#167 Shattered

by Kathryn S. Renta

“Where will you go?” she asked sullenly. She placed the letter she hadn't been meant to read on the coffee table between them.

The afternoon heat pulsed through the tiny apartment, robbing them both of the will to speak. The fact that he wasn't coming back contributed to the sluggishness of their discourse. “I’m not sure yet,” he replied.

She sank into the faded couch and hugged her knees, staring at the ugly, patchwork curtains they’d bought together. He squirmed and glanced out the window. Both of them were dreading and longing for his departure.

“I’ll miss you,” she murmured so quietly he almost missed it.

“I’ll miss you too,” came perfunctorily, as if he was pressured into saying it.

They both lingered where they were, paralyzed by what they couldn’t say. They itched to be elsewhere, yet they were loath to move and break the spell of time. The only things that seemed real to her were the couch and the warm breeze wafting through the curtains. She felt as faded as the couch.

He sighed, leaned over to pick up his duffle bag, and grabbed his car keys on the way out. As she watched the door close quietly, a single tear slid down her cheek. Reaching over to the table, she picked up a cigarette and lit it.

As the explosion from the street below shattered every window in the building, she whispered to the empty room, “Not enough. . .”


Sam Knight said...

Awesome! I love it. I love the feeling and emotions you've captured, and I love the end.

Anonymous said...

Very well done indeed. I believe that your final piece reflects a carefully written and potent piece of flash fiction. BRAVO!


Kathryn said...

Thank you, Sam! I'm honored by your reaction. I may hit you up for a beta read when the next story is ready. Interested?

Guy Anthony De Marco said...

Great piece, I particularly liked how you tied the emotion in with the room. It gave that last line far more impact. Remind me not to mess with you ;)

Kathryn said...

Thank you so much, both for your praise and your input. You truly helped me refine into something better than it was.

Kathryn said...

Thank you, Guy!!! I'm all bark and no bite, really! I must give Quincy some credit, for planting ideas in my head. But the tone & verbiage were all me. ;) I truly enjoyed writing this piece.