Thursday, March 24, 2011

Signposts - Flash Fiction

     Some of those trips we took seemed endless; it was probably the same for you. My brother and I fought viciously and relentlessly in the backseat of that old Bonneville. He sat too close to me, I couldn't bear the wet slurping sound of his gum chewing, and our bare legs stuck to the naugahyde seats. Dad never did pull the car over, and I was wrong; you could, indeed, smack me from the front seat.
     Whether it's true, or whether my memory has painted things in terms of fevered dreams, the last leg was always in darkness. My head heavy and thick, eyes gritty, and skin feeling scraped and somehow raw, I would ask "how far?" and you would point out the landmarks and signs along the way. The water tower, with bulbous belly, spindly legs and solitary blinking red eye. The barn, with slatted stars in its sides, crumbling by day and ethereal by night. The last sign on the overpass, the final exit, a slender ribbon of asphalt which would finally lead to our door.
     Now I am leaning my head against the cool glass, and the man sitting next to me is snoring in a wet, bubbly manner which sets my teeth on edge. I did not want to make this trip, Mom. It has been too long, and I'm afraid it has taken too much out of me this time. I just want to lay my head on a cool pillow in the room that you have kept for me all of these years.
     Please help me, and point out the signposts for me one last time.
     I am on my way home.


  1. Beautifully written. I have been in love with Signposts since I can remember coz I am not a huge fan of road travel. Sometimes what helps me ease out is the picture of my bed at the end of the journey, it makes things so much better!

  2. Nice piece of work. I too remember it almost like you described. I love being on the road.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  3. Beautiful piece Li! I remember exactly this on the way to visit my grandmother - the 'mushroom' tower, the white bridge, legs stuck to leather seats... this piece brought it all back

  4. Wonderfully written and a great read.

    Have a good day,

  5. This is very nice, Li. I particularly like your description of the barn. It brought up my own memories of returning home in the dark. " the room that you have kept for me all these years," is a very poignant phrase.

  6. Oh yes childhood journeys in the car. I can quite empathise. I like the ending, too :O)

  7. I had to share the backseat with an irritating brother as well. Is everything okay? This has a very melancholy feel to it. (Beautifully vivid, btw.)

  8. You've painted some good emotions here.

  9. So many times did I share the backseat with my sister. How many times did we argue over who could use that "armrest" in the middle (the dividing line! Our room should have had one of those!).
    So real...Thank you
    I am your newest follower

  10. Thank you, everyone. It would seem the backseats of cars hold a lot of memories for us. (Take that as you see fit ;) )

    @Fluid Idleness: everything is OK with me, thank you for caring. Yes, I tend toward the melancholy/sad end of the spectrum in writing, but most of the time I maintain a fairly sunny disposition.