Jackie over at Lights All Around has started a monthly writing meme where people share any type of creative writing around a prompt – on the first day of the month! And typical me, it’s actually an hour past midnight of the 1st in my timezone so I’m unfashionably late (shhhhhh!). Because Camp NaNoWriMo just finished, I was only able to whip up a really quick flash fiction with a lot of corners cut. I’m really excited to take part in Jackie’s Opus on 1st, because everyone needs to get some time away from their main project and I love reading works by fellow bloggers. I hope some of you will consider joining us next month. Check out Jackie’s blog for details!
Here comes my
completely timely piece for August’s prompt: yellow!
My frozen fingers ripped up another clump of dead grass. There was no breeze to scatter them. The chill was just there, hanging damp in the evening air and freezing the bottom of my jeans. My brother’s old pair. I had to cut two inches off the legs and couldn’t go out without a belt, but I didn’t care as long as they hid my new curves. Now I don’t even care about that anymore. It didn’t end up making a difference, did it?
“Yellow car,” he said again. When I continued to ignore him, he knocked the grass out of my hands. We watched them fall. Then I reached over and punched him.
“I saw it first, idiot.” I endured the punch he returned. They usually jarred but today my body was so cold and numb I hardly felt it. “You were crying, weren’t you?” he said after a while.
“Cry. It’ll freeze on your face.”
“Is that what happened to you?”
I looked at him. “You licked a pole?”
He shook his head. “Needed to pee. No toilet.”
“Gross. Get away from me.”
A car alarm went off a few blocks away. It went on forever until we heard someone swear and a door slam. A few moments later, the wailing stopped. “I don’t think that was his car,” I said.
“Might’ve been yellow.” He ripped up a fistful of grass. “Don’t see why you’re breaking them like that.”
“Do you remember that movie? The one with the flying house and balloons?” I knew he did. At least, he must remember how much I’d cried, how I ended up with ugly eyes the next day and spent the walk to school glued shamefully to his back. “We watched it in class last week. A girl said they didn’t just use one giant balloon because lots of little ones floated better.”
He rolled his eyes. He was always doing that when I talked about school. I wondered if I would feel like that when I entered high school. “That’s a dumb idea. They probably just wanted to make it look colourful and stuff.”
I was already too low to care about having my bubble burst. “It’s still the same. Even if you get the house up, it won’t go anywhere if there’s no wind.”
“What’s that gotta do with grass?”
“Dunno.” Maybe it wasn’t about the grass. Maybe it was about me and my brother, and him. Maybe I wanted to believe that we were getting broken just so we could get out of this place.
My brother got up and left without saying anything. The yard felt too big without him. I was so cold.
I don’t know how long it took for him to come back. Smoke heaved out of his mouth like he had been running. There was an old… thing dragged behind him. “What’s that?”
“Lawnmower. Dennis’. He said his old man got a new one so they don’t need this junk anymore.” He pulled it closer until it was right in front of me. I ran a finger along its side, and gave him a curious look. He shoved his hands in his hoodie pocket. “Cut all the grass you want.”
I looked back at the machine. It was so ancient I couldn’t imagine it working – and it didn’t, no matter how much my brother tried. I stood behind him as he wrestled and kicked at it, cursing under his breath. Eventually, I punched him on the shoulder. “What was that for?”
I pointed at the lawnmower. “Yellow car.”
He stared back at me. There was a smudge of grease on his pink cheeks. It stretched out when he laughed. I grinned. He shook his head. “Damn… damn straight it is.”
Don’t ask me why my flash fiction is never happy. I think my muse is secretly a sadist. But don’t tell it I’m onto its trail.
Visit Jackie’s own Opus and be sure to hop around to other participating bloggers. A pinch and a punch for the first day of the month!