WV April Flash Fiction 2021
Mid-year break at uni, together with Melbourne's lockdown has slowed things down. What else to do but finally add my micro-fiction entries for Writers Victoria's round of April 30-word flash fiction. Loads of fun to participate in what has become an annual event. Fabulous support by our online community at Twitter. Here are my entries for each of the writing promts this year. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed putting them together.
April 1 #crease
Gathered together is how it should be. Gathered here is not how it should be. Breathing laboured, eyes closed, cool hand cradled in mine. Gentle squeeze. Brow creases. Flame extinguished.
April 2 #develop
Full of newly minted knowledge and enthusiasm, she stepped inside, eager to contribute and develop. But for the condescension and innuendo, she might have succeeded. Stifled and broken, she retreated.
April 3 #segmentation
Ollie stood folded over in the garden—transfixed, stroking the glistening earthworm.
‘What are those funny lines, Mummy?’
‘That’s segmentation,’ she said. ‘Nature's little rings. To say I love you.’
April 4 #blossom
Easter Sunday. Perfect timing. Clementine stood in silent awe, absorbing nature's majesty—the snow-capped cone of Mount Fuji, underlined by the breathtaking bounty of the magenta cherry blossom. Spectacular contentment.
April 5 #hands
They whispered to her through that ancient art, their ochre hands cradling a reverent past. An ancient people with no voice, urging her on. She would be their voice now.
April 6 #illuminate
Something shifted when they buried Archie. She purchased her days with sleep and her nights with needlepoint. Illuminated by candlelight and sorrow, she crafted his name on linen cloth.
April 7 #crumple
She'd been slipping for ages. Mercifully, she didn't realise.
'They've a place for you now, Mum,' I told her. 'You'll love it.'
'The nursing home?' she said. 'Her face crumpled.'
April 8 #renew
Charred landscape. Forest obliterated in a single match stroke. Only lifeless skeletons of silhouetted trees remain. But life refuses annihilation. Leafy green branchlets emerge from the blackened stalks. Life renewed.
April 9 #open
She was drowning in a deluge of grief for all they'd lost. Anger, with nowhere to unburden. Pain, with no way to heal. She risked opening herself. Freedom welcomed her.
April 10 #pop
She'd never needed this skill. Until now. Grandpa's terrified eyes bulged, his face blue. Terrified too, she braced her arms around his scrawny chest, squeezed. Out popped the rogue tooth.
April 11 #elaborate
She was already swallowed up by the elaborate maze of the justice system and its convoluted processes before the revelation landed. It wasn't really about justice—it was about winning.
April 12 #unravel
Most days she doesn't know who I am. But then there are days, like today, when the portal to her remarkable mind fleetingly loosens, and those precious memories eloquently unravel.
April 13 #manifest
She hadn't seen her son in a year. Now, with eased restrictions, he was returning—a 50th birthday surprise. She spotted his name on the tele—the doomed flight's manifest.
April 14 #scrunch
Scrunch, munch, mess. Smear, dribble, drip. Mia's chubby legs kicked wildly, her dimpled hands drummed the high-chair table. Her entire body delighted in chocolate crackle bliss—her first taste.
April 15 #consciousness
The merciless words dulled my consciousness. 'Brain dead,' they said. Too numb to cry, I took her hand, cradled it in mine. Squeezed gently. My heart leapt—she squeezed back.
April 16 #burst
Breathe. The earth below is cool. Comforting. Camping—my reset go-to. The firmament is ablaze with twinkling lights. Calm. A cosmic spark bursts, sprinkles the canvas of the night. Rejuvenation.
April 17 #learn
'Deaf?' The word reverberated like thunder heralding the storm. 'How will she learn?'
'Oh, my dear,' the doctor replied, 'these children of a higher God, they're the cleverest of all.'
April 18 #explore
She was wholly obsessed with exploring the minutiae of cells, how they work to give and sustain life. Yet, in her inimitable brilliance, she never came close to understanding herself.
April 19 #reveal
The endometriosis had taken so much—her wellbeing, confidence. Any chance of motherhood. She lay there, depleted, watching the screen. This time the ultrasound revealed something new—a little life.
April 20 #origami
The infant emerged, arms flailing, tiny mouth agape, drawing virgin breath. A tear escaped as he absorbed the awesome spectacle—his daughter unfolding the origami bindings of her sacred nest.
April 21 #expand
‘It's stuck, Mel… and you’re doing it wrong. Breathing in just makes you expand instead of shrink. Breathe out. All the way out. Then I'll try the zip again. Bingo!’
April 22 #emerge
Megalopyge opercularis—reclusive southern flannel moth. Dazzling furry fleece elicits the caterpillar curmudgeon, stings the finger that dares to stroke. Retreats into a solitary chrysalis. Emerges—gossamer wings take flight.
April 23 #unfurl
The pristine flag hoisted high above Capital Hill greeted the euphoric crowd. Unfurling in the crisp morning air, it proclaimed the new era—respect and equality for women. Speculative fiction.
April 24 #letters
Rain stippled the window pane, one day on from the wedding, when the letter arrived. Emmeline clutched it to her heart, sank to the bed. ‘Wait for me, my love.’
April 25 #unwrap
The weary soldier rested against the hard earth of the stinking trench. He wept at the sight of the parcel from mother—unwrapped it slowly, imbibing the scent of home.
April 26 #display
OMG, what a display! The accusing eyes of other shoppers burned Shelby. She retreated from the tantrum unfolding in the confectionary aisle, and the child at its epicentre. Her son.
April 27 #betray
Pippy’s tail wagged wildly. She yelped excitedly, her sparkling eyes mirroring her devotion. When Damo stopped the car, she jumped out, waited for him to follow. Puppies don’t understand betrayal.
April 28 #become
At ninety-nine, Nell contemplated the tapestried sweep of her long life. So much grief. So many learnings. The Velveteen Rabbit—old faithful—came to mind. Have I at last become?
April 29 #discover
She discovered something about herself that day—she had choice. And agency. She grabbed her coat and keys and walked out, slamming the door behind her. She would not return.
April 30 #unfold
It took until her dying breath for Lucinda to finally allow the decades old mystery to unfold.
‘Yes, I killed him. But if you only knew what he did. He … ‘