For the past four months I’ve been busy doing everything except writing. I’ve moved – twice – one apartment, one office. I’ve had a concussion. I’ve been working 70-80 hour weeks at my other office. So, as you can imagine, I’ve not had time for writing, but also haven’t had any energy for it.
But I’m getting antsy about it, so this morning, on my very rainy walk to work, I decided I would get back into writing by actually doing some writing. So here you go, flash fiction – a story in 500 words or less.
The Magic Garden, Sue
The rain sparkled annoyingly on the equally annoying blooms. They were beautiful, she supposed. Just not today. Or, more accurately, just not this year.
It had taken a single year for Sue’s life to fall apart. Everything that could go wrong, had done so, in spectacular fashion. Her lovely apartment had been flooded because some drunken idiot had gone into the hallway and turned on the water, the run-off turning her space into the equivalent of a bog.
The money she’d spent replacing clothes, rugs, furniture was money she’d put aside for the perfect vacation. Six months away from work in southern France perfecting her French so she could get a better job. No French, same old lousy job.
Her mother fell in love (lust, really) with yet another loser. Peter fucked her silly, then stole her diamond watch and the cash she kept in her bedside drawer, leaving her sobbing all over her daughter. Not because of the watch or the money, but because the love of her life was gone forever. Sue knew that love would be gone for a month or maybe two. Her mother would quickly find Peter #27 (maybe #28 as Sue had lost count a few years ago).
Sue lived her life in a way that was exactly the opposite to that of her mother. She had a rule about dating. She didn’t do it. Not any more. She’d dated a bit in high school, nothing serious. Sue’s money was her money, what little she had left of it.
So, instead of France, she wandered the neighborhood garden which had sprung up out full-blown over the past few weeks. The scent of the lavender transported her to France and she sat on the bench next to it and closed her eyes, lifting her face to the sun.
France. France. France.
Something tickled her nose, another aroma she associated with France. Cologne, she thought. Jean Paul Gaultier. Refusing to look, she just breathed in and remembered the beautiful men of the south of France.
A hand touched her cheek so softly she couldn’t help but smile. “Mademoiselle,” whispered a voice as rich, as warm as the breeze off the Mediterranean. “I couldn’t resist,” he said. “You looked so beautiful surrounded by flowers, as if you were sitting in a garden in Provence. You took me home.”
Throwing away all caution, she stood from the bench, their bodies inches apart, and raised her hand to his cheek, matching the one that remained on hers. “May I buy you a glass of wine?” she asked. He nodded, turning his face until his lips touched the palm of her hand. “Oui, mademoiselle. There is nothing I would like better.”