by | Oct 24, 2011 | Fiction, Flash fiction, Relationships | 18 comments

My friend Claire says my short he/she stories are really love poems. What do you think?

By Laura McHale Holland

She is a rainbow fading as she loads the laundry. He is an old Chevy idling on the couch. He sees a brilliant arch of color turning as she reaches for the Tide. She turns toward him and sees a fast ride down a dirt road on a long-ago sunburned evening.

She shakes the detergent box and hears seashell and driftwood chimes. She pours the powder into the washer, closes the lid, turns the dial. The machine rumbles, the waterfall comes.

“What would you like for lunch?” she asks.

The coffee table is a creaking pier, the carpet a beach of turquoise sand. “I think I’d like …”

He closes his eyes and becomes a boat drifting in a leather sea. She sits in the rocker facing him. She rocks. She rocks. She rocks and becomes the wind. She becomes the wind blowing him to shore.

He opens his eyes.

“What would you like for lunch?” she asks.

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  1. Jerry Kohut

    great time to be day dreaming

  2. admin

    Thanks for your comment, Jerry. This couple could be daydreaming, or they could be living in a world that is a bit different than ours.

  3. Gill

    Sounds like an old couple who have many happy memories and are comfortable with their life together.

  4. ScottTheWriter

    Definitely, a love poem.

    Great stuff!

  5. admin

    Thanks for persisting in leaving a comment, Gill. (Gill was getting some sort of error notice when using the comment form). The problem seems to have worked itself out, and now I have two comments from you. They’re almost identical, so I’m going to approve one and delete the other. … I like the title of your blog, “Fog on the Brain.” I’m going to have to go there and read what you have to say!

  6. admin

    Thanks, Scott. You said much in just six words!

  7. Elizabeth Young

    I loved this brilliant interplay of fact and fantasy. Beautifully written. This is the first time I have read your work and I am extremely impressed!

  8. admin

    Thank you, Elizabeth. I enjoy experimenting with blending fact and fantasy in fiction. It’s a way to add depth, I think. I imagine someday writing a novel in that style. … I read your Oct. 24 post on your blog, and I think you and I have some things in common. Have you written about your childhood? I wrote about mine, through age 13, in my memoir, Reversible Skirt, which I published in March through my own little company, Wordforest.

  9. Micki Peluso

    Hi Laura,

    Thar was a charming little piece. I write flash fiction and short fiction too and really enjoy it. After writing 1000 word essays as a jouranlist, I get to 1000 words and automatically end lol. Pushing a whole book was a real stretch for me, one I don’t think I could do again, but I would like to publish a collection of my shorts.

    All the best,


  10. admin

    Nice to make your acquaintance, Micki. Thanks for stopping by. I’m going to do a collection of shorts, too. Most are far shorter than 1,000 words. I’ll check out your website and see what you’re up to. … Hmmm. Just tried to get to your site; the link took me to some kind of weird promo site. … Just found it. Part of your address was missing. Now I’m going to read your blog a bit.

  11. Robin Leigh Morgan

    I understand what it might be like for Micki to write a 1,00o words and to be able to communicate a complete belief or idea within that allotted limit. You need to really
    be able to compact the various aspects of an idea into a single entity.

    If you take a little of what Jerry, Gill and Elizabeth have written you get the entire picture
    what’s going in what you’ve written in the above

    You have an old couple who have spent years together, each looking at each other, and daydreaming of the days when they were younger. He looks at her as if she is still as beautiful (rainbow) as she was in the beginning, the only real difference is that in reality it has
    begun to fade. As she begins to wash the clothes, he’s sitting on an old couch in the basement
    watching; she looks at him and recalls riding in an open convertible going a dirt road, heading for a lover’s lane spot.

    If you have ever listened carefully he does sound like the surf, and is only intensified as the
    water starts to fill the tub from above [waterfall]. The coffee table and carpet become similes for a combination of reality and fantasy.

    Just as the washing machine is rocking the clothes back and forth, she’s sitting in a rocking chair, and as the machine enters its’ final spin cycle, it pushes the clothes to the sides of the tub.

    Her asking him what he’d like for lunch is a brief attempt to come back to reality only to fall back to the fantasy in their daydreaming of their days lost.

    Hope I haven’t gone to far adrift in what I’ve tried to say

  12. admin

    You haven’t gone too far adrift at all, Robin Leigh. What you describe is very much like what I was picturing as I wrote the story. Looks like we’re on the same wavelength as far as this story goes, and that delights me. I like how when I let go of something, though, the work can be interpreted in different ways than what I initially envisioned, and those different ways can be quite intriguing, too. Thanks for sharing your insights here!

  13. Robin Leigh Morgan

    You’re welcomedLaura,

    Regarding the above, in this incidence I read it once for the reading of it.
    Cleared my head and read it a second time, closed my eyes, and allowed my
    mind to drift with the words I’ve just read.
    Opened my eyes and read it a third time to allow myself the time to fill
    in what I had missed during the first two reads. Closed my eyes again,
    and allowed myself to see the picture I had now created.

  14. admin

    Thanks for all the time you’ve taken with these stories, Robin! Your perspectives are helpful. In thinking over the comments about adding the word “empty” to describe the Southern Comfort bottles in “Still There” and about clearly identifying Pete’s daughter as such in “The Wild One,” I’m going to try those edits sooner rather than later. They make sense to me. … I just made the changes. “Empty” didn’t work for me in there; it’s hard to explain why. It just didn’t look right, so I took it out. But “his daughter” is an improvement over “the third kid.”

  15. Draven Ames

    These stories are amazingly beautiful. They are poetic, catching and imaginative. You pull me into your rhythm with each carefully crafted line. I can tell you spent your time on this.

  16. admin

    Thank you, Draven, for your beautiful comment. Your kind words lift my spirits and help me keep reaching for excellence.

  17. Draven Ames

    Came to read it again. Don’t reach too far though, cause you’re already there.

  18. admin

    Thanks again, Draven. I’m having a lazy Saturday and just checked email notifications for the first time today. Reading your comment was a great way to start the day.

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