Thursday, December 1, 2011

Journey's End - Friday Flash - Romantic Friday Writers

I was wearier than I'd ever been in my life. But warmth was finally seeping into me and I waited, time at a standstill. Memories came flooding back in a sweet tide and I savored them, watching as they played out in front me. I could have lain there forever, but there was more calling to me and I followed.

The woods sang and echoed with laughter; there was a whoop, and I knew it was my best friend Beth, lithe body flying through the snow on his Flexible Flyer sled. Smelling the pungent mix of pine sap and wood smoke, I crunched my way through the sugar drifts toward the light in the distance. A cardinal called purdy purdy purdy in the twilight.

I left the forest, and there it stood; my house. My commonplace, pedantic, cookie-cutter little house. I grew up there, I clutched my doll and cried there, I read about the mysteries of life and witnessed quite a few there. Grandpa was on the porch, idly leaning on the bannister and smoking his pipe, but before I could shout a greeting a 100 pound ball of fur hurtled out of nowhere.

“Bandit!” was all I got out before he knocked me to the ground and we rolled in a delicious cloud of steaming dog breath, fur and snow. I was sobbing now, unashamedly, as another little piece of my heart fell into place. It had been so long, and I had missed him so much, and yet the full scale of it only made itself known when he was back in my arms. He licked me energetically and raced around like a puppy, all the while licking me and barking joyfully in a paroxysm of doggy madness. I was laughing now, awash in delight, and I didn't think that I could ever be happier, until I saw another figure coming toward me.

My homecoming was complete. He folded me in his arms, and I breathed him in, reveling in the scent as though I had lain next to him every night of my life. Sighing, I relaxed and laid my head on his shoulder. Happy, relieved, content. Safe.

“I searched for you, everywhere, for so long.”

He held me tighter, rubbing his cheek against mine. “I know. But what is meant to be will always come to pass, if not in one lifetime than in another.”

The last of the pain fled my heart forever.

I am whispering this in your ear, Mum, I am showing it to you in your dreams, so you will know that I am OK and that my long journey is over. There is no other place I'd rather be. You will miss me, I know, but home and all that it contains awaits you too.

Do not grieve because I left life too soon. In the end, it is just another beginning.

Word Count: 482


  1. Li, this just blew me away. I love nostalgia and you've given it here in spades. This piece is also sizzling with sensory details. I was tearing up along with you. There is something about a house that can bring forth poignant memories. You've dealt with it so well. It also asks of us to consider another definition of romance as to me this is still a literary type of romantic writing.


  2. I admit to having been fonder of her experience of the setting than I was for her fella. However, I'm not the target Romance reader, and I am a sucker for settings.

  3. I wasn't sure if she was dead and journeying to the eternal reuniting with loved ones past?

    But the description of the scene was pitch perfect

    marc nash

  4. Nice take on the picture. And the "purdy, purdy, purdy" was my favourite bit. I could hear the bird song in the forest. Beautiful story.

  5. Well done, poignant with so many memories flooding your character. Even so there is no doubt to the romantic aspect.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  6. I was pulled in with the richness of your sensory detailing--lovely! Then, unraveling the clues intrigued me, determining you had passed to an ideal form of that familiar, comforting place. Great story!

  7. That was perfect. I enjoyed the walk through the woods, and the nostalgia. A great story.


  8. That was just lovely. Wonderful, evocative writing. Touching, on so many levels. Thank you Li.

  9. @Denise - thank you :-)) As usual, I struggled with the romance element. I'll be around for your entry - I couldn't access it this morning.

    @John - you did well spotting my weakness. The setting was the easiest and best part to write:-) Thanks for stopping by.

    @Marc - yep, you're right on the money. Not sure I believe in an afterlife, but if there is one I'd like it to be just as I pictured it :-)

    @Cathy - the cardinal's call is one of my favorite birdsongs!

    @Nancy - I'm not a big fan of winter, but this scene is how I like to remember things. Thanks for reading.

    @Marsha - I wasn't sure how it was going to end either!

    @Donna - thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

  10. @Stuart - hi Stu :-) Thank you, I'm glad you liked it. It's always nice to know someone was touched.

  11. Hello.
    I've said it before & will continue to say are THE QUEEN of flash!
    WoW! Even my emotions were stirred up. Perfect setting & retelling.
    Nice one Li!
    Thanks for sharing.

    More Fulfilling With Love

  12. A lovely set up for a beautiful story.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  13. Hi Li

    You served up a beautiful piece of flash fiction. Lovely twist at the end. Certainly wasn't expecting it.

  14. Dear Li,

    This is perfect.

    I love your beautiful text, even though it makes tears roll down my cheeks as if I were your protagonist's mother and hearing this whispered in my ear.

    You are such a darn good writer!

    Please read my post, even though it does not hold a candle to your text.

    Best wishes,
    Anna's RFW challenge No 26 picture prompt

  15. Li, several RFWers are saying they're getting the dreaded malware message if you wonder why you haven't heard from them. They've reported into the RFWer site.


  16. Andy, Adam, Adura, Anna (the A-team!) Thank you for stopping by and leaving such lovely comments. I'm slowly getting around to everyone. Anna, yes I'll stop by later tonight I was in the ER today.

    @Denise - oh no!!!! thanks for the warning, I've removed the link for now and will read entries by going directly to blogs.

  17. BTW, I never click on links which unknown people leave in comments. (Not you, Anna. Nor do I use images from anywhere other than my own photos or Wikimedia Commons, since images seem to be a popular way of hiding malware.

  18. Hi,

    Finally able to post!

    Nice one...

    Ha ha, the romance of a place can be as romantic as the love for a person: the so-called definition of romance! Beautiful atmospheric piece full of nostalgia yet essence of the present the driving force. ;)


  19. Your embedded image is refusing to show up. That seems to happen a lot with these older posts.