Jan 21

A Small Smackerel

While I try to jump-start my refried brain, here is a flash fiction intended for your enjoyment. I hope you do.

This story is copyrighted by me. Please don’t use it without my permission.

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Intimate Strangers

What madness drove me to it? What madness could drive a man to murder someone they didn’t even know? The barest madness of all: the madness of being human, the madness of inattention and disregard for common sense, the simple madness of everyday life.

It was the madness of one more beer after work because the sky was dreary and the drizzling rain chilled my bones, because my boss is a jerk, just because. It was the madness of driving too fast because I was late and supper would be cold and she would be pissed. It was the madness of being too self-absorbed to see that the light was red until it soared overhead like some gaunt bird with eyes of rage, screaming futility and death like tires on wet pavement.

Then you were there, rising from the mist like my personal white whale, as I, your Ahab, sailed across the slick asphalt sea to our first and final meeting, foot driving the brake pedal helplessly toward the floor, driven by my madness to encompass your doom.

You looked at me, deep into my eyes, deep into my soul, and you knew me in that moment. And I knew you. I knew your love for your family and your hopes and dreams for the future. And I loved you, then. I loved you helplessly and hopelessly, even as I killed you in a final thump, a last shriek, an ultimate shatter, even as I sacrificed you on the altar of my own stupidity.

I learned your name afterward: Joan Fleming. What a small, pale thing, a name, but I keep it alive. I saw you in your husband’s eyes and your children’s, and I know they keep you alive in their hearts and in their minds. All I have is your name and your face and your blood on my hands and the love we shared for that merest instant.

THE END

Jan 15

Where Am I?

Thank you everybody for the expressions of concern. I think I am OK. I think.

I find myself in an odd state of mind these days. Though my mood is generally good, my energy and motivation suck. If it is possible for them to be in the negative range, they are. This kind of mental state is new to me, and it is taking me time to adjust.

I can blame part of it on Seasonal Affective Disorder. More blame lies in the various (and very personal) reasons why I so dislike this time of year. Anyway, I hope to see things turn around as we get into winter and spring, and the sun has more face time.

On the writing front, things are pretty stagnant. My current WIP (the re-submission) is at a point of frustration right now. I know what I want the climax to be, but I can’t figure out how to get there from here. Transitions can be such a major pain sometimes. As my mind clears (which it already has, at least a little bit), I will be able to get that finished and out the door.

I am also backlogged on submissions. The rejections keep coming, but I have not been able to gather the energy to do the necessary research and get these stories back out into circulation. I currently have 5 or 6 lying around that really need to find a home. Again, that will be resolved in the coming weeks.

I hope everybody else is doing OK. I haven’t been able to do the blog-rounds lately, but I will get back to that Real Soon Now.