Sunday, April 1, 2012

LitStack Flash Fiction Challenge #7

Copyright Chris Galvin
Chris Galvin took this brilliant photo. Her blog is always a great read!

Just Another Saturday 

He traced the shape of a blunted arrow with his finger. The iron gate was covered in city dust, white and fine like plaster. The early morning sun felt good on his face. The humidity made it impossible to shake off the slight chill in the air. He turned to look behind him. He felt like he’d been waiting alone for hours. Seconds later, a sharp tap on his shoulder made him jump. There she was. “Hey,” he said nonchalantly.

“Hey,” she replied breathlessly. Her mischievous smile made this Saturday seem like any of the last hundred days they had spent going on adventures, eating candy, and talking about important stupid things.

“Did you run here?”

“Some of the girls wanted to say goodbye. I didn’t want them to follow me, but they’re all slow anyway.” She shrugged with an air of superiority. “You should take this,” she said, shoving something into his hand. It poked his palm hard and he flinched as he closed his fingers around it.

“You’re my best friend.” He hated himself as the words rushed out. His face felt hot. He examined the dusty flip-flops that were almost too small for him.

“Dummy, you’re my best friend too.” Just for a second, her face did something he’d never seen it do. She frowned. Tears gathered in her eyes, but she blinked them away and exhaled, sounding annoyed. She talked fast, as if she were reciting a poem at school. “I know I’ll be back even if it’s not soon. Grandma says life is long. We’re ten. Life is still really long!” She gave him an exasperated look, waiting for agreement.

He nodded, looking down at his feet again. Her red flip-flops shuffled closer to his. She threw her arms around his neck. He hugged her back tightly and whispered their unofficial credo as he let her go, “No one has more fun than us.”

“We’re still friends. No matter where we are.” He threw his arms out to punctuate the statement, and the ladybug pin slipped from his hand. It landed just inside the gate, but one of the wings was missing. His heart dropped into the soles of his feet. The broken wing had flown into the tiny space beneath the café’s inner door. They looked down at their found treasure and remembered how delighted they were to discover the wings opened when the antennae were pressed, revealing the broken clock inside.

He dropped to his knees and picked it up, half of the dead clock exposed. He rubbed it on his shirt and looked around frantically for a stick. “It’s okay. I can fix it.”

She shook her head. “Just leave it, Superman. It’s just like we found it.” Giving him one last hug, she turned and ran—fast—toward her house. As she disappeared around the corner, he looked into the closed café, then shoved the pin into his pocket and ran toward the other end of the city.

Please check out Chris Galvin's blog. She writes excellent flash fiction and poetry!

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