Friday, 26 August 2016

Flash fiction 17: Toes

This one was written for JD Mader's '2 minutes go' challenge on his Unemployed Imagination blog. Head over and write whatever you like. 

You can probably tell, from my lack of writing this year and, let's be honest, the last too, that I've got a writing block. I did a 6-week course recently to try to break it and began writing fiction again, but I've been lacking the dedication, inspiration and drive to keep going. I need a serious kick up the arse! I don't know if anyone reading this has experienced the same thing, but it's really not good. I've been starting to feel the writing itch lately and hope to get back into it - hoping the itch will stay a while. I know a block is all in the mind and you have to make time for writing. But anyway, here's hoping to get over writer's block... 

So, here's a little short something for JD's blog as it's one of the few things to give me an ass kick! :)


It doesn’t have to be this way. She said. To the lights dimmed to destruction. Graffiti thrown like a grenade to the wall. It’s the way. I know it. This year the summer never raised its eyes. Winter always. A cloud of grey, ashen hope. A dark reflection.

I cry in the same way as ever. This lie reverts in twists and scales, like a snake, a rebirth in the slant of the ache that wrestles me. My toes hover restless on this earth, the dirt seeming to melt beneath my gaze. It shifts, caressing my pale skin, spiky grass tickling. They seem out of whack, toes. Sticking out too far. My mother always says it doesn’t have to be, but they are. I can see them.

As I walk, the ocean grows. Salt bristles on my lips. I relish the sting of it, the knowing that I am and can always be, here, walking, beside myself, lingering to check my toes. Still there. A hair slashes my cheek and I giggle. The sound cuts the silence, yet the white birds cut it already, I know, soaring as they are, seeking to reach the cotton wool puffs of cloud, always slightly too far. Always out of reach.

I catch another hair, feel its texture between my fingers, let it slide away, and the summer I can reinvent in my head. Play with the idea until it’s here, as I do with everything I want, while my toes sting, almost turning blue in the cold. A seagull swoops, cries and soars, and I giggle, squinting at the dripping yolk of sun. 

copyright Vickie Johnstone, August 26, 2016