#FlashMobWrites 1×08

Welcome to #FlashMobWrites Week Eight

Come one, come all! This is an open flash fiction challenge with a musical inspiration, hosted by authors Cara Michaels (formerly of #MenageMonday, #WIPflash, and#RaceTheDate) and Ruth Long (of the wicked fun #LoveBites and #DirtyGoggles challenges).

Mob Rules

  • The challenge begins: Fridays @ Noon EDT (Eastern USA)
  • And ends: Saturday @ Midnight PST (Pacific USA)
  • Word count: 300-500 (no less, no more)
  • We love you and wish to heap praises (and random prizes) on you, so be sure to include your name (no, it doesn’t have to be your real name) and a way for us to get in touch (Twitter handles are encouraged)
  • A prompt choice is offered by each judge. Choose one and include it in your story as given.
    • The prompt may be split between sentences, but no order change or dropping words.
    • Words may be added before or after, not in the middle.

The Inspiration

For your musical enjoyment only. You do not need to reference the video or song themes in any way for your story.

The Prompts

Cara Michaels: “maybe she isn’t real”

Ruth Long: “I don’t need it, I just want it”

Now pick your prompt and post your story in the comments below!

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29 thoughts on “#FlashMobWrites 1×08

  1. Lucinda

    Frank Houser’s 20 foot runabout, Claudette, skipped across the gulf waters as sleekly as a comet skimming the sky.

    He looked fit for a 50+ retired military guy and recreational boater. That gave me some comfort.

    “You actually going to be armed?” had been Houser’s first question to me when Sonia had introduced us.

    “One for each hand,” I reassured him, flashing my small but adequate arsenal.

    “Are they?”

    “The Young Spirits for Christ are a cult. Funded by local businessmen and very roguish cops. Yeah, I imagine they are armed to their dentures.”

    Houser guessed I had no idea what resistance we would meet. If there was a firefight, we would be swimming in a septic field. He could handle himself but my shooting skills were not my best feature.

    “Okay,” he said “just curious what I’m getting myself into, that’s all.”

    I didn’t bother telling him what curiosity could do to you. The intense looking German Shepherd by his side told me that he shied away from cats and their deadly inquisitive habits.

    “We’ve still got about half an hour at full throttle before Colonial Island. Do you have any idea where their compound is?”

    I could see he was just killing time, double checking his understanding that I knew little of the Island terrain.

    “Nope. What I don’t know is a constant embarrassment to me.”

    “It’s a shame you have no military training. That’s an edge we could have used.”

    I had given him full disclosure of my numerous deficits as detective.
    “I am a pacifist,” I had declared. “First, last and always.”

    He’d shaken his head, even as he’d agreed to help me get the girl back.

    The morning sun pinging on the ocean was blinding. Though old Sol was at our back, the sea sparkled bright and shimmering. Off to our starboard side, I swore I could see a pod of Orca.

    On the horizon, land appeared.

    “That’s Colonial Island,” Houser indicated, “in all its empire building glory.”

    He eased up on the throttle until we were almost dead still in the water.

    The engine hummed like an electric razor needing a tune-up.

    “You’ve actually never seen the girl?”

    “A three year old Polaroid.”

    “Maybe she isn’t real.”

    “Maybe.”

    “I mean, ALIVE,” he clarified.

    I’d been searching for Lucinda Crater for over 6 months, circling around her life like a blind vulture. There had been countless twists and turns. A couple of times I almost concluded that she was a chimera.

    “We could turn this tug around and go fishing,” he suggested.

    “I’m also a vegetarian,” I said.

    “Fine! A peacenik AND a fussy eater.”

    “Look Frank, she’s real. I need to wrap this case up one way or another. Let`s beach this baby, locate the compound, breach any barricades they have, find the girl and see if she is happy being an acolyte.”

    “Sounds like a plan.”

    With that decision, Houser gently tapped the throttle and aimed Claudette towards the shore.

    @billmelaterplea

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Unfinished Chores

    499 words
    by Alicia VanNoy Call
    @callthewriter

    The first time I see her, I’m frozen in the hallway, bare feet cold on the hardwood floor when she passes right in front of me. She walks from living room into the kitchen. She makes no sound. She doesn’t look at me.

    Her hair is stringy, black. Like you think it would be. It drips down her back, ink against the lacy flow of her nightgown moving in a breeze that doesn’t exist. Her hands are red.

