Friday, March 25, 2011

Regret - Flash Fiction Prompt @

Kenney Mencher (blog entry here) who has an interesting art and flash fiction blog (check it out), had a post today inspired by a prompt he found on . Kenney often has contests and such going on tied to his artwork.  looks like a great site to follow if you're looking for prompts, suggested reading, and tips on flash, poetry and prose. Thanks Kenney!

The prompt: 
Under a bench in a park is a duffel bag with an old photo, a cd player, a flash drive, and candle inside. Whom do these items belong to, what do they mean to this character, and how did they end up in the park?
Here's my shot at it.

     I waited for you that day until dark. Then I cursed you for a coward and threw your duffel bag into the creek.
     When you asked me to meet you in the park, so that we could say goodbye properly, the childish part of me wanted to scream and cry and tell you to go to hell. Rejection is seldom easy for any of us, and though a sliver of my soul hoped that you would at last be happy, the bulk of my being wanted your new wife to be a heartless shrew who would drag you in the dust. Still, I wanted to follow your lead and do "the adult thing". So I gathered up the book of poetry, the ticket stub from Coney Island, the first rose that you gave me (now a sad, dead thing), put them in a paper bag, and scuffed my way through the city and down to the park.
     I recognized your old Army duffel at once. Since you were nowhere to be found, I assumed that once again you couldn't manage without a cup of coffee, and I took the opportunity to rummage in the bag. The usual assortment of things; a CD of "our" songs along with the player I gave you for Christmas, my favorite photo of us, taken at your Uncle Ed's infamous picnic, and the candle you'd swiped from the restaurant on our first date. A USB drive, which probably had the rest of our photos on them. After all, why would you (or she) want them around?
     You never showed up, of course, and I assumed that you hadn't the nerve to see me again. You just left those precious things in an unguarded, unwanted heap, just as you'd left me.
     The next day's newspaper told the story. You, and another man, gone, casualties of yet another thug on the streets. All you wanted was a cup of coffee. Were you buying one for me too? Would you have come back to me, would we have talked, and wept, and finally parted as less than lovers, more than friends? How utterly stupid I was to have misjudged you. And to have destroyed the last remnants of something that was, for a time, beautiful. In my proud and foolish pain, I threw away all that we had been along with the duffel bag.
     I will always wonder what was on that flash drive. Perhaps I can find someone who can recover it.

     It will be up to me to recover my memories of you.
     Of us.


  1. That. Was. Beautiful!

    I love your writing Li!

  2. I always enjoy your writing. It seems to flow. You also have a way of leading the reader in one direction and surprising us in another. The ending left me wondering. What if fate hadn't intervened, and they had met. Thanks for the good read. Keep writing.

  3. An excellent write, most enjoyable to read.


  4. Gave me chills. Made me almost cry. Touched a nerve (as usual). You rock.

  5. Your writing is beautiful, creative and this story left me thinking of the possible endings had he made it out of the coffee shop to meet her. It also reminded me of the times we all make assumptions, judge and react based upon hurt and fear. Thanks for sharing. I will be returning to read more!

  6. Wow, that is fantastic. I want to know more. Makes me really think, it's so easy to jump conclusions, usually based on our own fears or insecurities. Which then causes us to react, not always rationally. Wonderful story. Thank you!

  7. Now, I want to know what's on that flash drive!

    This is beautifully written! You are an EXCELLENT writer. What you did in such few words is amazing. I loved it!

    I saw your comment just now on Stephen
    Tremp's (Breakthrough) blog where he's hosting me. So I came over here to meet you. Glad I did!

    Keep writing!!!!

  8. @Apfel - Thank you! (What, no OMG? ;)

    @Yvonne - thank you for always stopping by and giving me a read!

    @Corinna - nothing I love more than to know that a story, thought, or word resonated with someone!

    @Heather, Rasz, Bothered - you guys rock. And I've toyed with writing another version with an alternate ending (scrapped that idea) or a follow-up story with what the USB drive contained (still wondering myself). I might save that for "U" day of the challenge!

    @Ann - so glad I read your interview, and looking forward to reading more about you, your life, and your future plans. You're an inspiration! (We're all wondering what was on that flash drive.)