Flashfiction: Stumbling Home

Oh, holy shit!

Someone mentioned that it’s been a while since I did a post, and I thought, “Naw, I just did one!  Didn’t I?”

Oh, crap — it’s been two freaking weeks!!

Ahem.

I suck.  I really do.  I have, quite sadly, embraced the suck in my life.

Anyway, its a good thing I had an urge to do a Flashfiction piece today, or that gap might have stretched another week…

Now, I’ve had the thought and idea for the story below for some time now.  I’ve had it, but I committed the ultimate writer’s sin: I overthought the damned thing.  I spent time planning and working to make sure everything carried weight and meaning, that the story was the perfect allegory for…well…for my life.

And it never worked.

Screw it, I thought it when I sat down to a beer and a burger thirty minutes ago.  Just write the fucking thing!

So, instead of something carefully planned and crafted…

49ED7E39-17B0-47F6-8AED-DE67D6CAFE7AInstead of something much longer…

Instead of something where I try to make every image — every word — have meaning and weight…

Instead of over-thinking the damned thing, you get this:

Stumbling Home

The carpet wibbled and wobbled.  The chairs jumped out in an effort to tangle my feet.  The door tried to run away, and to fool me as to how far away it truly was.

A hand on my shoulder, guiding and helping.  I think it was to help and guide; the pressure and the push were unmistakable guidance.

The snow grabbed at my feet, froze my ankles.

The sidewalk betrayed me, tried to trip me.  A convenient tree helped me, however.  Its branches bare, it still offered its trunk to help me stay on my feet.

From that tree a bench called, then a light post.

People talk about the world as a frightening place, violent and chaotic.  Nonsense.  I found the world helpful and wonderful…all except for that damned sidewalk.  That sidewalk was just screwed up.

A turn off the main street, then, and the snow bit again at my ankles.  My feet started to go numb, and my breath to come in short gasps.

Still, however, the trees and light posts — fewer, now — offered their support and help.  Still I fought the betrayal of the sidewalk, and of the street itself.  Still the snow clutched and grabbed and froze…on my hands and arms now, too.

A moment to sit, to force the sidewalk to crawl back into its proper orientation, and I saw it…I saw the light.

Light is good.  Light means warmth, and stability.  Light means, in oh-so-many ways, home.  I wanted that light.  I needed that light.  But it was far…

I don’t know how long it took.  I don’t know many betrayals I fought, just as I don’t remember how many tried to help.  All I remember is that light growing closer, that warmth starting to reach for me.

The snow froze my hands again, after one last attack from the street.  I fought that attack, however.  I fought with everything I had.  And I won.

I won!

I reached for the door — reached for the light — and it opened!

Another hand, then, pulling me inside.

“Goddamit, not again…” that hand sighed.

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