The Final March

Sketch of boots and ant to illustrate a microfiction story

The golden days of summer picnics with sweetly scented jam, crusty bread, cold slices and chilled fruit platters live only in our memories – a clear line in our collective consciousness separating time before and after the incident we refer to as The Final March.

The chemical weaponry disoriented many of us, sending the synchronised beat of our hearts off kilter, heady toxins muting all our sensory navigational cues. Only some made it back to the nest where we now reminisce about the old days and remind our young to give the big house a wide berth as we continue what our ancestors have done for millenia.

We hush and tread softly when within sight of the place of carnage, paying our respects to generations wiped out at the callous hands of the then new owner. Marching in single file, we lift far more than our weight.

“No such thing as a free lunch” he’d huffed, but the cost of that meal was an exorbitant act of insecticide.

 

This story has lived in my phone’s memo app for months. It was time to release it. I may add an illustration at a later date.

First published July 19, 2017. Illustration added August 8, 2017.

Advertisements

Eternity

Photo of a cat walking along a port microfiction prompt sonya's three line tales, flash fiction
Photo by Timothy Meinberg

Slinking with a swagger,

he’d dressed right for every occasion:

dappled patches for climbing trees,

streaks stripping paint from balancing beams,

sunburst polka dots of little girls

who dared come close,

and at home in the hessian tones of the captain’s embrace.

 

Content in all his coats save for the blues of the glistening sea-

he’d failed to shake those drops off when disembarking number nine.

 

Aquatic hues

haunt the patina of his bronzed likeness,

unravelling his immortal coil between the

here

and

there;

he never sleeps- perchance to dream and lose his footing.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 70 and after the initial concept, inspired further by a ferret down an online rabbit hole that made me stumble and trip on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I do not claim to have read Hamlet in its entirety but was pleased with how parts of his soliloquy worked with my idea.

Crayon Chameleon

Photo of colourful macarons used for a creative writing prompt microfiction/flash fiction for Sonya's three line tales
Photo by Baher Khairy

The silent assassin, a chameleon with a saccharine smile, gracious only in affording her victims their choice of poison. Salivating, they were lulled into a false sense of security with the crayon hued assortment. Nostalgic for the colours of their youth, their mouths moved of their own volition, each bite leaving tell tale crumbs of life’s gradual erosion.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week Forty Four. 

Sound Proof

photo by Steven Wei, used to as a wirting prompt for a three line tale. City towers photographed from the ground up, looking to the sky
Photo by Steven Wei

Gravity’s forceful insistence on my descent was greater than my life force’s argument for preservation.

Like a leaf that had relinquished a connection to its tree, I was floating; perhaps gracefully to onlookers in the towering blocks, a speck in the vast air, screams unheard through glass and concrete.

There was no replay of life in my mind’s eye, neither unpleasant memories nor nostalgic recollections, so I turned to change my view and watched life receding from the sky.

 

Well, one thing led to another and here I am posting in response to Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week Thirty Two.

Transit

Photo of a rainy view through a train window- prompt for a flash fiction story three line tale
Photo by Wilson Lau

The carriage was full, travelers standing with shoulders, backpacks and elbows pressed, a carnival of scarves and beanies as the game-attending crowd created jostling hues of their allegiances.

With the approach of their stop, the ebb and flow of chatter reached a crescendo of deafening laughter and chanting, morphing the game crowd into a single organism, leaving Elise feeling even more alone on what was for her a milestone journey.

Replaying the moment in nightmares and obsessive thoughts of waking hours, she hadn’t imagined the station being a welcome sight, but with the crowd’s departure, there was momentary relief in tears no longer forced back by a levee of laughing eyes, blurring the tracks and trees like rain streaking the window, her sobbing gasps filling the void they’d left as the train crawled past the spot marked by cellophane and ribbons of a bouquet long gone.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 18

Splitting Heirs

Frayed oraange rope, writing prompt for flash fiction
Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet

She always said family is strengthened by sticking together through life’s twists and turns.

As the matriarch, she’d kept us close with her stories, recipes that could not be recreated by anyone else, and hugs that spoke volumes where words failed to capture the nuances of shared joys, sorrows, or more often, everyday moments that would have otherwise gone forgotten if not infused with her love.

Now her home spun twine is unraveling, edges frayed from the tug-o-war over everything she’s left behind.

a life quest of love

ties woven in her heart’s loom

pulse of the bloodline

cardiac arrests the rein

a legacy unravels

 

Prose inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales, Week 17, tanka inspired by RonovanWrites’ Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #98 (quest, rein).

After coming up with the title, I looked it up to see if one of the other 7billion people on the planet had thought up that combination. Yes, apparently not much original thought remains (I’m kidding), there is a film of the same name that has received an 8% rating on rotten tomatoes, ouch! Have you seen it?  Would that rating stop you from watching it, or would you happily put aside 1 hour and 27 minutes of your life for a little Rick Moranis?

What Remains

I held the glass before my eyes…

…and wrapped my fingers around it as she had done, awkward angles with my longer fingers bent to conform as I melded our fingerprints, briefly smudging reality, her hand in mine in her final moments.

 

This vignette begins with the opening phrase from hbhatnagar’s Two Phrase Story #38. It was fun using that line as a point of departure. Give it a go, inspiration will strike!