    I almost shout, I’m so startled. Like when a cat jumps out in a horror movie and your popcorn goes flying and then you’re laughing like, “Yeah, okay, but we all knew that was coming.”

    But I didn’t know this was coming. And now I’m leaning against the wall with one hand to my chest, panting. – OMG, did my heart just stop? I swear it did. –

    It’s not like they list this sort of thing in the brochure. Cozy two-bedroom cottage for rent. Ocean views. One and a half baths. Fully furnished. Slightly-gory ghost to make sudden midnight appearances.

    That’s the thing. I read a lot of Poe and I drink a lot of coffee and when I do sleep, I have these vivid dreams where I wake up and I still think I’m there, on top of a burnt-out lighthouse watching a fishing boat careen toward the rocks or buried alive or tied to a workshop bench in some psycho’s kill room. Or like this, meeting a spectre at one a.m. Which makes me think – Maybe she isn’t real. –

    But then I know she’s real, because I never think stuff like that when I’m dreaming.

    So I cinch my robe over my boxer shorts and I tiptoe toward the kitchen.

    I peek around the doorway. I can feel my eyes flicking all over the room, nervous-squirrel fast, but she’s not there. So I sigh in relief. It’s a big sigh and I turn around.

    She’s right behind me. Her eyes are two black wells of nothing; her mouth gapes.

    This time I do shout. I put my hands up and she walks. Right. Through. Me. There’s this blood-freezing moment where I’m paralyzed as we occupy the same space. There’s an open-grave smell and my breath is sucked right out of my lungs. But she just walks to the sink.

    She pantomimes with those red hands turning on the water. Picking up a dish. Washing it. She does it like she should be wearing an apron and yellow pumps. Perfect upturned hair and fifties makeup. Instead of this.

    Then she disappears.

    Ten seconds later, she reappears, walking into the kitchen, and does it all over again.

    After three or four times, when I realize she’s not going to pull my heart out through my chest and eat it, I make myself a sandwich and sit at the table. I watch her for an hour. And all I can think is:

    – This is really fucking sad. –

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Fever Dreams

    Cold. Shuddering, teeth-chattering cold. He survived Arctic training. Could take down a Russian soldier at two miles. But he wasn’t in the Arctic. Africa. Fucking Africa. The mission. His team. Eye-searing light. Ear-bleeding Thunder.

    Pitch black. A voice singing in the distance. “Hello, darkness, my old friend.”

    Floating, borne on the wings of the Valkyrie. Warrior. Valhalla. Home. Heat. Searing, bone-melting heat. The desert. No. Fever. A cool hand, a soothing voice.

    “I’ve done all I can.”

    “You stay. Keep him alive until I bring help.”

    “Yes, all right. Go.”

    Murmurs in the shadows.

    Cool hand. Soft. Feminine. He pressed into the touch, groping in the dark.

    “Shh. Rest easy.”

    Shaking, sweating bodies, his sliding in and out of hers. No light. No sound. Only her touch, the feel of her to keep him anchored, firm thighs cradling, round breasts pillowing.

    Sound and fury. Scorching wind.

    Nothing.

    “Chief Reagan’s lucky.”

    “Why do you say that?”

    “He’s alive.”

    “But at what cost?”

    Nothing.

    Darkness. Beeps. Whooshes.

    Her hand in his. Fingertips brushing hair off his forehead, lingering to trace his cheek and jaw. Lips pressed to his, breath mingling. Tears. Hers. “I’m sorry.” Long fingers squeezing his. “I couldn’t save you. I tried. I’m so, so sorry.”

    Don’t cry, princess. Whatever it is, we’ll survive.

    Nothing.

    “Damn, Duke. Welcome back to the land of living.”

    “Where the fuck am I?” His voice grated like rusted hinges.

    “You’re in Brooks Army Medical Center.”

    “Fuckin’ Army. I’m a Navy SEAL.”

    “Damn straight you are.”

    “What’s wrong with my eyes, Tank?”

    “Yes, about that. I should let the doctor explain.”

    Retinas. Burned. Explosion. Scarring. Blind. Nonsense words tumbling on a hamster wheel.

    “Where is she?”

    “Who, chief?”

    “Princess. She was here. Where’d she go?” She would explain, fill in the void of memory and experience.

    Nothing.

    Days melting into nights, time’s of no consequence when sunlight and moonlight are interchangeable in the dark.

    “Yo, boss.”

