Friday, December 02, 2011

Short short story: Wave

I completed a "short" story recently. It was nearly 5,000 words long. So I decided to create more of a distinction between short and short. I think flash fiction is traditionally capped at the 100-word mark. If you know me at all, you'll laugh at the thought of me keeping my thoughts so succinct.

Anyway: tell me what you think. It's been too long since I posted fiction here.

It was too hot to care about anything as she walked home from school that first day of summer, not even that her skirt was riding up and her old gym shorts were probably showing. At first she thought the bird was waving for help; it looked so like a greeting, a plea. Hi there. I am small and weak and hurt. Can you help? She looked both ways and hurried to the middle of the road. Immediately she saw the crushed head, the tiny still chest. Calmly, she picked up the body and walked back to the shaded kerb, laying it by a tree. She knew it was well past any pain but it seemed wrong to leave this defenceless one to be smashed and spattered by traffic. Later she would remember the warm, soft feathers, the closed eyes and slightly open beak, and she would weep. Later she would realise that was the first time in years that she had touched another living thing. Later she would wonder why, when softness had finally returned, it had come so sad and still. Now, she simply picked up her backpack and walked on home, gym shorts exposed.

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