Flash! Friday for Aug. 28: Around and Around

If you’re not familiar with what Flash! Friday is, here’s the explainer. But in short, it’s a fun weekly contest of flash fiction writers, where each week a new picture prompt, “element” prompt (based on fire and ice), and a limited word count is given, and writers have 24 hours to submit their story. By Monday, the judges pick a winner.

The Aug. 28 prompt was this picture:

Fantasia in Morocco. CC photo by Maxim Massalitin.

The additional prompt was a requirement to either include a love found (fire) or include a love lost (ice). The word count was between 250-260 words.

You can read the full results here.

My entry had a word count of 260 words, and used the element of ice. Here is my entry:

Molly felt like the mangled box of cigarettes in his jean pocket. She wasn’t going anywhere, not yet, and he knew that.

Snuggled next to the box of cigarettes was her babysitter money; his ticket to “this time,” a reality where Dante or Dice were lottery tickets with hooves. A stack of Ramen noodles in the corner next to a shaggy motel Bible stood as the monument to “next time.”

She didn’t bother opening up a package for Morgan — he was sleeping, oblivious to the usual pleas and promises. He also had no money to give.

Mom left before Molly’s teen years, like a smoker taking up vaping, she’d kicked an old habit for a new model. That left Molly to hold up the baggage, a stalwart sentinel during the rage storms and the empty bathtub sobs.

At the time the starting bells were jump-starting dad’s dopamine, Molly locked the door behind her and went over to the pool or what had become a leafy graveyard. She touched the necklace he gave her years ago, back when the rush he got was from seeing them, and not a glowing TV screen with false hope.

With one small tug, the clasp broke from its clutches around her neck. She let the necklace drop with a muffled splash into the leafy graveyard, disappearing under the grime.

When he came back, drunk on the dark cloud and singed by riding the lightning, with a new scar to match the old ones, it would be her that would have to say, “Next time.”


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