Occasionally I get the urge to write a bit of flash fiction. It's a quick and deceptive medium where a lot can be packed into a thousand words or less. The general premise behind it is that you take a photograph and write a story around it.
My favorite flash fiction writer is Sippican over at Sippican Cottage. He published a book with nothing but flash fiction last year called The Devil's in the Cows which is damn near perfect. It is a fascinating read if for nothing else than to marvel at his prose.
Any-hoo enough about him. Here is a bit of flash I wrote recently to limber up the old writing muscles as I attempt to finish my second novel. If you like it check out some of my traditional fiction at Amazon.com here and here.
How I got here, I don't rightly know. The steps taken in life's journey seem insubstantial at the time, but when you reflect…
I have a son, probably 15 or 16 by now. Can't remember his middle name. Ain't that something? I can't even remember my son's middle name. Something like Robert or Ray maybe. Not sure where he is now. His mother up and left 4 maybe 5 years ago. Thought about tracking her down, but what's the use? If someone don't want to be with you there ain't no changing their mind. 'Specially after so many years. I'd like to remember my son's middle name though, that'd be nice.
I got myself an appointment tomorrow down at the 5 and Dime on Main and Market. The manager's name is Carl. He'll let me treat him to lunch then brush me off like the last time. And the time before that come to think on it. I don't mind so much. Found if you don't take it personally it don't hurt so much. Still does though - sometimes.
I got a gal over Burlington way. She's not pretty, has a kid too but we don't talk much. Just there to scratch each other's itch, I reckon. Hardly ever spend the night. Just two souls with nothing better to do and no one better to do it with. Her name's Sal, short for Sally I think, not sure what her kid's name is.
Been on the road all my life. Selling brushes, detergent and other nonessentials out of the trunk of my old Buick, one town after another. There was a time when I thought all this had some meaning, a purpose, if you will, but the Road done beat that notion out of my head long ago.
I like selling stuff. Even stuff I don't particularly like. I'm good at it, or was when I cared, but that was a long time ago too.
I'm happy enough right now, though. I got a fresh pack of Luckies and heading out to that new bar I saw coming into town. It says 'new' on the sign but I know it's just like all the others. Filled with people just like me. Waiting - just waiting for something, but none of us knows for what. I'll sit with them, listen to their stories, offer a few of my own, none of us very interesting - but it helps - it helps to pass the time while we wait.
Maybe tomorrow I'll remember my kids name. That'd be nice, I think. Sometimes, I even hope he'll remember mine, but not often.