ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Friday, 25 June 2010

#Friday Flash Fiction


Today Belongs to Her

She lies in her bed with her eyes half open and watches as the room slowly fills with light, the rays gently patterning the gauzy curtains as they stir languidly in the morning breeze. She can hear the birds leaving their nests, flying free to welcome the new day, singing with joy and happiness.

Lately she’s become acutely attuned to morning sounds.

The day is dawning. Her final day. It belongs to her alone. How will she spend it? What choices! The day spa - a few hours of being pampered and blissfully zoned out? Or maybe she will go on a leisurely walking tour of her favourite haunts along the river – coffee at the Mary Ryan Bookshop café with Nessie’s delectable cakes, perhaps? Then along to the Caffè Club for a panino al prosciutto? After that, humm, back into the city for a sumptious French High Tea at the Sofitel? She reconsiders. Maybe a bit much for one day! she chuckles. But the first two choices are definitely doable.

She looks out the window. A glorious sunny day. Make the most of it my girl!

She dresses with care in her trendy Nike sportsclothes and snaps on the Colorado shoes that look like ballet flats but are actually trainers. Hair and make up done, she checks herself out in her full-length mirror, turning this way and that.

Not bad, she decides. All that exercise, healthy eating and vitamins look like they have paid off. In her reflection she sees a trim, well-cared-for figure. And a head of bouncy brunette curls. I’m going to be a rebel for once and not wear a hat, she decides. I want to feel the sun beating down on me, activating the life force. She grimaces. Pity about the curls, though. She brushes a little tear from her eye, shakes her head, takes a deep cleansing breath.

She throws her voluminous Louis Vuitton bag over her shoulder, averting her eyes from the smaller bag in the corner. She could swear that it looks accusingly at her every time she enters the room. Oh! Nearly forgot! She snatches the latest Anita Shreve novel from her bedside table. Altitude, she smiles at the name as she flicks the pages, maybe it’ll take me higher. She will read it over coffee. What bliss! She rushes out the door as fast as she is able, ready for her carefree adventure.

***
What a world this is! She sighs as she admires the sleek ferries making their way up and down the river, trailing their wakes behind them like long bridal veils. Maybe I’ll add a ferry ride to my agenda, she muses. She leans over the boardwalk rail, takes a deep breath and inhales the river smell - reedy, thick and brackish. She looks wistfully at a young family on bicycles, heading off on an adventure, chattering happily as they pump the pedals. The mother smiles at her. She nods in acknowledgment, smiling back. Tomorrow I am heading off on an adventure of my own, she whispers.
 


Tomorrow she will leave all this for another, entirely different world.

Tomorrow is out of her control. Tomorrow will be hospitals, doctors, nurses, orders, prodding, jabbing, false hope.

Whatever happens, today belongs to her.

The End

© Denise Covey 2010




28 comments:

  1. This is lovely. Lyrical and lilting. I really liked it a lot. :)

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  2. *long, thoughtful sigh* Just beautiful....

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  3. Very touching. You shape her world so beautifully.

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  4. I loved her sheer optimism. It may be that all the literary fiction I've been reading is founded on discontent, but this was refreshing for me.

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  5. Great piece of writing. I was thinking I wanted to be in her world - but then I got to the end and thought maybe not.

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  6. Hi,

    Lovely piece of writing!

    The image "clue" giving to sense of something deep in mind - nice touch!

    best
    F

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  7. Wonderful! You said so much about this character using so little.

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  8. Lovely writing! I particularly liked the description of the board walk and the river, then the young family on their bicycles.

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  9. sarahjayne, The Words Crafter, Melissalwebb, John Wiswell, Joanne, Francine, Aubrie, Christine: You are all so lovely to make such kind comments. I love that you love it..:)
    So maybe I'm learning to show not tell, Aubrie!
    Christine, I just added that bit about the boardwalk and bicycles as an afterthought. Don't know where it came from, but it works..:)

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  10. Lovely! So sad too.
    Beautiful imagery, as an ex-Queenslander I felt I was walking along the river in Brissie too!

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  11. Oh good, Al. Glad you recognised the places. You know what they say about all stories being autobiographical to a point! Thanks for your kind comments..:)

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  12. After reading the story once, the reader can look back and see she is facing the future with complete optimism. A well written story.

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  13. Alan: thanks for noticing..:)

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  14. Really love your descriptions. I was envious of this pampered character -- until I got the the surprise ending.

    Very well crafted story.

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  15. Thanks Lisa. I'm glad you were jealous of her for a bit..:)

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  16. Kinda romantic too, the way she looks at the coming day and all she wants to do. Just the right amount of sadness and optimism.

    A lovely scene.

    ......dhole

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  17. Thanks Donna. I like this lady..:)

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  18. wow. you had me hooked from the beginning. i found myself skimming so i could get to the end and find out why it was her last day.

    love the title of the blog and the combination of Aussie and Paris.

    thanks for stopping by beautiful chaos and following.

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  19. Lovely writing here. The foreshadowing with this line was terrific:

    -Pity about the curls, though. She brushes a little tear from her eye, shakes her head, takes a deep cleansing breath.-

    Welcome to #FridayFlash
    ~jon

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  20. Michelle, thanks for kind comments about my story and my blog. I really appreciate both..:) A pleasure to follow your blog.

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  21. Jon, thanks for the comments on my story. I really enjoyed my debut on #friday flash and will be looking forward to getting a story up each week if possible. Thanks for the follow on twitter also..:)

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  22. thanks for the plug for my blogfest.

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  23. Everyone needs those moments when everything else gets left behind.

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  24. Touching. I'm glad she got her day.

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  25. Missy Rocco: Thanks for reading and commenting..:)

    Peglet: Thanks for your comment...:)

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  26. Be happy when you can - such a great philosophy. A charming and sweet optimistic tale with a back-hint of fear. So well done.

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  27. Cathy, thanks for the comment..:)

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