Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction: Pink Socks

Having just finished a big rewrite, I'm having a little trouble making myself focus on my new WIP, so here's a bit of Flash Fiction based on a picture. The prompt comes from +Flash Fiction Project, a community I enjoy run by +Becket Morgan.  

Pink? Really? He'd been in charge of the laundry for exactly one load of laundry and somehow he had managed to turn his socks pink. Raymond stared down at his feet in disbelief. Maybe they were more sort of orange. Somehow orange didn't seem as bad as pink.

He was pissed at pink right now. All the little pink ribbons he had worn in all the events his wife had wanted to go to hadn't really made any difference in the end had they? She was still gone. A name on a new scholarship fund for medical students and no more than that to most people.

It had been almost a week now. He had finally convinced his daughter to go back home and let him work through his grief alone. He had yet to return to work, but he knew he would. Soon. Really. Just not quite yet.

Right now, it was still hard to get out of bed, knowing that he wouldn't find Ellen in the kitchen when he got downstairs, waiting for him to make them both some eggs. He found himself unable to go to sleep at night, unconsciously waiting for her to come to bed.

He understood, of course. He wasn't an idiot. He knew that she wasn't coming to bed ever again. But what the brain knows is different than what the heart understands. Sitting down on the end of the bed, he pulled off the socks and tossed them into the trash can.

In the process, he knocked a book off the nightstand, on her side of the bed. Hesitantly, he bent to pick it up. He hadn't ventured into her side yet and had not allowed his daughter to disturb her things. The objects on the nightstand were still the same ones she used each night: her hand lotion, her chapstick, her cell phone charger, her stack of books to read.

The fallen book was a collection of poetry. She'd been fond of poetry at the end. She said it was short enough to hold in her mind even when it was fuzzy, and meaty enough to feed her in the silence. He would read them to her, when she asked, and often she would murmur along, having committed the words to memory long ago. He opened the book to one he remembered: "To My Loving Husband." She had read it to him often.

I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.

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