Bibliophilic Blather is proud to host Flash Fiction Fridays, which features microfiction from authors of all genres. Instead of weekly writing prompts, each writer presents his or her interpretation of a monthly theme in 500 words or less. A big thank you goes out to all of this year's Flash Fiction Fridays contributors for sharing their work with us.
And now, here is an appropriately titled piece to continue our September Free-For-All. No themes. No word count. Open prompt. Enjoy.
By Eileen Granfors
When they dropped off Max and Cheryl, Gordon drove to their favorite lovers’ lane in the upper lot of the high school. Though they had been together so long, they had done nothing but some deep kissing. Pippi thought about leading his hands to her breasts, letting him know that now, on their six-month anniversary, more of her would be available to him, until fall.
They kissed. She cuddled into Gordon between kisses. She loved his solid shoulders and the way he smelled of Zest soap and the fresh laundry scent of his shirt. He looked into her brown eyes, making a serious study of her face. Was he picturing their children someday, after college, with his swarthy skin and black hair, her fair blondness?
Her heart beat hard and fast as if she had run up a steep hill. She touched his ring, turning it on his finger.
Gordon gazed out the car window, steamy from their breath. He pulled a calendar from his wallet. They would go over their months together, from that first shouted hi when she was painting ‘Welcome Back to School” posters to their first dance to their holding hands and the all the crazy moments of falling in love. She would never smell poster paint again without thinking, “Gordon.”
Gordon said, “I have to be honest with you.”
“You always are.”
“I joined the Marines.”
“What do you mean?”
“After graduation, I’ll have basic training. I leave the day after graduation.”
“But the summer?”
“You’ll keep busy.”
“Shopping, your job, your other friends.”
“But you’re the only one who matters, Gordon.”
She kissed him. “Yes.” She kissed him again and blinked her eyes in that fetching way she had learned from Natalie Wood films. “Vietnam scares me.”
“Good. I need to serve. There is no peace without war.”
“Who told you that?”
“My dad.” Then, instead of slipping off his senior ring, he took a small, velvet box out of his pocket. “Here’s your ring. Open it.”
Pippi’s heart squeezed with panic. She only wanted to go steady and only until fall. Why would he think they should get married? “Gordon,” she started to say.
“Just say you’ll marry me so I’ll have you to come home to.”
She hesitated. With the box on her lap, she pressed his hand to her cheek. “What about college, all those other things out there waiting for us? Can I think about it?”
He rolled down the window in jerky turns. “You need to think about it?” Gordon grabbed the ring box and threw it into the night. “What a joke.”
They drove to her house in silence. Pippi cried quietly into his shoulder. He turned off the ignition and opened his door without leaning in for a kiss
“Gordon,” she said, “I have my dress for prom. You’ll still take me, won’t you?”
“Anniversary” appears in the author’s flash fiction anthology, Flash Warden and Other Stories.
Eileen Granfors lives in Santa Clarita, California. A former army brat who was born in New Orleans and lived in Germany, she and her family settled in Imperial Beach, California, where her mother’s love of body surfing turned her into an avid surfer girl. Eileen is a proud UCLA alumna. In July, she published her second novel, set in Imperial Beach, Stairs of Sand. Her first novel, Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead, is a coming-of-age multicultural look at the Hispanic tradition of the Day of the Dead. She is working on its sequel, So You, Solimar, and a volume of historical fiction, a prequel to Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities.