Unlit Sticks

Flash Fiction by K. S. Moore.

The tractor scores bright lines in the field.  Four bales of silage already loom, great barrel-shadows with a sheen of their own.

Tractor.I hide behind glass and a dark house that has brought out the black in me.  It is June and I’m about to light the fire. The house needs a fire. It’s old, heartless, permanently on pause. I assemble the timber. The phone rings.

I wonder whether to wash my hands.  So many creatures in the garden . . . I’d be a fool to think they hadn’t scurried over my kindling.  I worry about the germs spreading, imagine them skipping from my hand to the receiver, leaving a trail of risk.  I’ll wipe it later.

“Is Mrs Wall there please?”

I’m not a Mrs, I’m a Miss, so I shake my head until I remember to speak.

“There’s no Mrs Wall here.”
“Are you sure?”
Of course.

I hang up, turn on the television.  It releases a jangle of sound and I wonder why I even own it. It’s not as if I need the company.  I have Lana.  She turns her key in the door.  Clicks into place.

“Any phonecalls for me?”

I shake my head.  This house has taken all my words.  I cannot find them, even as she runs from a rotten marriage.

“I thought . . .”

I never discover what the thought was.  It is lost as her handbag slips from her shoulder to her wrist, triggers a sigh and sit down at table.

Neither of us makes tea, meets eyes.

The fire is just unlit sticks.

© K. S. Moore 2014

Note: I hope you enjoyed reading this piece of flash fiction.  I decided to post it in honour of National Flash Fiction Day, this Saturday, June 21st. 
Photo credit: TumblingRun / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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