Fortune Cookie Flash Fiction – 10 september 2015

The acceptance of others always denotes a rejection of self. The substitution of foreign wants for personal desire, the whole self subducting, sinking under the lighter beings, buoying them up to reach as the self sinks.

He held the noose tightly, considering absentmindedly the lack of give inherent in jute cord.

He held the knot as he would his favorite endangered animal, the little Least Weasel, like he had when he was a child at the zoo. All of his love and compassion for something precious and rare nearly, but not quite, overwhelming fear brought about by natural instincts and sharp teeth.

This is what he wanted. He repeated it to himself to make sure.

Maybe there’d been a lost love, unfaithfulness or betrayal, there usually was. Suicide never much springs without impetus, but whatever the reason, that’s never the whole of it. One bad day doesn’t break you. A tree toppled in a snow storm had a moment a snowflake shy of collapse. To blame the final flake is to excuse the million before it, to discount the frailty of the frozen sapped limbs.

It wasn’t fair, he said, thinking both of the analogy and himself.

He didn’t want to do this, he wanted to have done this, to somehow do it and then stand back and watch the reactions, like when he’d pretend to be asleep to know that his parents would check on him as a child, to know that even when he wasn’t watching he was loved and cared for, but after a time, even parents tired of testing.

He hadn’t called his mother. It seemed better not to, he’d called so many times before, hoping to be talked down, that now it felt cheap. Like a cry for attention.

His father would have told him to do it. His father would have said if he really wanted to do it, then he should shut up and do it, not keep crying about it. If he’d stayed on the line though, his father’s anger would have grudgingly faded away and turned to a sympathetic, indulgent kind of disdain. He’d of course prefer his only son didn’t kill himself, and of course he still loved him, and of course he hadn’t meant it, he was just tired and this had been a long year for everyone. The school hadn’t been cheap, not that he was blaming him, but finances had been difficult. His nerves were frayed.

Who he’d really wanted to call was Karen, but that would have spoiled the point. It had to be a shock, a surprise, or else this was just stupid. She had to see it and freak out and care, and finally believe him for all the things he said. But if he called, it would go to voicemail, or worse, the number wouldn’t connect.

For the first step, he was flying. For a long instant he was weightless before something bit into his neck with a celery snap, the weasel going limp in a big cat’s mouth.


This is not the story I meant to write, but I lost my train of thought midway and the whole thing switched from being a piece of mine to feeling like I was playing the tale end of a game of mad-libs.  I don’t know where the story had been going originally, but I think it would have been deeper.

Distraction has been an issue for me lately, I haven’t been able to focus myself on any task long enough to complete it.  I blame lack of sleep and my still undefined schedule.  I hope my concentration will improve as both issues resolve.

I plan to have another fiction up tomorrow, preferable after a good night’s rest.  On top of that, I’ve got an article soon to go up on Magazine1785.  I hope you’ll read both.

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