Four By Flash Piece 6: By The River

As I mentioned in this blog entry, I entered a Flash Fiction challenge despite a) Not having written Flash Fiction before, b) not really having time to enter such challenges and c) not actually knowing what Flash Fiction was. We’re now almost to the end of the first month of the challenge, and at a four piece per week rate, I should be posting the 15th or 16th piece by now,but reality intruded. Here’s the sixth piece. This one clocks in at 358 words, which fits in my stated goal of “300 – 500 words, hopefully closer to the 300 end.”

A little bit of background on this one. I’ve been the victim of an ear worm all day. i have had one lyric tuck in my brain and could not recall where it came from. That lyric was:

“I swear I left her by the river,

I swear I left her safe and sound.”

A little bit of checking tells me that the lines come from Hazard by Richard Marx, but I wrote this before listening to the song through.

By The River

I held Amelia’s hand as we watched the sunset dapple the skies of our own personal Garden of Eden in pinks and oranges. The colors reflected back at us in the meandering waters of the Nishnabotna River. She squeezed my fingers against my palm and sighed with content.

“Oh Jessica, I want to bottle this moment and keep it forever,” Amelia breathed.

“That doesn’t sound creepy at all,” I said, “but I agree with the sentiment.”

“Don’t be so damn cynical, for once in your life.”

“Alright, you win,” I said and mimed plucking the sun from the horizon and dropping it into my empty Corona bottle.

Amelia actually giggled at that, I swear. She maintained that no one over six years old actually giggled, but I know what I heard.

“Mom wants me back at the house before it gets too dark,” I said, “so I’m gonna have to leave. You want a ride?”

“Nah, I’ll walk. It’s only five minutes,” Amelia said. “Gives me enough time to do this.” Amelia embraced me and kissed the nape of my neck, grazing it a little with her teeth. She knew that drove me crazy. In a very good way.

With reluctance I broke away from her and got into my Mini. I watched Amelia walk to the edge of the little clearing and disappear from sight before starting the engine to drive home.

After dinner with Mom and a little TV, I made my excuses to go to bed. I sent Amelia my customary “Missing you already. Love you, babe” text message, deleted it in case Mom checked my phone, and went to sleep.

Mom woke me up at seven, and from the pallid color of her face, I knew something was wrong. Mom switched the TV to the local news. The graphic read “Teenager killed at local park,” and a body inexpertly covered by a sheet was being wheeled out on a gurney. No names had been released according to the reporter’s voiceover, but I didn’t need names. I saw the gold anklet wrapped around her leg. I had given it to Amelia for our six-month anniversary.


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