Saturday, October 27, 2007


She drives all the time, at least two hours a day she makes the commute. She lives out of the city for the kids she'll have some day, for the PTA meetings at 6, after Jane's been dropped off to soccer and Ken, or John, or Ben, or maybe Dan, is at rehearsal for the 5th grade talent show. She'll only have a ten minute drive from her home to the school then, and another fifteen on the way home, because Jane will be done with practice by then.

Then, then she will have her family home, with husband showing up with Nate by 8, and maybe play a board game on the floor of the den by the fireplace that doesn't work because the chimney's dirty again. She and husband are too busy with the kids these days, they grow up so fast with the dates and the Proms and Joe getting his license while Jane's practicing her commencement speech, and "watch the road, Matt! don't worry, we're safe, you missed the deer and we're fine. I was scared too."

She drives for him now. He's not here, not yet, not quite. Jane will have to come first; She can practically feel her kicking now as her lights follow the curve of the old familiar back-country road she takes to avoid the highway. Those lights that turn with the steering wheel. Those lights that don't quite illuminate the outside curve of the road. And the deer.

This was the first flash fiction piece I had ever written, I wrote it during the exercise on Thursday in about fifteen or twenty minutes- the prompt came from the 'Writer's Block' and was a picture of an ambulance at the scene of a bad accident.


fizah said...

this is great! the way u ended the story with just "and the deer" is awesome! what is great is also the way u kinda foreshadowed the accident with "watch the road, Matt! don't worry, we're safe, you missed the deer and we're fine. I was scared too."
i love it.
good job!

Ankit said...

I like irony :)

Jamal said...

The last paragraph is sheer genius. Does an accident happen? You don't say so, of course, but I was left with the impression that what cut off the narrative was that she hit a deer. I love it when narrators obfuscate like that. Do you read Gene Wolfe?

I also like how the constant flitting from topic to topic throughout the story kind of sheds some light on this poor woman's severely overstressed state of mind.

I don't mean to sound too effusive, but right now I can't think of much of anything I'd change.

One thing I would give consideration to, though, is replacing the first mention of deer with something more vague. It sounds a bit forced to me, like you're purposefully foreshadowing - would you really say "you missed the deer and we're fine" when gripped with panic like that? I would say something like "you missed it" or "you didn't hit it" or something of the like.

Don't worry about us being confused, we'll figure it out. And we'll have more fun doing it.

Ankit said...

I actually would argue that "you missed the deer" is more natural. Maybe "you didn't hit it", but not "you missed it". I'd probably preface that sentence with something like "Thank goodness". That would probably help.