Friday, November 18, 2011

"Abandoned Items" (Call & Response Flash Fiction #2)

Hello and welcome to the second installment of my "Call and Response" Flash Fiction series where my readers suggest prompts and I write a story based on my favorite prompt. This week, the prompt was a photo by Nellie -- I've cropped the photo to the part of it that grabbed my attention, the image of a rose in the snow.

Photo courtesy of Nellie

And now, the story...

Abandoned Items

She hurls the flower away and it lands in the snow. It looks absurd lying there, bright red against dirty slushy brown.
"He's a jerk," I tell her. Truth be told, some days I think he's pretty cool, but I know it's what she wants to hear. And he certainly has acted like a jerk to her recently.
She responds with a comment which is both vulgar and unlikely, given that she has broken up with him that morning. The rose was his attempt to get back in her good graces. He left it on her doorstep in a little vase. I know because I drove her home, like I've driven her home every night after practice this week. Romeo and Juliet. She plays Juliet, I play the the nurse. Thanks goodness he isn't playing Romeo. Can you imagine it? Awkward!
She takes one last puff from her cigarette and it too gets tossed to the ground. "OK, I've got to get inside. Barcus gave us a crapload of calculus homework for tomorrow. You drive safely. I'll see you at school tomorrow."
We hug briefly. She pulls away and gives a little wave before going up the steps to her porch and into her house.
It's cold and quiet. The suburban side street has only parked cars, no one is around, not even the seemingly-ubiquitous dogwalkers. No one is watching.
I pick the discarded rose up from the ground. I'll take it home with me, put it in some water, set it on my nightstand. It will look beautiful for a few days before it withers. This will suffice.


  1. I like that. Very pretty. :)


  2. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, Nellie!

  3. Nice representation of an adolescent perspective.

  4. Thanks, Tim! I'm glad that you found it interesting.

  5. That picture is gorgeous! And I like your interpretation. I'm curious about the other details of the story!!

  6. What a cool idea, to write flash fiction based on readers' prompts.
    A wonderful story. I didn't expect the little twist at the end...
    "This will suffice." hints at unrequited love?

  7. Thanks, Cortney, natz and Gene Pool Diva for your comments.

    MISH/Cortney, what I had in my mind was -- if not unrequited love specifically for one person -- at least an unrequited desire to *be* loved.

    Also, MISH (and everyone else), if you like this series and want a chance to see your prompt turned into a story, you have your chance! I just opened up the next Iteration of the series and will be accepting prompt suggestions/entries between now and Noon on Thursday 11/24 All of the details are in this blog post.