Simple pleasures

I wasn’t going to take up this dverse challenge because I really couldn’t imagine any situation where anyone would say: you will love again the stranger who was yourself. I’m not even 100% sure I understand what it means.

Anyway, I did it, a 144 word flash fiction from the Eric Morecambe school of literature—all of Derek Walcott’s words are there, just not necessarily in the same order.

 

I never wanted to see you again. Love given and tossed away will have that effect. I used to think I knew you inside out, but you became a stranger, to me as well as to yourself. I never knew who was pulling the strings—you or some deity having fun with us.

It’s been weeks. I’ve stopped counting the days. Your face still shines out of every man’s I meet, his features morphing into yours. Even though I’ve changed jobs, changed address, I still dread bumping into you. But a message from Brenda in my inbox made me smile.

She said you’d been into work with a big bouquet.  When she told you I’d left, your face crumpled, your whole body sagged—like cancelling a kid’s Christmas. You turned in silence, head bowed, abandoning the flowers at reception.

I hope they were expensive.

 

 

 

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Simple pleasures”

  1. I haven’t stopped laughing yet at the Eric Morecambe school of literature! I love your take on the prompt, Jane. I especially love the bitterness in the final line.

      1. It sounds like one of those sayings I read on twitter, one-liners that are supposed to make you sit up and say, oh, that’s so very true. I shouldn’t mock. If I don’t get it, it says more about me than the poet.

      2. I don’t mind ambiguity if it’s not trying to be something it’s not. I have to say I did not read the entire poem, so as not to have it influence what I wrote, so I can’t speak about the context. That might make it clearer.

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