Life or Death

300 words? Evil. So. Evil.

Red Writing Hood

Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.

**********

Life or Death

She knelt in the soapy water, knees aching in her wet jeans. She stared down at the white kitchen floor.

It had been an hour, but it wasn’t clean.

She started again, methodically scrubbing the tile in front of her.

Top left corner, down the side, across the bottom.

It had to be right.

It had to be clean.

She pushed the rag hard against the floor, scraping her knuckles in the grout and gritting her teeth against the sting of soap on her raw skin. She rocked back onto her feet and fought through the ache spreading through her back. Darkness creeping in.

There was still a spot. She abandoned the rag and scraped with her fingernail. Imperfections would not be tolerated. She would have to start again.

Top left corner, down the side, across the bottom.

If it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t right.

And it had to be right.

A bead of sweat ran from the base of her neck to her waist.

Harder. She had to scrub harder.

In her mind, she saw the crash. The metal crumpled like paper, erupting into flames. Cars twisted. Faces cut by shattered glass.

People lying bloody and broken.

Flashing ambulance lights.

Death.

No. She wouldn’t let it happen. She had to make it right.

It wasn’t rational. There was no car. There were no people. But what if there were?

The breath caught in the back of her throat.

What if she was wrong?

What if she missed a spot?

She knew it was the OCD. But she scrubbed, because she couldn’t be sure that spotless tiles weren’t a matter of life or death.

**********

This is fiction based on reality.

It isn’t the OCD you see in Monk. Television shows you the cleanliness, but never the thought process. This is called flashing. For someone with OCD, it can feel very real. The magical thinking that you know is completely irrational, but you still feel compelled to do the ritual anyway, because if you don’t, the pictures in your head might come true.

My best friend still teases me about her all-powerful broom. I rarely sweep to prevent car crashes anymore. Though I did clean my door jambs before my niece was born. Just in case.

Thanks for reading! Concrit WELCOME and Appreciated! 

*Bobs

Advertisements

Giving In

I haven’t written fiction in years. But this character wanted to be written. So I obliged her.

Red Writing Hood

 The happy ending.

This week, we’d like you to write a scene that includes a happy ending – it doesn’t have to be the actual END of your story, if you’re working on continuations, but it should include at least one challenge for your hero to overcome.
**********
Giving In

Rumors by Neil Simon. Laughing until our sides ached and we gasped for air. Her hand on my bare back leading me out of the theatre. Electric. Dinner at that little Italian place, at a table in back. One plate. Two forks. A bottle of Merlot between us.

A perfect date.

Now we stood together outside my building. I wobbled, and leaned against the wall to steady myself. Was it the wine spinning my head, or just the anticipation of her touch? I couldn’t be sure. Either way, I was intoxicated.

“This was nice.” She said, smiling.

Her lips were the color of ripe watermelon, with all the same promise of sweet relief from the heat of summer. They would satisfy me.

Hungry.

Wrong.

I swallowed, tasting the acid of desire and guilt burning the back of my throat.

I shouldn’t. The two words danced through my head. Shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t need. Shouldn’t be drawn to the curve of her hips, the softness of her skin, the smooth velvet of her voice. I shouldn’t.

But I am, I thought. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to feel. My cheeks burned red. My fingers tingled.

“Jenna?”

I looked up. Could she see my uncertainty?

“Hey,” she said. She touched my shoulder and ran her hand down my arm until her fingers were tangled in mine.  “Where’d you go just now?”

I squeezed her hand and twisted her rings with my thumb.

“Away.” A smile crept onto the corners of my lips. “London. Rome. Paris. The Eiffel Tower. A little cafe at a table under the stars. Coffee and beignets.”

“Hell of a trip.”

“Yeah.”

The word hung in the space between us. Her eyes met mine and she pulled me into her.

“Yeah.” She whispered, her breath warm against my ear. Her lips traced their way across my cheek, brushing my skin and stopping on my own.

They were softer than I expected, smooth with lip gloss that tasted like cherries. Her tongue teased my lips, parting them and running over my teeth, pushing inside and becoming a part of me.

I shouldn’t.

Wild panic exploded in my chest. I ripped my hand from hers and pulled away.

“I can’t. I’m sorry, I can’t.” I shook my head and tears I didn’t know were there slid from the corners of my eyes.

She stepped back, her mouth still open showing where mine had been only seconds before.

“But… why?” Her words were tinged with rejection.

“Because…” I started, closing my eyes.

Because when I was eight, I kissed my best friend on the lips and she told me that it was wrong for girls to kiss other girls.

Because shame burned my cheeks as I stared at other women’s bodies.

Because I could still hear my father spitting words like dyke and fag, warning me about sin and abomination.

Because that abominable word — lesbian — felt warm and safe on my tongue, like a word that was already part of me.

“Because you’re a woman.” I said. Already I missed her arms wrapped around me. I could still taste her. I wanted her back and I hated myself for it.

“I thought that was what you wanted. I thought…” She stared hard at me. “Why the hell did you agree to go out with me if you didn’t want to date a woman?”

“I needed to know —”

“Know what?” She cut me off.

“If it was right.”

“And?” The softness in her voice surprised me.

I shouldn’t.

I should.

This time I reached for her, wrapping my arms around her waist and pulling her into me, until there was no space between us for my shame. Until her heart beat against my chest and her hands were in my hair, and she filled my senses, pushing out everything else.

I smiled, as a new set of images flooded my mind.

Her. Me. Sheets tangled at the bottom of the bed. Her hair tickling my stomach. The weight of her on me. The easy fit of our curves.

“Come inside, Amy.” I said.

**********

Thanks for reading! Concrit WELCOME and Appreciated! It really has been a long time since I’ve tried to write fiction. I need all the help I can get!

*Bobs