Friday, November 21, 2014

Magnolia 2.0

Felt like a morning for a slightly darker flash fiction (150 words), and I went for an ambiguous ending rather than my usual twist. In some ways, it almost feels like a counterpart to the first FF I posted on this site... similar flavour perhaps? Must be these grey winter days :)

I waited until the magnolia blossoms fell. Brown and bruised, they layered the ground like wet feathers, refusing to separate even when I dug deep with the blade of my shovel.

The rain was a sprinkle rather than a downpour, comfortable enough to shrug off my jacket as I grew warm with effort.

Wet dirt has its own distinct sound, thick and sluggish rather than the eager staccato rain of dry earth. The ring of metal against small stones was muffled, clay offered a reluctant invitation, and each additional shovelful hit the pile with a tired slump.

I buried her in the wet spring ground, feet together, wings folded. Beads of light rain turned grains of dirt into brown tears on the white flight feathers I had patiently cut to keep her home-bound.

Her face was cold, but still soft as I stroked her pale cheek one last time.


  1. Damn. Really liked this. The images piled together perfectly on each so well.

    'reluctant invitation' alone .... awesome.

  2. I waited until the magnolia blossoms fell. I didn’t have to, but my parents had seen Steel Magnolias and the image stuck with me, niggled at me. Whispered, as ideas do. Months I waited, letting it grow like trees in spring, the anticipating burning like sunlight baking anthills in the back yard as I leaned over them like a god. It’s not like my parents were bad people, it was entirely the other way around.

    I knew that only those with tragic back stories become famous. All the celebrity biographies told me that. Happy people don’t accomplish anything.

    I wanted until the magnolia blossoms fell, and then I killed them in their bed with the sharpest knife I could buy from ebay and went outside after to stand in the rain and see if it could wash away everything I had been before today.

    1. Hahahahah, okay, the eBay thing got me laughing like crazy... nice twisting in this, and great imagers... 'sunlight baked anthills' -> oh my goodness, awesome.

      ...but I especially love that last line, not washing away the crime, but washing away the entire life before that day.

    2. Sadly, the movie (Steel == knife, of course) is what gave me the idea. I doubt I shall share that with my mother, however, since she is the reason our family watched it :) I was going to have something about killing kittens or puppies, but figured it'd telegraph the end too much.

      I suspect that might also be the shortest (real) entry I've done for these :)

    3. Oddly enough, the reason I chose magnolias is because I recently watched a documentary about fossils, and apparently magnolias are one of the oldest blooming plants, and was around when dinosaurs were tromping about!

      I was thinking of going more for pterodactyl/mythological/misc. critter, but ended up using feathers instead due to the line in the first paragraph.