himself and the memory of moments past, never to be revisited again.