Friday, September 14, 2012

"Silver Sea, Salmon Sky"

Note: Normally I try to keep these stories to a strict 100 words, but this one ballooned to twice that size. Though I'm breaking my own rules, I hope you enjoy it all the same.

He'd known before of her sharp tongue. But he felt an almost physical pain when she said, "You and me, this marriage? It was all a mistake. I should've known it from the start."

At first he thought it was only dusk stripping the green highway signs proclaiming "Duck Key ahead" of their hue. But on the horizon where silver sea met salmon sky, a dim paleness spread. After their rental reached the hotel and she locked herself in the honeymoon suite's bathroom, he also realized the maroon bedspread was the same shade as unbleached cotton.

Shucking off his shirt, he understood why.

The incision crossed his breastbone, as grey-edged, gaping and black as a cored hollow in some ancient oak. He probed it with a finger and, meeting no resistance, reached in deeper—and deeper still. He paused only once when his elbow brushed the wound's lip, and agony arced out. But his bicep and then his shoulder slipped inside the colorless void, seeking something he couldn't even name ...

Within the bathroom, she eventually wiped her eyes, washed her face and slid open the door with a tentative, "Honey? Let's talk."

Her voice echoed throughout the empty room.

Silver Sea, Salmon Sky by I Saw Lightning Fall

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Chestertonian Rambler said...

I like the expansiveness. The fourth paragraph has a chilling lyricality that comes, I think, from the fact that it isn't limited by the 100-word genre.

This is the best bit of flash-writing I've seen in a while. Maybe because it has the energy of doing something else; maybe because only a really good story could get you to break the wordcount limit.

In any case, I tip my hat to you.

Loren Eaton said...

You are too kind, sir.

This one actually came out of a (very short) vacation in the Keys. We were driving on the two lane highway at dusk, and I looked out at the horizon. The colors inspired the title and the setting.