A Black Night (Flash Fiction No.1)

By Deborah Rickard

The hairs on my arm lift with the breeze; a haunting breath from the open window carrying night-scented stock from the black-shrouded garden. I smile, a self-indulgent smile, and submerge myself in the memory of his touch, his soft caress and his silken words whispered in my ear; “I love you.” I hear his murmured promise; “I’ll never leave.” And beneath the cool cotton of the duvet, I wallow in the cashmere wrap of love.

I allow myself another indulgence and pull my arm back beneath the downy lightness and let my fingers meander across the mattress, slide over the sheet and negotiate the rucks and runnels made by our loving. My hand reaches the cold outer edges of my world.

He’s not here.

My eyes snap open. But it doesn’t help. The night is black, and besides, I know. I lie and listen, motionless. I strain my ears.
Nothing.

I sit up and turn on the light. It doesn’t help.

And then, the flick of a switch. Or was it the snitch of a latch? A cool breeze runs along the narrow hallway, lifting the hairs on my arms.

He’s gone.

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23 Responses to A Black Night (Flash Fiction No.1)

  1. laradunning says:

    This is sad and spooky at the same time.

  2. Sad but ooh I do like this. Beautifully written.

  3. Beautiful and sad. It’s really heart-breaking how she keeps trying to pretend.

  4. Rebecca Emin says:

    I really love this, Deborah. You should join in with #fridayflash if you fancy it.

    http://madutopia.com/blog/fridayflash/what-is-fridayflash/

    • Thank you for your lovely lovely comments Ruchira and Rebecca (sounds like a good title for a book!). I think I’ve posted this on Friday Flash but I had a few technical difficulties (“myspeak” for I’m a wally at this sort of thing).

  5. Claire King says:

    Really evocative piece, very nicely done!
    Sent you a DM about a hanging participle that I stuck on at first, although when I read aloud it made perfect sense.

  6. Thank so much, Claire. I didn’t notice that. I’ve had a fiddle and ended up putting a semicolon in. Hope that makes it better! I’m so pleased you like it.

  7. barb says:

    So much happening in this short piece. Already, I’m sympathetic with the main character!

  8. Mandy says:

    Really loved this Debs! A great first #fridayflash! It has so many interpretations. Is she reliving the memory of a lost love, or has he returned home to his wife? Great writing and in so few words. Looking forward to more! xx

  9. Very evokative! I suspect many of us have ‘been there’ too & know the feeling. I have to say it took me by surprise to read a suggested related post entitled ‘Captain Jack’. I read it out of interest; similar theme, but possibly a fantasy inspired by a certain J. Depp (unless there’s something you’re not telling us?)

  10. Loved the evocative atmosphere. You certainly have a way with words.

  11. Chuck Allen says:

    I love the feeling this piece evokes. I think the others captured it – sad but beautiful. The image of her hand reaching the “cold outer edges” of her world was great.

  12. I have to agree, this is beautifully written, and quite charged emotionally. Very nice debut, and welcome to Friday Flash.
    ~jon

    p.s. I fixed the link in the listing. Sorry about that.
    ~j

  13. Aidan Fritz says:

    Great images! I particularly liked the opening that pulls you into the story.

  14. Thanks again, Jon and Aiden. I must say, I’m really loving #FridayFlash. Now I’ve got to try and keep it up! 😉

  15. alisonwells says:

    Hurray Deborah! Delighted you are doing #fridayflash. I loved this from the outset, the first line drew me in right away, beautiful writing. The whole piece is like a light breeze up until the moment he slips out of the door. I love the snitch of the latch bit. The only thing that stopped me in my tracks a little was the ‘This is forever!’, wasn’t sure I believed a guy would speak like that. Other than that I thought this was an altogether lovely piece.

  16. Oh Wow, Thanks Alison! And also thanks for your detailed reply. Funny you should say about his ‘This is forever!’ I recall it flashed through my mind as I wrote it that it was a tad ‘false’ but strode on, thinking I would readdress it. I never did, and it obviously merged into oblivion! You’re right though. Thanks again. (N.B. I’ve changed it to ‘I’ll never leave’ now).

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