WV April Flash Fiction 2020

Thanks to Writers Victoria for keeping April Flash Fiction running again in 2020. It's been a fabulous diversion during lockdown in Melbourne, encouraging creativity and providing a welcome opportunity for continued interaction with our wonderfully supportive online community. Here are my April entries this year.

April 1 #eyeball
Footsteps out front make me shiver. Rat-a-tat-tat. On stockinged feet I slide across the boards. Safe behind the door, through the peephole I eyeball the interloper. Food parcel. She’s gone.

April 2 #concentrate
concentrate: verb; paradoxical concept of over saturating substances or persons; demography of inserting 33,600 inmates into accommodation blocks designed to bed 19,600; synonym: death sentence; source: encyclopaedia of Auschwitz-Birkenau

April 3 #intense
Miranda collapsed into the seat. Throbbing head, eyes swollen, she stared ahead. ‘Pleeease, Mummy, don’t go.’ She assessed her scrubs, despised now. Unbearably intense. Engine. Gear slammed. She roared off.

April 4 #blur
‘The print is just blur,’ I said. ‘The LCD screen’s faulty.’
‘Have you had your eyes checked?’ she asked.
Laughing. Indignation. Self doubt. An eye test.
‘You need glasses, Madam.’

April 5 #hocuspocus
Old Odin trudged into the village. Forty days of bush retreat—he felt cleansed. But something was wrong. Eerie silence, empty streets. ‘What is this hocus-pocus?’ he asked of no-one.

April 6 #blind
Driving lesson with teenager. Just us. Not stopping anywhere. Not seeing anyone.
Issued a ‘breaching restrictions’ fine. Fails the pub test.
No-one more blind as those who refuse to see.

April 7 #hazy
All night she kept vigil on the bitter pier. Dead cell - an omen? Peering through the hazy morning, she saw it. A silver sliver emerging from the mist, arms waving.

April 8 #mirror
The child stared in awe. ‘The Himalayas,’ his father said. ‘Haven’t seen that since I was a boy.’ Then pointing to the mirror of the still lake. ‘Look, its twin.’

April 9 #crisp
Another call. The break-up dance continued. Did she still love him? She couldn’t tell anymore. ‘Let me come home,’ he pleaded. ‘I love you.’ The crisp silence delivered her verdict.

April 10 #lens
The world’s been stifling. Until my toddler in the garden. Through the lens of her curiosity I find wonder. Warm sunlight. A flower’s scent. Dragonfly angels. Dandelion tufts. Infectious joy.

April 11 #myopia
This is worse than you imagine, the doctor reiterated, adjusting her glasses and shaking her head at the data. I may have myopia but you’re the one who cannot see.

April 12 #converge
An abundance of time shared under one roof proves too much. Too much raw emotion. Intensity. Their disparate needs finally converge in a singularity of fiery battle. Fatal. For her.

April 13 #sharp
Max withdrew a small, colourful sphere. He held it to the light, relishing its brilliant sheen. ‘Open wide!’ he teased. The baby contorted at the sharp sting of pickled onion.

April 14 #bullseye
Billy’s first dissection. He wasn’t sure how he felt. Curious. Icky. Ms Templeton plopped it on the newspaper. ‘Whoa,’ he exclaimed, ‘mother-of-pearl in the bullseye of the bull’s eye!’

April 15 #glasses
‘Are you ready?’ Dr Casey whispered, withdrawing the Petri dishes from the incubator. She examined them with insatiable wonder. Awesome glasses, she thought. Mysterious cradles of life. Ready for transfer.

April 16 #peripheral
My central vision is seriously deteriorating. Myopic! But my peripheral vision is on fire - otherwise hazy details fit together bringing the big picture into sharp focus. It’s all about seeing!

April 17 #vague
‘I can do it myself!’ Mum’s indignant. She wants to bake. Thinks she still can.
‘I’ll help. Cookies, right?’
‘Cookies?’ she says, her eyes vague. ‘It’s wartime. No sugar, love.’

April 18 #laser
Camping in those mountains… big mistake! A bright light barrelled through the pitch sky, then hovered overhead. Scorched by his laser eyes and fiery breath. Obsidian. Guardian of the Kingdom.

April 19 #drift
The typhoon killed so many on Pingelap. But not the chief. The chief with achromatopsia! Numerous children and 245 years on, colourblindness is over-represented. Genetic drift. Imagine that—in greyscale.

April 20 #spotlight
Fading light prevails, ignites again. Shines a spotlight on the helpers, helping them. Light, like love, echoes, warms him too. Such are the mightiest superheroes. Humble. Captain Tom Moore. RESPECT.

April 21 #sway
In the midnight quiet, when only the night nurse still stirs, Albert and Adeline move in gentle step. Against the soft moonlight, they sway to imagined music and long-lived love.

April 22 #centre
In my dreams I wander still, to distant cafes, imbibing cappuccino and breathtaking views. And become lost in my book. But now I’m just lost. Discombobulated. Need to centre. Meditation.

April 23 #read
What to do? Where to roam?
Forbidden fruit, stay safe, stay home.
The world’s in fallow; strange times, indeed.
Let’s curl up on the couch and read.

April 24 #measure
It’s a tough choice, Son. But always remember, the measure of your character is determined by your decisions when life is difficult and bumpy, not when it’s easy and smooth.

April 25 #rivet
‘Must frogs live near a river?’ India asked.
‘Well, near water, yes,’ her teacher replied.
‘Is that why they say “rivet”’?
Ms Templeton stifled a giggle. ‘You mean, “ribbit”!’

April 26 #clarity
She disregarded the first signs, things that didn’t make sense. Eventually, she challenged him. Of course, she believed him—until death, they’d promised. Now, his unguarded phone yielded clarity.

April 27 #distorted
The child stared at the distorted stump, grotesque and frightening. ‘What happened?’ she dared. Old Stan liked to tell it straight. ‘Chainsaw misunderstanding,’ he said. ‘Then snoopy Snoopy scoffed it!’

April 28 #gather
Once she rises, the farm animals lift their heads, follow her sweet scent adrift on the morning air. The unfenced and untethered gather around her—shadow her. Little Miss Dolittle.

April 29 #fixated
Isolated, they said. Fixated. A loner. That’s not how she saw it. She was never alone. Surrounded by her exquisite collection of beetles and butterflies, she felt connected, enlightened. Complete.

April 30 #focus
Taking tight hold of Ned’s wild mane, I contemplated the fence. ‘We can do it,’ I whispered. ‘Focus!’ Together we took flight, the scent of freedom urging us on. Victory!