Short Fiction ~ Jacqueline P Vincent
Honourable Mention - Strands International Flash Fiction Competition - 5
You dragged me here and left me. In the middle of winter and the coldest night on record. You pulled me out of the boot of your old silver Ford Escort and dumped my body by the rutted, overgrown track. You yanked my arms, rigor mortis setting in, the tenderness you showed me over that fated single coffee, had gone. You rolled me into the ditch. My new pale pink skirt torn, caught on a rusty edge where the rubber boot liner had long gone. You grunted with the effort. Your thick coat caused you to sweat, small droplets slid down your nose and bounced off my cheek.
It only took a few days for you to notice me. You passed me on the stairs and smiled. Your smile lit my day, a beacon in an otherwise lonely life. You said hello on a wet Wednesday after 6C had tormented me for an hour. You were encouraged when I smiled back. Let's go for a coffee you said, on Friday, when you walked me out after the last bell's shrill call. You wanted us to escape, from the grim, concrete, 70s centre of education, that was disgorging its current intake of youths. You knew I would say yes, you were used to picking the right victims. You flattered me that afternoon as we walked to your car. You sounded so interested in my family, or lack of, my friends, would they miss me? You nodded and murmured in all the right places. You allowed me to tell all my truths. You made me feel as if I was the only person in your world, you caused my heart to flip and sit in my throat. My feet, with their sensible brown leather coverings, weightless and fluid they floated on that short journey across the cracked, weed infested car park.
You could get away Saturday and meet me for coffee at the little café by the river. You knew I lived nearby, in my small basement flat, with a patch of grass big enough for a chair and a round table. You'd asked me. A freshly painted door leading onto the street, under the stone stairs of the floors above, no other access. The old thick walls muffled sound. These snippets from a dry, barren life, I'd eagerly told you, because you were attentive.
Like a desert storm, you had materialised into my life, drenched me, and like desert flowers, my dreams blossomed. Yet, this short-lived storm, as with all tempests, changed, and within hours those flowers, my dreams, and my life, you took, and discarded in a ditch, on a cold winter's night.
Jacqueline P Vincent lives in Galicia, northern Spain with her sainted partner, John, three cats and two horses. She loves writing, anything from six to 90,000 word stories, poems and travel articles. She has travelled extensively, often with a rucksack and a journal, or in a 1978 American Motorhome. She plays the Ukulele and is a member of the local Galego choir.