Sunday, March 05, 2006

feeling flash fiction friday

this is the first time since i started writing again that i'm putting something out there for the world to read without grims reading it first. but if i wait for him to get home i may change my mind, so i'ma post it while i'm still feeling ok about exposure.
big up jj for the fff set-up, and here goes:

The transom. I forgot the transom…it’d been used against me before, too. if you leave those alternate entries open then anybody can get in and take what they want from you. you’d think i’d know by now. if you leave any way in unprotected, somebody’s bound to sneak in, make themselves at home, make you feel all comfortable with them, then the next thing you know, you’re attached. and the next thing you know after that, they’re leaving with pieces of you in their pockets. you think you just need to lock your doors, but people are sneaky.
you’re going about your business and you meet someone. and you think you’re all locked up tight so nobody can get in, but he persists in talking to you. and your mother raised you polite so you respond, but immediately let him know you’re not an option. and he says, that’s ok, he just wanted to talk to you because you seemed interesting, different, mysterious, whatever. and he’s not trying to get in, but it’s a beautiful day and he just thought you might enjoy coming out to frolic in the front yard.
and you think, ok, he seems innocent enough, and if your company makes him happy, it’s not intruding on your space too much.
so you talk. and he talks. and you spend a little time out there with him. you remember how much you love being in your front yard with the sun in your face. and he seems ok with not being invited in. so you continue to play in your yard with him.
but then, you start making play dates.

it’s still innocuous, but you’re spending more time out in your yard with him, than holed up in your home spending quality time with yourself like you’d planned. and then you start forgetting to lock your house up as tight when you venture into the yard to meet him – after all, you’re not going anywhere, and he’s not trying to come in…
soon, he’s peering in through the splits between your curtains. he’s knocking on your windows under the pretense of helping ensure you’re as protected as you think. he’s your friend, and just wants to make sure you’re safe in there, all alone, when he’s not playing in your yard.
then one night, you’re in bed and hear a noise, and you jump, and he’s standing in your room, looking apologetic, but so sweet. you gather the sheets around yourself and ask him what he’s doing here and how did he get in?
and he says your transom was broken and he just wanted to let you know.
and you ask, didn’t he need a ladder to get in that way? and he smiles and apologises and says he was concerned about you so he brought one, and climbed in to make sure nobody else had snuck in and disturbed you. he half-thought he might need to scare off an intruder.
and it’s so endearing, his concern, and your mother raised you polite, so you offer him a glass of water, or hot tea, or whatever, and he accepts. you pull on your kimono and head for your kitchen, dragging him along by the hand so he can’t look around too much on the way. the kitchen’s safe. you can wait in there for the kettle to boil.
he inspects everything in your kitchen. touches each item. he loves it. it feels comfortable to him.
he also loves tea.
you sit with him, trying to relax, snatching glances over your uneasy shoulder at the rest of yourself, your home, while trying not to draw his attention to all of you suddenly exposed…
while the tea’s steeping, he asks for the tour, and your mother raised you polite, so you say ok. he’s safe, right?
you’re feeling vulnerable, but find yourself asking him to stay – after all, the transom’s busted and any stranger can get in. at least you know him, you can trust him, he’s your friend.
3 years later, he’s leaving, through the transom, the way he first came in, and as he wriggles through, something falls from his pocket onto your welcome mat.
you bend over to retrieve this last piece of him, and find the broken-off piece of the latch that’d been missing all this time...


walk good.

8 Comments:

Blogger Display Name said...

why? why can't I write like this? how do you manage to be emotionally evocative yet remain so succinct? very nicely done.

2:45 pm  
Blogger justacoolcat said...

I love the figuratives. This piece could speak about so many situations in life, I attached it to failed love.

Nice work.

5:30 pm  
Blogger chelene said...

I liked this very much. The fact that I'm not entirely sure of the context made it even better.

8:08 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

I'm in total agreement with coolcat, this has so many layers and subtexts going on, it's truly an amazing piece of work.

8:35 pm  
Blogger porchwise said...

A little slice of mixed emotion.

11:19 pm  
Blogger Terri said...

Wow, for some reason that made me want to cry.
That's a compliment, btw...

9:34 am  
Blogger James said...

Oooh, I liked how circular the tale was. People are not always what they seem, eh?

10:06 am  
Blogger angel said...

hmmm, makes you think doesn't it!

3:39 am  

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