Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flash Fiction Contest Honorable Mention: "Hopscotch and Wine" by Leslie Brown


As he wrapped the blanket tighter around his shoulders, a draft of cold air sent a chill down Nathan’s back. He shivered as he looked at the unopened envelope in his hand. It was crinkled in the middle and around the right side where he’d toyed with the idea of not reading its contents at all. The handwriting on the outside revealed its author. After all, his wife had sent word about their children many times before. Nathan sat in his hotel room on the edge of the crimson flowered comforter and ran his forefinger under the flap she had licked to seal the news.

January 7, 2010

Dear Punkin,

This may very well be my final transmission. Those little people are back again. They have now taken washable writing sticks and drawn an alien language down the sidewalk out front. I can only assume it is some sort of signal to the "others" like them. They have fashioned a grid with what appears to be numbers written inside the boxes. They then stand inside a drawn semi-circle and throw a single stone which lands on one of the numbers. Then, horrifyingly, they hop on one foot to pick up the stone they just discarded, all the while laughing out loud. I'm frightened!! I shudder to think what would happen if they noticed me spying from the kitchen window. If they sense my most sincere need for solitude they are sure to stop me before I am able to ascend the stairs. It's like they're trying to tell me something! I just KNOW it! I will try throwing foodstuffs at their mouths and surrounding them with the loud, plastic things you bring from your travels in Asia.
I do not know how long the “little people” intend to hold me captive, and I am beginning to believe there may not be enough wine in the house to sustain me until you return.

You’re my only hope.

Leslie


Nathan dropped the letter and gazed out the window to the street below. He knew what he must do. He grabbed his suitcase and ran out the hotel door leaving the blanket and the letter to lie on the rented room’s floor.

Waiting just outside was the rickshaw and driver that couldn’t get him to the train station fast enough.
_________
Leslie M. Brown lives in Richmond, VA where she is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. She is currently moonlighting as a mother of two, keeper of the peace, domestic engineer and ruler of a partnership. In addition to her blog, Letters to Punkin, Leslie is beginning her second blog on sustainable living, where she will divulge every facet of working with institutions of higher learning to create alternative energy sources on her fifty acres of land in rural Virginia.

1 comment:

Janel said...

Those little people can definitely drive you over the edge sometimes!