Sunday, October 20, 2013

Flash Fiction Challenge

I wrote the following story for Chuck Wendig's Flash Fiction Challenge
For this challenge I was to pick a random song and write a story with the name of the song as the title. So I picked the song I was listening to when I read the post, Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. This is what I wrote.

                                                                       DEAR AGONY

I'm slipping. I know this, but I can't seem to stop. Rory tells me madness is in the sound of darkness. I would welcome a little darkness right now. A little madness. I'm much too sane at the moment. The light from the shaded desk lamp brightens this room. It used to be a cheery brightness. Now it only serves to illuminate the photographs on the wall. Smiling faces from a life I can hardly believe ever existed. And the gun, of course. It lets me see the gun.

Rory isn't here. If she were, she would grin her lopsided grin and tell me I'm being a fool. She might be right. But sometimes, a man can't help but be a fool when he's lost everything.

I've grown rather fond of Rory. That's why I didn't call her tonight. She wouldn't like to see me sitting here with the gun in my lap trying to decide whether to press the barrel against my temple or down my throat. I forget which is best. It will be a mess either way and that's why I'm using the gun instead of a knife or a bottle of pills. I want to be sure when Katherine comes in she's as shocked and horrified as possible. I hope the image of my brains splattered against the wall haunts her for the rest of her miserable life.

When I rail against Katherine to my family or friends, they tell me I'm not being fair. They say she lost something too. She's hurting as badly as I am. But they don't know. They won't listen. Nobody believes she did it on purpose. Everyone, even the police, say it was an accident. They're wrong. I know they're wrong. But I can't prove it.

I could use the gun on Katherine and Mike instead. I've thought about it. They're getting married next month. Starting a new life. I could walk into the church and just start shooting. But no matter what she's done, I can't kill her. I want to and God knows she deserves it. But I can't. I loved her once, so much I thought my heart would burst from it, and those old feelings won't let me hurt her now.

Katherine and I were a fairy tale. High school sweethearts married right after graduation. We had it all. The nice house in the suburbs, three kids, two dogs, and we were happy. So I thought. I still can't understand where it all went bad. Was it something I did? Something I didn't do? I don't know. She never said. But if it was my fault, then why did she have to take it out on the kids?

I asked Rory that once. She told me it wasn't my fault at all. It was all Katherine. Anyone could see it. I'm not sure she really meant those words. Still, they were nice to hear. I doubt she believes Katherine is guilty anymore than anyone else does, but at least she's supportive of what other people refer to as my delusions. 

Rory and I met at the cemetery. I was visiting my kids and she was putting flowers on the oldest graves, the ones dating back to the eighteen hundreds. When I asked her why she was doing it, she gave me that grin I've come to know so well and said it was because the graves were lonely. She says strange things like that all the time. It's part of what I like best about her.

I told her I was going to buy a gun. She asked me not to, so I promised I wouldn't. I lied. I miss my girls. I don't understand a world without them in it. Or how people can say Katherine suffers as I do when she's moved on and I'm still here. Here in the past. In this room with a gun and the smiling faces of my daughters looking back at me.
                                                                        THE END

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