    Strong hand gripping his shoulder. “Cali Boy.”

    “Yeah.”

    “Are you real?”

    Snickers. “Yeah, dude. I’m real.”

    “Did everyone get out?” Long silence, the tick of a clock, tense breaths. Dalton didn’t want to answer. He knew. Duke knew then. “How many?” Heavy breath. Slight shake in the hand still gripping his. He waited. He was a sniper. Snipers could wait forever, even when the world went to shit.

    “Tank n’me. We survived. And you.” Rustling cloth. “That’s it.”

    “Where’s the princess?”

    “Princess? Who’re you talking about?”

    “The doctor without borders. She was with me there. Here, too.”

    “There wasn’t a doctor, female or otherwise. Maybe she isn’t real. You’ve been way out of it, boss. Fever dreams. They brought you out a week after us. Alone.”

    Alone. No. Not so long as she was with him.

    “Gotta go, chief. Tank n’me. We’ll be back, now you’re awake.

    Silent and in the dark, he’d wait. She’d return, ignite the sparks to light his way.

    She was real if only in his dreams.

    ****

    496 words
    @SilverJames_

    Liked by 4 people

  4. A Last Throw of the Dice

    No matter your stance, the science behind most attempts was tenuous at best. But we’d run out of options. Many pointed the finger at corporations and rampant greed, but humanity as a whole was to blame.

    Surprisingly at the last moment we rose above our baser nature. Instead of going out in petty squabbles over the final scraps of resources, cooler heads prevailed and scientists were given free reign. No matter how crackpot the theory, they received a cut of what was left and told to have at it. Time machines, faster than light drives, matter transmission, you name it, they all had their adherents.

    Everyone whose work wasn’t instrumental to everyday survival of our species was dragooned into work teams for one project or another. I ended up on a real whack-job, left field one. But I didn’t mind – it meant that my incompetence was less likely to screw up anything important. I don’t think the guy in charge even had a degree, I think he was just some stoned old hippie trying to make his flashbacks a reality. We had some real sharp fellas from Silicon Valley in on our team too, they ended up doing most of the grunt work, some code that would link every wifi router into one big network sensing array. My job was contacting all the radio telescope arrays around the world, and working out a time we could hook our super network into theirs.

    On the morning of our allotted day, our office was jumping. Even though money wasn’t really worth anything any more, I had some sizeable bets going with the code jockeys that we’d been wasting our time. I don’t know if they’d ended up drinking the koolaid, or were just so up themselves that they didn’t think they could fail, but they eagerly accepted. We were shushed into silence and the head honcho picked up the mic and blew into it.

    “Hello? We need your help.”

    That’s all he said. And waited.

    “Who are you talking to, aliens?”

    “I’d accept their help too, but I’m trying to get in contact with Earth’s Infinite Essence.”

    “What?”

    “She has many names. Gaia. Mother Earth. She’s spoken of in many enlightened texts from a range of belief systems.”

    “Maybe she isn’t real.”

    Over our network came a shuddering roar.

    “Or maybe she’s pissed off!”

    393 words
    @davejamesashton

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Brotherly love? I think not!

    “I tell you he does wait for me!” Billy sulked angrily choking back tears. Tears he was determined not to show. “Agh go on” the biggest of the boys taunted, “prove it, prove that he or she even exist!”

    It was the same everyday after school, the gang were the hardest boys in the school and for some reason always picked on Billy leaving him with fear. This time they had been teasing him for being ‘billy no mates’ they were so wrong. Billy wished his best friend could come to school well either of them really and that would show them! Finally Billy escaped their taunts and ran home.

    Several weeks went by as usual and Billy wondered constantly just why Tim had it in for him. On top of which his dad was at work and living with ‘her’ and forgetting him for her son. It was just as well his best friend was waiting for him when he arrived home. He’d be welcomed with a furious wagging and they’d run down to the meadow with their tea until darkness fell. The meadow had always been a safe haven. Today though Billy noticed the front door was ajar and there was no telltale thump of a happy tail. Cautiously Billy tiptoed into his home to investigate and stopped dead as he spied who was in the living room with his Mum. He had walked home today as Tim hadn’t been there at the gates and now he knew why! Tim and his mum were sat having tea with Billy’s mum and dad had his arm around Tim’s mum. What a nightmare! The boys were sent out to the garden to get acquainted.

