Flash Fiction challenge: Trapped

A piece of flash fiction for Sacha Black’s challenge on the theme of Trapped. I called it Free, just to be awkward.

photo ©Roman Eisele




There used to be comfort in watching the river flow, the sun on the water, listening to the sounds, of birds singing and the wind in the leaves. I used to come here often when things weren’t going right, when words hung in the air between us and I needed to let them settle before I could face you again. Now you are gone, your words, harsh and gentle packed away or simply swept up with the dust of your passing. There was no more need to run to my hideaway for comfort, you said. No more tears to dry in the soft wind from the sea. I was free to be what I wanted to be, you said. No more constraints, complaints. I was free.

Sitting by the river, listening to the blackbird, nothing reaches me. I see and hear but it touches no nerve, sends no chord singing. I was free, you said as you set your sights on some far horizon where I would not be. But you closed the door on tomorrow, left me with the debris of a discarded past. The door is closed; the past a jagged, tangled, barbed mess. Free, you said. The word still rings in my head as I listen to the blackbird and hear only a reedy noise falling into the well at the world’s end.