250 word flash fiction inspired by the title “I don’t want to talk about my bunions!” A writing exercise with Ninette in France: 30.05.18.
Lisa fell in love with Paul one August night in 2009, in stonking heels – toes squeezed, balls of feet burning … with desire!
Wowed by her blonde curls, he had let her in. He knew the hot pink clashed with orange and the shoes bordered on the ridiculous, but she was someone he might cultivate.
Paul and Lisa got married. They bought a two up, two down which she’d tried to keep in order. Her blonde had soon faded to mousey-brown and the heels came off.
Perhaps it was her painful bunions that stole the sparkle from her eyes.
Paul used a secret code with Lisa to keep her in check. “Bunions!” he would say, and she would fall silent. She tried avoiding spending too much time and money on make-up, or coffee with Mary from No. 5. But eventually, Lisa started to listen more to Mary than to Paul.
One evening, filled with false bravado, Lisa waited for the moment when she would try out what Mary had been suggesting.
“Bunions!” Paul uttered his secret code, raising his eyebrows, expecting her usual compliance; for he felt she was laughing a little too loudly with Mary from No. 5.
Lisa’s hands shook. She knew this was it – the moment she’d been waiting for. She looked at Mary, who nodded and smiled. “Paul?” She spoke loudly and clearly just as they’d practised. She continued, “Paul, you have a very small penis. What could be our secret code for that?”
Writing focuses the mind and allows freedom of expression. So why not set yourself a challenge and have a go at your own flash fiction. You could open a book and pick out a sentence to start you off. Or ask someone to give you a subject. Or use the above and see what you come up with. The trick is, write, don’t edit, just write. If you like it, you can always polish it up at the end!
250 words – Go!
… oOo …
This Menopausal World
Tears cascading from the eyes of the lake
Into crystal drifts.
I wade, I wash.
I see my feet; gnarled roots beneath.
They have trod lightly, skipped even; and danced.
Run as a torrent – shoving, pushing great swathes
Out of my way.
Tired they stand, weak, aching, cold.
Sharp stones cutting deep; healed, scarred, torn again, and again, and again.
A Volcano, I steam with rage, cloaked in ice and tempered,
But how long must I wait?
Stark trees endure beneath me; former souls – petrified, twisted, beaten.
Ghostlike silhouettes, heated, frozen – standing the test of time …
I have spilled, I have birthed, I have presented
These mountains, these valleys, these lakes, these rivers
These trees, these trees.
My procreators, my ascendants, my offspring.
My celestial veil is lifted, and I see you creatures taking, taking, taking.
I am spent.
I am sleepless.
I am restless.
The lifeblood flows little from me now and I am tired.
And I am dry.
Venus scoops my ancient spirit and I am leaving.
Now is your time, your turn.
Pour out your richest, unfathomable beauty, not yet poured.
Rebirth your souls with agonising pain.
Present your highest, ephemeral spirits.
Let the crystal waters heal the wounds in your sagging stomachs.
Request the purist transparent purity.
Or lie naked in my dark, broken rage.
And forget me.
… oOo …
It was the sort of day when it was warm enough to sit outside, almost.
But too cold to open the windows.
And the chalky white hills seemed close enough to touch,
But were too far for climbing or sledging.
The wind gently blew the blossom on the apricot tree,
But chilled the bones of the old woman.
And the children in the garden ran with bare feet,
But the grass was too damp for picnics.
Spring flowers seemed ready for their underworld,
But lingered here still, with tender loveliness.
And scarves and gloves were packed away in attic boxes,
But umbrellas still stood in the stand, in the hall.
Neighbours chatted cheerily outside their houses,
But not for long, because their gloves were packed away.
And muddied puddles were splashed and stamped by toddlers,
But feet and socks, too soon, grew damp and cold.
Salads and sandwiches were chosen from shop shelves,
But soup still bubbled and spat in a pot on the stove.
And extra bedcovers were peeled back and thrown off,
But sleeping lovers lay close, for warmth.
Skies were blue, and clouds were white, not grey,
But days were short, and light soon faded.
And nights were long and mornings late,
And the sun sat low in the sky …
Yes, it was the sort of day when it was warm enough to sit outside, almost.
… oOo …