    “So whose the best friend then Billy? Your mum?” Now his mum wasn’t often home when he got home and they would have dinner together later in the evening before sharing a chocolate bar over the tv before bedtime. “No” “Maybe she isn’t real?” Billy stopped and stared at Tim as if he had seen a ghost. Time had frozen as she peered around Tim’s shoulder with a finger to her lips and smiled. Suzi pointed a pale finger towards Billy’s treehouse and he saw a tail flip from side to side and Suzi was gone! She had been looking after his dog for him. Tim shook Billy back to his here and now and said so where are these best friends of yours. As a brother now I should know your secrets! Billy laughed and said “you’ll never know”

    That was ten years ago and Tim was older now but would never walk down the path alone. Billy had long ago joined Suzi for real but every Tuesday for the last ten years Billy and Suzi had played tricks on Tim and fear was returned whence it came.

    (473 words (exc title!) x)
    @lindorfan

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Last Call

    We reached and breached last call hours ago, but there’s still the playground. I don’t need it, I just want it. What better way to end a night of celebration, than with more celebrating? Our ragtag troupe swarms around seesaws and swings, ignoring the warning sign that, “All adults must be accompanied by a child.”

    Are we adults yet? I don’t feel like one. But kids would be home, safe and sound in their beds at this hour, so we are decidedly not kids either. We’re something strange in between. Unnatural. A gang of vampires invading the nursery.

    “The ducks look like ghosts floating in an abyss of black,” a friend calls by the iron fence enclosing the safety of the playground from the dirty, dangerous world beyond.

    Balmy breeze kisses my face and I smell slick rot at the edges of the water, earth soaked with algae and duck droppings. The swans—not ducks—glide over black water like hovering angels. A hint of morning fog buffets the edges of the lake, still and ghostly.

    “Eerie…” I mumble.

    Wind picks up in answer and enormous live oaks shiver from leafy crowns to sprawling feet. Cypress trees sway as if in a dream, admonishing us to go home.

    “Bed time.” He slides out of the shadows. Light from an antique street lamp catches a blue haze of cigarette smoke. The cloud drifts over his shoulder, slipping down towards the lake as he climbs up into full light. His eyes are icy glinting crystals under a sheaf of lazy black hair.

    I clutch my heart in jest. “My God, you scared me.”

    His hand slips through the bars to grab my waste. “That’s blasphemy, babe.”

    I laugh and throw my head back, my arms up, cradling the moon and tempting the sky, “Oh God—strike me down, I dare you!”

    He grins and leans in for a kiss. “Your place or mine?”

    *

    Queer smells. Hand sanitizer? Latex. A heavy weight on my hand. I raise it into view. I’m laying in… a mattress cushions my elbow…in a bed? There is some kind of makeshift cast attached to my hand. It doesn’t hurt—I’m numb all over.

    A melodious soprano: “Your finger’s broken, sweetie.”

    What the hell is my mom doing here? Where is ‘here’? My pulse thumps in cotton candy veins. I try to rise and something cold shifts between my knees.

    “You have a catheter—don’t mess with that. I’m sorry.”

    Oh.

    My good hand goes for my hair, wanting to smooth it out, wanting to make sure I look as pretty as I can. My head is sticky and crusted, and I pull my hand away like it’s on fire.

    “You have blood in your hair, sweetie.”

    “Where are my clothes? My shoes? Where is my boyfriend?” I was wearing a new outfit, and my favorite strappy high-heeled sandals…

    “They had to cut those off in the ambulance.” Sniffle. “That boy’s in custody. He can’t hurt you anymore.”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: Nothing | My Soul's Tears

  8. Billy couldn’t sleep, so he rolled to his right side, looking away from her. He wondered what had happened, what had changed, what got lost. Mostly, he wondered why. “There was a time we did so much more than cuddle.” He wondered, “Maybe she isn’t real. Maybe she’s a dream. Maybe everything’s a dream.”

    He inhaled slowly, letting his lungs fill, then slowly breathed out. “Focus on now. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Now.” His doctor called that mindfulness, but Billy had another description for it, “Turn off the brain cells, and just feel.”

    He turned off his brain cells, and felt. He felt lonely, despite her being next to him. He felt hollow, like a shell of a person. Like nothing was inside him. He felt old, too old to love any longer. Just a companion. A friend to keep around. Someone to hug, and talk too.

    He wondered, “If some hot redhead got naked in front of me, would I do anything, or would I just stare at her?”

