Sunday, March 27, 2011

Suburban Renewal - Flash Fiction

This is actually the end of a story about a woman who lived "the perfect life", all the while enduring life with an alcoholic husband. I was unhappy with the first half, but I like this portion, and the phoenix aspect of it.

     I built myself a lovely little house, and from my newfound vantage point, I can see everything that is wrong with it. The windows are hidden by heavy coverings which give it a hooded gaze. Gingerbread trim and pastel paint lend it the appearance of trying too hard. And the foundation - ahhh, the foundation. There are cracks, and it has been sinking into the welcoming ground for years. Inside, plaster is falling off the walls revealing the riddled lathes inside.
     The others, who also have viewed it from afar (I would never let them close; PRIVATE: KEEP OUT), nevertheless judged it to be aesthetically pleasing and correct. It was neat, underwhelming, and did nothing to detract from their own overburdened monstrosities. They were happy to accept it as part of their landscape and blow kissing noises at me from the other side of the street.
     My lovely little house, dusty and illuminated by the filaments of lies, with all of its dark corners and sweet geraniums and hoards of mementos, is going up in flames. I set the fire; it was a necessary act of cleansing violence. To live in that artificial creation which was built to alien specifications, kept up simply to meet the standards of others, and providing only the illusion of protection - well, that was no life at all.

     I have a new home now; I am happy in my own skin. When I look in the mirror, I no longer see that painted facade and those unseeing eyes. I am clean and bright and new; there are no more closets stuffed with guilt and remorse. My foundation is solid as a rock. And the garbage gets taken out daily.


  1. Wow! You are really good at this. How did you get into flash fiction?

  2. I wrote all of the time as a kid. Somehow, it fell by the wayside. I started novels in the past 5 years- twice - but they tended to get too convoluted and windy and I lost the thread.Nor did I tell anyone (fortunately). A guy friend suggested last year that I should write. I had run across some flash on the internet, and I thought it would be a good way to discipline myself in writing. And I've wanted to blog for some time, but I cringed at the idea of having a "diary" sort of blog - too personal. So I combined the two.
    And now you can see, by my reply, that I DO tend to be longwinded. :) Thanks for your kind words and interest!

  3. Great flash, I love the line "it was a necessary act of cleansing violence" best.

    li you sound JUST like me! I've worked myself up to where I am now in my current blog. I started several blogs that crashed and burned. I was afraid to reveal myself at all. I found my niche in poetry to get the juices flowing again. I still want to get to that novel.

  4. A wonderful flash, most enjoyable to read.


  5. nice piece of writing Li. I'd never realy heard of flash fiction but looks interesting.

  6. Interesting metaphorical flash. Nice job!

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  7. Really enjoyed this! I love the last paragraph, in paticular.

  8. wow- that was strong! I felt like my heart was being torn out with the fire. This one really spoke to me - the dusty facade created for other people's expectations... hmmm... think this is going to stick in my head for a long time!
    Gorgeous piece Li

  9. You're all lovely :) I enjoyed writing this piece, one of the few that was written and posted in one fell swoop. I'm glad it resonated with many of you.

  10. i've gone too far. the cracks are even in the metaphors I use to describe my state of mind. great stuff Li!