Hello, dear readers, I have returned to my beloved pond to share some flash fiction with you today. Yes, I’m a welcher, I have yet to deliver on my promise of a blog post about all my summer reading. It will come and come soon I hope but in the meantime I had to share a moment of Grace with you. This weekend whilst continuing my battle to organize and set up my creative lair I found something I thought I had lost forever, something I was beginning to doubt had ever existed: a travel drive I made backing up some of my photos. This is important because I thought I had made this travel drive about two weeks before my old computer crashed. When that computer crashed I lost thousands of photos. Photos of friends, trips, weddings, and all the photos I had taken for art’s sake and edited for hours to bring out their beauty. I was undertaking a cycle of back-ups, starting with this traveldrive, when the computer crashed and I lost so much I thought I would have plenty of time to protect. I was heartbroken. My heart still hurts to remember it, my eyes start to tear. This weekend I finally managed to get my old hard drive sent off to experts, experts I hope will be able to salvage what I lost, but they might not. Everything might be well and truly gone save from my memory. I think about these photos often, even in my dreams, but this weekend I found myself selfishly praying that I’d get another chance to see them again. That’s when I found my travel drive at the bottom of a box under a pile of pencils and old greeting cards. The drive doesn’t have everything I lost but it has a lot of important shots, shots I feared I would never see again. They are now backed up in multiple places and I’ve been smiling all day at odd moments just thinking about them. I feel the touch of Grace in this and I am humbly grateful. To celebrate I share with you the following piece of flash fiction, the first creative writing I’ve managed to achieve in weeks. It’s rough, it’s short, but it’s fiction I wrote and I can’t help but feel optimistic that I’ll be writing more soon. Between the Grace and the crisp fall air and my return to the realms of fiction how could I not feel hopeful? Here’s hoping you find some hope and a smile in this piece of fiction too.
by E.A. Schneider
I told her to stay away from the tree. Sarah never listens to me though, never has and now of course she never will. Why did we go out there anyway? It isn’t a picturesque spot. That part of the wood is just cold, dark, creepy; the kind of place nightmares get conceived. This is pathetic. I can’t remember anything. How come people in the movies can always remember every detail when they’ve been traumatized? I don’t think it works that way at all. One minute Sarah and I were by the tree in the morning and the next I was by myself in this field and there are stars out. Is anyone looking for us? Did anyone know we were going to Cauly Park? I just don’t know. I’ve got to think. What do Sarah and I do? We walk through the woods. We peer through binoculars and our Sibley guides and we trash talk each other’s life lists. Yesterday she saw an Alder Flycatcher and I was dissing it.
“My Horned Lark is so way cooler.”
“Yeah right, Alfy.”’
Veery. Catharus fuscescens. That’s what we were looking for; the flyway goes through Cauly park, the fall migration is in full swing. The equinox just happened, the sea change of the seasons and every living thing is responding to the new rhythm including the perennially bird obsessed. Neither of us had the Veery on our lists, we were determined to be the one to spot it first. We just kept walking into the wood, we kept looking until we stopped by that tree. I didn’t like it. Something about the way it seemed to rise up from the Earth with those long grasping arms alongside a gaping mouth just seemed hungry, predatory, in a “you look like a tasty morsel” kind of way.
“Sarah, I think we should leave.”
“Look at that tree, Alfy!”
“I am looking, it’s creepy, and there are no birds.”
“Oh c’mon, you like creepy.”
“I like Vincent Price and Edgar Allen Poe by the fire, not predatory trees in a forest.”
“Alfhild Agnes Eklund, don’t be a wuss.”
“What do you want from me, Gertrude Sarah Anderson?” That got me a look.
“C’mon, walk widdershins with me.”
“This tree is perfect, just look at it.”
“I am looking and I still say no.”
“Seriously? Alfy, you know nothing is going to happen, don’t you? It’s a game. There is no Faerie out there.”
“Sarah, that’s neither here nor there. Let’s just go, okay?”
“I’ll prove it to you, Alfy. Just watch.”
“No, stop,” please I wanted to add but I didn’t get the chance. The last thing I remember is Sarah’s laughter; blue eyes wide, I could almost see the speech bubble hanging from her lips saying there’s no such thing as Faerie. I had reached for her. My fingers still felt the damp and the smoothness of the sleeve of her raincoat; I had just managed to touch it as she completed the circle of steps. Then I woke up here in a prairie I don’t recognize under stars, stars I don’t know. Did I lose Sarah? Or did Sarah lose me? This might be the start of a very interesting story; at least I still have my binoculars. I just hope Faerie has birds.
Word Count: 553