Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Flash Fiction #1: Neverland

The locket keeps her sane. Or maybe it does exactly the opposite... Either way, she doesn't think that she would be able to cope for a single day if she couldn't look down and see Peter's face, framed in gold, around her neck like a talisman. Wendy knows that girls her age shouldn't feel like this; empty, alone, the widow of a man yet to die.

They were childhood sweethearts. Peter had been the guiding light of her adolescence, the only one she could ever imagine being with. She doesn't know if he felt exactly the same, but the main thing is they were together from the start. When eighteen came, they left home and set up house together, a grown-up child and his little lady. An engagement ring appeared like a thimble on her finger, and sometimes, in the middle of the night when neither of them could sleep, they would whisper words like baby to each other. She remembers calling him baby when they were saying goodbye, when he left to join the Forces and she stayed behind in their flat, twisting the ring round and round and searching for a picture of him small enough to fit into the locket he gave her.

The boys who used to flirt with her at school, they're married now - hitched to beautiful girls who fell pregnant after their first time. She hears them all talking about their jobs, their children, their fast and important and oh so grown-up lives, and she wonders why she hasn't changed at all since God only knows when. Secretly, she knows the reason. Peter. Her life is tied to his, she's always known that, and she's always taken comfort in it. Why, then, does she wish that things could be different? Her life can't start for real until he's here, until he's home and safe and never going anywhere ever again. She's frozen in time until Peter kisses her back to life.

A bomb could go off in a faraway country, and she wouldn't know. She might wake up in the dead of night, chilled for no apparent reason, but she wouldn't know anything for sure. Or a stray bullet could take his life, and still she'd be none the wiser. His thread would be cut short on the other side of the world, and Wendy would still sit in the tiny flat they called theirs; waiting, always waiting, for her Peter to come flying home.

1 comment:

  1. great flash fiction Phil! you captured the fear and longing and the love within a few paragraphs. even the last line spoke of so many possibilities for readers to take on their own. thanks for sharing! c",)