Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reciprocating - Flash Fiction

This Week's Prompt
Join Or Read Romantic Friday Writers Here

     "If you want to measure your love, ask yourself how much you are willing to sacrifice for it."


     It wasn't too late. His flight suit and helmet were still in the car; Arnie would just be starting the checklist, and a frantic wave of the arms would signal that he had changed his mind after all. He might never get another opportunity to fly this aircraft again.
     Flying was in his blood; had been, since the first Spitfire he'd seen as a boy came in low over the fields, 1500 thundering silver horses and one man holding the reins. The war ended just as he'd completed flight training, and the taste of that disappointment still lingered. Now here he was, pilot's license in his pocket, plenty of friends, a local flying club chock full of military surplus aircraft bought on the cheap...and a girlfriend.
     Margaret had been the one girl who hadn't fallen for his flyboy routine. That, consequently, had made her all the more desirable. She was everything he'd wanted; everything, that is, except responsibility. Having no family, she grew to depend on him, and so when she was taken ill it had fallen upon him to take care of her.
     She would never have asked him to give up flying. Still, anxiety bloomed in her eyes when he headed to the field and the unspoken question: What will I do if something happens to you? was like a distorted lens through which he now viewed the world. Hard not to be bitter either way, since he'd be giving up a part of himself no matter what he chose. Which dream? Which future?

      The plane engines roared to life, and he waved his arms.
      Slowly, gently. Goodbye, safe flight.

Copyright 2011 Lisa Vooght
personal archive photo

This is an auto-post. I'll be without internet for a bit, so I won't be reading or commenting, but I really do intend to try and catch up later.


  1. I like it. Fortunately I've found another one, like mine, with no speech in it.

    We must hope
    Arnie returns to ground
    Safe and sound

    Thanks again for suggesting poetry. I got my first (and hopefully not last) poem of the week at Poets United on Tuesday.


  2. Most enjoyable to read.
    Look forward to your return.


  3. WOW, poor guy, sort of makes you hope an enemy pops out from behind a cloud.

    As to the opening quote: I'm not into sacrifices, can't we just throw a rock in the volcano and call it love? Sorry what came to mind :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  4. Hi Lisa.

    This is very sad & heartfelt.

    I can identify with the wife gave up her entire life (job, cat, home, family, everything she loved)to move to a country thousands of miles away from everything she loved & knew for the sake of love...for me. For that sacrifice, I shall forever be in her debt & I love her more because of it.

  5. Enjoy your vacation!!!!! All I could think of when reading this: What I did for love.

  6. have a wonderful time...

    i love the first line... something i can reflect n today!


  7. Hi,

    Oooh, modern historical. Love it, and a painful sacrifice! ;)


  8. Okay, so because I'm lame - the waving of the arms meant he was giving up the flight, for his girlfriend? Or was there significance (besides the emotional) to the arms being waved slowly? I wasn't sure if "goodbye, safe flight" meant he was giving up doing a risky flight, or giving up the flight altogether. Probably because I need more caffeine.

    Lovely story, we care about both of them, and the hint of her being ill - is this a part of a bigger story?

    One formatting hint - on the internet, it's a little more common and easier to read if you lose the indents and put extra spaces between paragraphs. (Yours is still very readable :-), but you might want to consider for next time.)

    Love the vintage photo.

  9. I thought the end left the reader with a bit of a cliff hanger. You've allowed us to imagine which choice he made and to me, that's the mark of a great writer.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  10. Bittersweet indeed. A lovely story - sacrifice with or without conditions is hard for human nature. Love conquers....well written.

  11. lovely story, written with the true spirit of love..though the story was a little sad,but that's the mark of a true story teller,you make us live the story with you!
    wonderful entry:)

  12. Very good. I enjoyed this one!

  13. That's such a beautiful story. :-)

  14. Great story! Got me thinking of dreams sacrificed for love!