My latest in the weekly flash fiction contest at Micro Bookends where they supply the first (SPRING) and the last (FESTIVAL) words, respectively, and you supply a maximum of 110 words in response to the above photo prompt (courtesy of matthewwu88). My entry this week was fortunate to win second place with the lovely feedback from judge, Deborah Foy:
“Oh, Melancholy, my first love! From that first glum phrase “carcasses of winter” to the chilling description of those in The Gap as walking “without the maggot bite marks to indicate their decay,” I was hooked. Jonathan’s downward spiral is hauntingly depicted. The line where we are told that he’s doing the “things…you’re supposed to do (and not)” followed by mention of the psychiatrist with her persistent pen, opened up his story to a whole other meaning, adding another layer of tragedy.”
Spring signified the cycle; the carcasses of winter became today’s blooms.
Jonathan existed in this milieu beyond the cycle, lost somewhere in the gaps. After all, those of us, like Jonathan, that had stopped trying to bloom had in effect become carcasses.
They just walked among us without the maggot bite marks to indicate their decay.
He’d done the usual things that you’re supposed to do (and not); the psychiatrist with the pen she couldn’t stop clicking, the medication that shredded his brain, made him paranoid, and the paper mâché that had become his wrists.
To find his way back into the cycle was too daunting, the far-off, unwelcoming festival.