When my critique partner suggested the idea of a flash fiction war, I loved the idea. But I had one drawback—I'm terrible at flash fiction.
Every time I've tried, it turned into something much longer—either a whole book or an unfinished story buried in my docs. Granted, flash fiction basically is an unfinished story, but I've never been satisfied with the way mine have ended.
Until now. So, since I haven't shared any of my writing, other than a few snippets, since Katie's Christmas over a year and a half ago, I figured I'd give it a go.
I don't really have a title for it... maybe Dressed in Blue or something like that but not as cheesy... any suggestions?
On another note real quick, Inside Out Designs is hosting a giveaway! A front book cover, plus book formatting. Check it out!
So anyway, on to my adventure with flash fiction! This was inspired by a pin on Pinterest:
I'm warning you now, this is almost completely unedited. Continue reading at your own risk.
Even the clouds seemed to rejoice. Scattered across the expanse of blue sky, they morphed into various shapes—namely, birthday cakes and candles.
At least, that’s what it seemed like to me. But then again, I probably would’ve seen birthday candles on a child’s face that day, as focused as I was. Birthday candles and my wife’s face.
It had been so long since I’d seen her. Too long. I ached to hold her in my arms, to tell her over and over again how much I loved her. A smile broke across my face. My wife. My wife of six wonderful years, and yet it seemed like just yesterday we’d said “I do”.
I toyed with the ring on my left hand absentmindedly, her image filling and consuming my mind. She was so beautiful… so perfect. I chuckled to think of the way my little brother would react if he knew what I was thinking. He’d pretend to gag, then bat his eyelashes and say something about how perfectly wonderful and perfect everything about everything was. Mock me.
Which was exactly why he didn’t know my thoughts. Right now, he was concentrated on the road ahead, which was just fine by me. The fact that he’d had to retake his driving test twice didn’t do anything for my comfort during the ride.
He pulled over. “Okay, Alan, here’s where you get down.”
I unbuckled and tried to crouch down in the foot well of my seat—no easy task for a man of five feet, eleven inches. Finally I gave up and climbed over the F-250’s console and laid out on the floorboard. “Just drive careful, Elliott, okay?”
Elliott rolled his eyes. “Yeah, whatever.” He eased off the shoulder of the road and back onto the pavement. That was one thing hard to get used to about this area of Washington. Even out in the middle of nowhere, pavement still reigned. I still had yet to see a dirt, or even a gravel, road. Driveways didn’t count.
Finally, the truck rolled to a stop, and Elliott peeked over the back of his seat. “Hang tight, I’ll be right back. She’s on the south side of the truck, a little to the west. Give me two minutes to keep her occupied and moved to the edge of the water.”
My nerves were as frazzled as a fraying towrope, but I managed to contain my blood pressure until my wristwatch read exactly two minutes since Elliott left. Finally, time to take action. I opened the north side door—thankfully at my feet, so I didn’t have to worry about climbing out on my arms—and crawled out, shutting the door quietly.
Crouching, I crept to the front of the truck and peeked out from behind the grill. Then I saw her. Her back to me, she stood on the beach and watched Elliott trying some sort of nutty stunt involving a pool noodle and a kayak paddle. The breeze caught her hair and played with it, and her shoulders shook with laughter. I simply watched her, mesmerized, until finally I shook myself and crept forward. My boots made silent imprints in the sand behind me. Faster, faster.
Finally, I was crouched directly behind her. I let out a “Hooyah!” and darted forward, grabbing her in my arms and rushing toward the water, ignoring the screaming in my ear.
She went sailing, arms and legs windmilling, hair flying, until finally she and the water made contact with a splash.
Sputtering, her head resurfaced. “Alan Marshall Henderson!”
“Happy birthday, Mrs. Henderson!” I laughed in reply.
“Happy birthday, Mrs. Henderson!” I laughed in reply.
Her face broke into a grin, and she slogged through the water to the shore. “Why, thank you, Mr. Henderson.” Without warning, she threw her arms around me and kissed me like there was no tomorrow. “This is the best birthday gift you could’ve ever given me,” she whispered in my ear. “Oh, Alan, my Alan… welcome home.”
She leaned against my chest and soaked the front of my shirt, but I didn’t care. I don’t know how long we stood there, until finally her soft voice floated up to my ears. “I prayed you’d come.”
I rubbed her back again.
“I told God that if He would just bring you home for my birthday, if I could take you from the Navy for even just a day, I wouldn’t ask for anything else.” She sniffed, pulled back and smiled at me through her tears. “And here you are.”
“It’s good to be home again.”
She leaned into my embrace again. “Y’know, I didn’t exactly expect a dunk in the ocean to be a part of my birthday gift.”
Chuckling, I shrugged. “Thought you might like to take a trip down memory lane.”
She began to shake with silent laughter. “How could I forget? I’m pretty sure you’re the only husband that dunks his wife in the lake on their honeymoon.” She paused, then added, “You look good in blue.”