    Another long, slow breath, and more time spent trying to feel the moment caused him to kick his feet around as he tried to adjust the sheets, and blankets. “Stupid wrinkles.” He moved around until the wrinkles shifted position, and his toes and feet felt better.

    Memories of the good times they’d had in bed drifted through his mind. Nights when they didn’t sleep. Nights they tried different things. Different positions. Different ways. It’s not like they’d decided to stop. Not like they got tired of sex. More like they ran out of things to try.

    “Is that why guys fool around? To try something new?” It was a rhetorical question, but perhaps there was some truth to it. “Maybe they try different women trying to find something different?” He almost chuckled in the dark. “Once you’ve explored one cave, you’ve explored them all, but you keep looking for a different cave.”

    “Maybe that’s why guys watch porn?” Because they wanted more, but couldn’t get more? Maybe they wanted something different, and had run out of new things to try with her, so they watched movies and imagined trying new things with other women?

    There was that hollow, empty feeling again. Maybe he really was. Maybe he was nothing but an empty shell, drained of the joy of life. Like an empty gas tank. Nothing left for the motor to run on. No fuel. No fumes. Nothing.

    He knew he didn’t need that Viagra, or Cialis junk. He still got it up when he wanted to. Still had his fantasies. Things he knew would never happen. And he knew what he’d do if they did. Like the fantasies of two women. Women, not girls. And he got to stick it in everywhere.

    But they were only fantasies. Not real. Real was where nothing happened. Night after night. Where there was nothing inside him. Except emptiness.

    Eventually, he grew tired enough he drifted to sleep, into the nothing of his dreams.

    500 Words
    @LurchMunster

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Perceptions
    @mishmhem
    485 words
    #FlashDogs

    He felt a cold wave of terror rush through him as a woman walked through him without even noticing.

    He tried to remember what had happened, but every time he tried his world dissolved into a world of shattered glass and broken dreams.

    He drew a deep breath and shook his head. That wasn’t really true. He had memories. He remembered the feel of a silken strand of his wife’s hair between his fingers. He could remember his childhood, his time at the academy: he remembered it all— but for the life of him he could not remember dying.

    He let out a long sigh and ran his hands through his hair— trying to understand what had happened, but there was no one there— even the woman was gone.

    He turned a full circle only to find he was indeed alone. Something had called him here, to this spot, but what?

    When he turned around again, there were people surrounding him, people watching something he knew he didn’t want to see. He took a step and everything around him shifted until he saw the dive team surfacing and the tow truck hauling something out of the water.

    It took him a moment to realize that the truck they were hauling out of the water was his— and there was a body in the front seat.

    ‘That’s it!?’ he demanded of his surroundings. ‘Just like that… here one moment and gone the next?”

    “Vehicle belongs to James McMillan Dawson,” he heard a patrolman report to the woman who’d walked through him.“Missing thirty-five years… “

    Jamie nearly gasped as the woman walked through him again and his attention was drawn to the man sitting on the back of the tow truck.

    ‘Son,’ he said. ‘You might want to move out of the way. Ain’t good for nobody when they keep walking through ya.’

    Jamie studied the man. ‘Am I … dead?’

    As he spoke the woman walked through him again.

    ‘What makes you think that?’

    Jamie’s expression seemed to say, ‘really?’ As he waved his hand in front of the woman’s face and she continued to stare at his truck as it was hauled from the water.

    ‘Could be,’ the man said, then winked. ‘Who knows… maybe she isn’t real.’
    ‘What?’

    ‘Life is a matter of perception and for the time being the closest explanation is… you’re perceptionally challenged.

    ‘I’m…’

    ‘Dead, as in doornail.’

    ‘But…’

    ‘Son, trust me. I’ve been dead a lot longer. You never get used to it— you just accept it as who you are.’

    ‘And what am I?’

    ‘Ah,’ the man sighed. ‘The age old question. You were James McMillan Dawson. And as of this moment, you are now nothing more than a memory.’

    ‘How do I end this?’

    The old man gave him an infinitely sad smile- knowing that there was on way he could recover on his own. ‘You must remember…’

    Liked by 3 people

  10. The other women chatted while they finished the outfit of their fairy owner. Cool air coming in from the opened window helped calm the vines under Joey’s skin. She wanted to find someone who could fix what the dryad screwed up. She didn’t want to become a tree or a shrub or whatever. The sun glimmered as it lowered in the aubergine sky. Stars twinkled like diamonds that flickered in and out.

