Lynn Canyon, Compulsive Counting

lynn canyon

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

I always count the steps as I walk. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.

I count all the way to the top as I place one foot down and then the other. Each step is deliberate, careful.

Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen.

My eyes flit back and forth, watching the steps while trying to take in the views. Trees, rocks, moss, I see everything that makes this beautiful. I see but do not fully appreciate.

My attention is still on the stairs, on each step bringing me up, up, up. (Or down, down, down.)

I have to count.

 

Forgotten Roses

This Flash Fiction piece is part of a series. The first piece, ‘The Graveyard’s Graveyard’ sets the scene. They do not have to be read together.

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

I am drawn forward despite the unease. My feet move seemingly on their own ignoring my brain’s protests, moving deeper into the pile of leaves and destruction. I am ankle deep in rotted foliage and misplaced offerings, my shoes covered.

A dull and still beautiful red catches my eye. I crouch low again, careful not to step on the already broken gifts. Two roses with their perfect petals wet and washed dull by the sun stand out.

I am invading, disturbing the peace (and pieces) with each step and click of my camera.

It is beautiful and sad.

And wrong.

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The Graveyard’s Graveyard: A True Story

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

Piles of broken vases and cracked offerings, dead flowers and torn silk petals and all manner of other spoiled things mingle in the haphazardly raked leaves where they are shoved to the edge of the graveyard. It is the graveyard’s graveyard. Amongst them, buried to the side, lies a teddy bear, cold and damp and half rotted.

It still smiles.

Forgotten. Disrespected.

Chills run up my spine as I crouch to take a picture. The hair on my arms prickles and stands up. Unease settles throughout me.

I should not be here.

I am not wanted here.

Someone is watching.

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Countdown.

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

One. Two.
I can hear him coming, the click-clack of his feet hitting the ground, purposeful but soft.

Three. Four.
My heart is beating faster and faster.

Five. Six.
There is nowhere to hide.

Seven. Eight.
I don’t know what to do. What can I do?

Nine. Ten.
He is here.

Eleven. Twelve.
He can see me.

Thirteen. Fourteen.
He is coming closer.

Fifteen. Sixteen.
He is smiling, mouth stretched wide with hard eyes.

Seventeen. Eighteen.
My palms are sweaty, adrenaline is making me sick. I can’t get away.

Nineteen. Twenty.
He is here.
He is here.

This is it.

 

Loving Love

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

We are holding hands, both clammy and awkward but neither willing to let go.

Young love is as much about stubbornness as it is about infatuation. Who will let go first? It is a game of adolescent chicken.

I lick my lips, grimacing at their chapped surface. Putting on chap-stick seems too premediated, too expectant, but I worry about their roughness.

I would have to let go of your hand to find the chap-stick.

A slight breeze ruffles your hair. Butterflies jump in my stomach, nervous and delighted and sick all at the same time.

I love being in love.

 

Spring

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

The woods are damp with the spring air and a hundred shades of green fill the senses with pops of colour all around. I inhale deeply, lost in sensation. There is nothing like it.

The path is still muddy from the winter rains, slick and steep. Trees rustle and stretch towards the sun, eager for warmth.

I am surrounded by birds though I cannot see most of them as they chirp and sing loudly. I spot a robin and smile going deeper into the forest.

Spring is rebirth and I am being reborn. The stress melts away.

I am home.

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The Sociopath

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

Sorrow. Anger. Elation.

I practice the faces in my mirror each morning, running through my repertoire.

Delight. Sympathy.

There are so many nuances, tweaks of the lips, slight narrowing or widening of the eyes. I practice hand gestures and body language too. It helps mask the disinterest in my gaze. No matter how often I practice if one knows to look deep into my eyes they will see the lack.

I have known for most of my life that I do not feel like others. The emotions are just not there.

I have no empathy.

This is why I practice.

Nervous Nerves

Flash Fiction, a short story written in 100 words or less.

I can’t stop bouncing my knee at the table though I know it drives my Mother nuts. I just can’t help it, it’s a nervous habit and I am filled to near bursting with nervous energy.

My nervous nerves, as I like to call them.

I smile to myself which causes my parents to exchange a look.

They think I am mocking them but the truth is I am not even listening. I am still replaying the exchange over and over in my head. He said “Hi”. Hi!

What did it mean?

My nervous nerves just can’t take the suspense.

Happy Birthday to Me

It is true what they say, that time is relative. The older you get the faster time flies by. I remember being young(er) and having a week drag on and on, the hours moving at a slow as molasses tick tock. Nothing ever came fast enough.

Now time speeds past, too fast, weeks melt into months and months melt into years and before you know it you are old(er).

(I suppose you are always older, every second older than you were before.)

Today is my birthday and I am older.

Then I will be older still.

Happy Birthday to Me.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

 

The Accident

My entire body hurts, aching deeply to the bones. My skin is itchy, irritatingly so, prickling painfully across every inch. There is dried blood on my lip and across my face, and there is blood matted in my hair mingling with the glass. I do not touch it.

I tell jokes as I lie there, immobile and hurting so badly I want to scream. They laugh awkwardly, not sure how to respond. I do not care.

They ask me questions, comments come at me rapidly and I cannot make sense of them. I do not remember anything.

I am hurt.