#Fridayflash Elsewhere

I haven’t managed to participate as regularly as I’d like in #Fridayflash for the last few weeks, but I miss it. This week I decided to set myself the challenge of writing a flash of 300 words, substantially lower than my usual. It was a fabulous exercise, especially in the final edit as I chose the words that really could go. The story has a common theme but see what you think.

Then there was the night we waited for the shooting stars. ‘I’d love to see an eclipse’ he said. He had a habit of letting his mind wander to the other- wanting something that wasn’t there.

When we cohabited he said we should have married in Gretna Green. When we moved into a house on the northside, he said the southside would have been better.He played the piano but thought maybe it should be the saxophone. When he made love to me he called her name – although I never corrected him. In the deli he wished he’d chosen the egg mayonaise instead of the chicken.

He was a teacher, it was the one thing he was sure of. He’d followed in the footsteps of his father. He leapt lightfooted through his lesson planning, felt that his marking was the marker for the rest of his students’ lives. The red squiggles and symbols were road maps for their future endeavours. He was firm, encouraging. The students loved him back.

We were having a picnic one day in the park. He wondered whether we should have gone to the beach instead. It was so hot. I longed for icecream. He leapt up suddenly and crossed the lawn. I was lying face down on a blanket. When I looked up I could see the lean, lissome torsos of long girls; long legs, long hair falling across the face. I lifted my head too late. I couldn’t see where he’d gone.

It said in the paper that he and a pupil eloped. I had a mental picture of him cupping her face with his long piano fingers and drinking her in. She was underage of course, the parents filed charges. He got a custodial sentence, in a prison elsewhere. He’ll never teach again.

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14 comments

  1. What an example of a life gone wrong. I think everyone doubts choices they’ve made sometimes, but this man never learned to feel his blessings. Instead, never being satisfied with his life, he crossed the line.

    Alison, in only 300 words, you told a very complex story. Loved it, great job! :-)

  2. I like to stretch myself as well, and word limits are a good way to test how fast you can establish or conclude something. Sticking to pure character is a good way to fill out these 300 words – nice job, Madame Wells.

  3. Alison, this is one of the things I admire most about your writing – that you can convey so much of a life in so few words. (The part of your writing I admire The Most is your description.) Wonderfully told story!

  4. I like how you build up the “grass is greener” story by the continual comparison mae. Then, in the end his desire for what is on the other side takes away the only thing he is sure of. Very good, really enjoyed it.

  5. You apologised in your comment on my story this week about the cliched representation of the teacher, but you needn’t have worried. Here it is deftly mastered as it makes his fall that much more spectacular. The betrayal of trust in both relationships is one thing that resonates with me very strongly.
    It’s a great piece and very carefully woven.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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