Monday, February 21, 2011

Rejection? Pour Moi? C'est impossible!


C'est vraiment possible.

The fine folks at the 52/250 Flash have turned down another story of mine for entry into the marvelousness that is the Year of Flash. Not wishing to let my story go to waste, I present it here: "No Monsters", another 250 word story on the theme "broken shells".

I watched him running away from me, across the hard, wet sand, tiny lights on his sneakers illuminating each step. I had told his mother, with her black dress and red eyes, that Steven and I were "going to take a walk". I had to get out of there. She assented, probably because everyone in the house was afraid to say no to me. It helped her, too- with one less little head to track, the complex mathematics of mourning while watching kids would be made slightly simpler.

He never went far, always looking back at me for reassurance that I was watching him.

"Lookit," he said with a child's wonder. "Shells."

"Yes, buddy," I told him.

"They broken." The shells were fragments, chips and pieces scattered near the shoreline.

"Yes, they are."

"Who broke'em?"

"The water did, pal. I think. Unless it was a monster."

"Uncle," he said, frowning, "there are no monsters."

"You're right," I agreed. "It must have been the waves."

He ran a little further on, picking up a stick.

"Where Aunt Rachel?," he asked. My heart seized.

"She's not here, pal. She's gone."

"Why she gone?"

"She got sick. Her body was broken. Like the shells. Now she's gone."

"Who broke her?" Life did, I thought.

"I don't know, pal."

"No monsters," he said solemnly. He dropped the stick into the water at his feet.

"No," I agreed. "No monsters." I wished I believed him.


  1. Really, really like this story, Mike. Truly the people at that web site overlooked a gem when they read one. This is simple but beautiful. Captures grief just right. Bravo, sir.

  2. I really like this Michael. I'm o for 2 with those folks. They are missing a good composition.


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