    She had thought she heard some water. If she wasn’t needed then she was sneaking out to take a break. Since all the fae were keen on screwing around with a human’s head than trying to figure out how to fix the problem. Stupid dryad. Stupid fae.

    If she thought about it, she hadn’t felt really hungry for the past week. Joey wasn’t sure if she should be worried about that or if it was just part of how things worked. There was a manual on how everyone thought. They were all bat shit crazy. And the humans that weren’t hunted, were treated like pets and did all sorts of tricks to earn the favor of their masters. It was worse than watching some yip dogs doing flips for cookies.

    Joey rubbed her face before slipping over the balcony railing. Of course, she was whining herself about wanting to go home. She didn’t even know how much time has passed. She probably lost her job and her apartment. Going back was going to have all sorts of other issues to deal with.

    The sound of the water came from a large pool with a fountain in the middle of it. It was currently going and sending ripples in every direction. It might be worth trying to get away but there was probably someone watching her. Little spies didn’t have to be human sized at all. Woodland animals like Bambi and Thumper were probably watching her to report back to someone or something. She sat down at one of the seats and stared back at the building.

    A splash of water soaked her from head to waist.

    “The hell?” She spun around to peer into the water. If there was one more thing screwing around with her, she was going to scream. Enough was enough.

    She turned back after not seeing anything only to get drenched again. A snarl and she spun around to see a finned tail disappear down into the water. Joey stared. Giant fish or mermaid. It was going to be some sort of trick figuring that one out.

    She started to turn back when she saw a head bob up and spun to face the water. It disappeared as fast as she saw it.

    “Maybe she isn’t real.” Mermaids were kind of cliché but then that seemed to be part of the world she had been sucked in. She turned to face to house, waiting.

    What she wasn’t expecting were arms to wrap around her and yank her in and underneath the surface.

    Goddamn fae.

    @solimond
    500 words

    #WIP #campnano

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The ink isn’t quite dry on the divorce papers as I put another stack of books into a box. Five years of marriage and it ends in a stack of boxes and squabbles over who bought the couch.

    To be fair, I shouldn’t have married her. But I didn’t want to admit I was gay. I told myself I was in love with her. But the signs were there. The clincher was a few weeks ago. We went out to eat and she caught me looking at another guy. When we got home, she flat out asked me if I was gay. What could I say?

    “You can have the recliner.”

    Marissa’s smooth alto voice jolts me from my thoughts. She smiles, gesturing at the dark blue chair. The smile doesn’t quite reach the corners of her mouth.

    “Oh. Thanks. I mean, I did buy it.”

    She runs a hand through her thick red, curly hair. Her green eyes are dull, blood shot.

    “It would’ve been easier if I’d said no when you proposed. But we were in love, you know?”

    I nod. “I know. But look on the bright side: we’ll both find someone news and we’ll stay friends. If I ever need a lawyer, I know who to call.”

    She chuckles, drying her eyes. I reach up and brush her hair from her face. I’m going to miss her. On impulse, I pull her into a hug, kissing her cheek.

    “Well. I should finish packing. You sure you can handle the rent on your own?”

    She nods. “Yeah. I’ve got enough work lined up to pay rent for a couple of years.”

    An awkward silence descends on us. I have to finish packing so my friends can get me moved today.

    “Uhm, Jacoby, once we signed the papers, a friend and I started dating. I thought you should know.”

    “Well, you’re single now, so there’s nothing I can really say. I hope he treats you right.”

    I fill the box and tape it shut. Once it’s labeled, I put it with the others, all stacked neatly by the door. My entire life is in those boxes, a life I thought I’d spend with Marissa until we were old and grey. In a way, I was grateful we hadn’t started a family yet.

    “Well, that’s that. I’ll be gone this afternoon.”

    She hugs me, then moves out of the room. I see the quiver in her lower lip. Someone knocks on the door and I greet my friend Tony. Between co-workers and friends, we have the moving truck loaded up and ready to roll in a couple of hours. I hug Marissa one last time, then get into my car to drive to my new apartment. Before I go, I take her picture off my dashboard. Maybe she isn’t real. Maybe the last five years were a dream. Tucking it into my wallet, I sigh. She’s real. And so is the heartache of leaving her.

    @Aightball
    496 words

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Pingback: #FlashMobWrites 1×12 : Breathe You In My Dreams | My Soul's Tears

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