A few weeks ago I was desperate to get myself out of my funk. Now, don’t get me wrong, funk is good stuff musically but not when applied to writing mojo. For a writer, a funk is totally unfunky. A typical writing practice to unfunk yourself is to just write any old thing. To write and not worry about what it is. Journal, write in your diary, just plunk your hiney down and write. BIC,FOK (Butt In Chair, Fingers on Keyboard – not as fun as what it sounds when you say it aloud and quickly.)
But we all know that I’m not good at un-purposeful activities, or at least the stuff that doesn’t feel purposeful to me. (Yes, this is a failing of mine. I don’t recommend it. Life at full-scphinter lock is not as much fun as it might appear.)
So I decided I would write some little piece of fiction based on a prompt my husband would find for me out in the interwebs. I’ve no idea how these will turn out aside from the following rules:
- I am given a prompt which will appear in some place within the story.
- The story will be a piece of fiction.
- I’m limiting myself to ten minutes to create these pieces of fiction. This means they will be largely unedited. In other words, these will be the raw sewage of my mind, spilled out for you. Hopefully they won’t be utter drivel.
And so, with no further ado, here is my first stab at Flash Fiction. In the future, there won’t be this heading, just the good, er, stuff. Hopefully, you’ll keep coming back dear readers.
You make me crazy / I miss you / You are all what i need / ❤ / -Somewhere, Somewhere
The airport smells like comfort and fear, excitement and exhaustion. Cinnabon, hundreds of colognes and perfumes, sweat and baby spit up. It is all here around us, but all that is just like the noise surrounding us too. Just the two of us, caught up in this storm but you and I are good.
I straighten the collar of your uniform I ironed just last night. I hate ironing these things, but I love how you look so proud, so strong in it. Until you get home, I’ll refuse to touch the iron, will ignore the board hanging on the back of the laundry room door. Because if I look at them, I’ll think of this moment when I have to say goodbye to you one more time, for one more tour to that land of sand and storms.
Then your lips move and I stop listening to the chatter of my mind. Stupid me, thinking of ironing when I need to be thinking of you, everything about you. Sealing this moment for forever, just in case it must last for forever.
“Babe, I’ll let you know as soon as I land. We go through Germany again this trip, so it’ll be awhile. Go out with your friends, have a couple of beers. Get good and drunk and before you know it, I’ll be calling you.”
“I know. I will,” I say against your chest as you pull me against you tight. You tuck your hand into my back pocket just like always, squeezing my butt. But instead of fussing at you for grabbing me in public, I slide up on my toes and kiss you so you don’t forget to come home to me.
And then it’s time for you to go. Again.
I stand there on the sad side of the security gates, watching you weave your way away from me and towards your duty. Your id, your bag, all of you going through the detectors. Just past the TSA, you turn and lock eyes with me. Your right hand comes up, not in the flat hand of a salute, but in a closed fist that you tap against your chest three times. Then you turn on your heel just how the Marines taught you and disappear down the tunnel with the rest of the travelers.
Back in short-term parking, I open your truck’s door and climb in. When I sit, something crinkles. I feel the seat, then rub my pocket. Your note, in your crazy handwriting I’ve teased you about for all these years, is bold against the paper you tore off the pad we keep by the phone. You wrote the words in the shape of a box around a heart. You make me crazy / I miss you / You are all what i need / ❤ / -Somewhere, Somewhere
I allow myself a good cry, my head against the steering wheel. Then I put the note back in my pocket and put the truck in gear.
As I drive away from the airport, a jet roars overhead.
“Come back to me. I’m right here, right here,” I whisper to the vapor trails.