Flash Fiction: Soap-White



She assumes her position at the sink, everything greasy from the day’s befores. She scrubs at silver insides; the eternal circle from clean to unclean. The water pounds in and she thinks of the river; a rat’s tail – just the tail, moving through rushes.

She shuts out the image. Work to do. But the water has grown a body – the soap-white silhouette of a mermaid. Years ago, she would have run to Mother, to share her fanciful thoughts. But Mother is in England, her head nodding with the past.

The mermaid contorts, becomes a snake. Another opportunity lost.

K. S. Moore

An active imagination can make magic from the most mundane of activities, and soap bubbles are notoriously enchanting to children and dreamers, (which must make me a dreamer, or child at heart)! This 100 word story is inspired by fairy tales and by our capacity to believe.  It also has a darkness about it, in that the heroine of the story is alone with her thoughts and witnesses the sudden transformation of the mermaid.  I don’t think this means hope is lost, but this person needs to make a change soon, if they really want to escape a bad situation.

Working with a small number of words has its advantages and disadvantages.  Brevity encourages discipline, but does not allow for much plotting or character development.  To compensate, the language and essence of the story have to be very strong.  Like any form of writing, it’s worth practicing until you develop your own style.  I find these short pieces make a positive start to the day.

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