Monday, April 4, 2016

2016 Ultra Flash Fiction Contest Winner

Wood Chuck Tale

by Rick Bylina

Night had fled and the harsh light of day ripped from his mind the strange dream he'd had. No one told him, in kind words he could not hear, “It’s all right, don’t fret. It was just a dream, and dreams come and go all the time.”

The old man moaned at the call of the loo. It hurt too much to move till he had no choice. He fluffed the deep blue sheet then smoothed it, and a thought of her rose then fled with the dust motes in the stale air. He sneezed and then sniffed. "Mold?" He shrugged. Had his sense of smell left him like his taste buds?

The loo? He had not used that word since the war. That was when he met her. He could not drag her name to mind but knew she had left a vast void next to him in bed. “Where are my kids?” he asked, and then eyed the prints hung in frames on the far wall. Each face stared back. He could raise no trace of who they were or what they had meant to him. Was that him from years past? He cleared his throat. "Who am I?"

His past stood like a soul in a thick fog, stuck with no way out. His mind grasped a strand of his past as though it was tied to a firm thought. Pull too hard, the string breaks; pull too slow, the thought dies. In his haste, the link broke. All was lost. He sobbed and then closed his tired eyes.
Bathed in soft light and a fresh sea breeze, he wept as he cupped Joy’s face and kissed her sweet red lips.

“All is not lost. You’re home, Ron.”

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