The four of us

by | Aug 8, 2012 | Fiction, Flash fiction | 6 comments

Here’s another episode in what began as a connected flash fiction experiment. This may be the last one I post in this series. I’m getting the urge to collect the ones I’ve posted so far and rework them and see what kind of shape the project takes next. I’m inclined to pick one point of view to run with, and I’m wondering whose voice would be the strongest. Any ideas?

The Four of Us
By Laura McHale Holland

The kids, Chloe and Drew, knew we were a family from day one. Carly and I took longer to see we were like four ice cream flavors blending into one scrumptious shake on a sweltering summer afternoon. Now, our friends and family are whooping and laughing as we dash across the dance floor. We’re nearing the exit, one man, one woman, one boy, one girl, hand in hand in hand in hand.

Image is from

The social worker caught Carly’s bouquet of white roses. Carly insisted on inviting her. “She kept us apart,” I protested when I saw her name on the list. “She brought Drew into your life,” Carly countered. Then there’s the kidnapper. He runs the maintenance crew for Carly’s housing community. A little while ago he leapt up higher than anyone to catch the garter. He and the social worker are dancing together now, looking retro, like Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction. They’ll probably dance long into the night while the four of us fly away.

We’re going to the land behind the waterfall. My people aren’t dead like I was told long ago; they’re hiding from the metal monsters that once spewed death down from the sky. Now a metal monster is bringing me home, along with my wife and children. I hope our lives all become entwined, the old and new, giving and receiving, without causing undue harm.


The prior posts in this series, in the order in which they were published are:

Back pocket wishes

Cascading to the sea

Right through the heart

Away today?

A dime a dozen

She doesn’t know them

On the seat

A pillar of the community

He needs a friend

Double rainbow

The one he always wants to hear

Give it some time

It gives my life meaning


Extenuating circumstances

Share this:

The Kiminee Dream: Now Available!

My new novel is coming soon. Mark your calendar!

Influenced by folklore and magical realism, The Kiminee Dream is a lyrical story with characters equally charmed and challenged while living where the ordinary and miraculous coexist seamlessly. If you like depth as well as whimsy, arresting twists, and details that rouse your senses, you’ll love what is both an eloquent exploration of acceptance and a tender tribute to the people of Illinois.


  1. Jerry Kohut

    that’s such a happy ending. Forgiveness is a great thing. it does release you from your anger and sets one free indeed.

  2. admin

    Thanks, Jerry! Carly does seem to really know how to forgive not just in word, but in deed — better than I do, I think, which is an interesting thing about fictional characters. They can be a whole lot better — or worse, or zany or complex or entertaining — than those of us who bring them to life on the page are.

  3. Barbara Toboni

    Great job, Laura. You mean we have to wait for the book now? I like the voice you are using in this section. Isn’t he the cab driver or am I confused? I’ll be glad when you get them all in one piece. This will be a good story.

  4. admin

    Thanks, Barbara. Yes, this one is written from the chauffeur’s viewpoint. One of the things I’m going to do next with this project is pick one point of view and stick with it to carry the story. I think it will either be the chauffeur or maybe an omniscient narrator. Then, if that doesn’t work, I’ll try another tack. I very much appreciate your encouragement. I’ll try not to keep you waiting too long for the next incarnation of this story.

  5. Susan

    I have a picture of my 3 siblings and me that I call, “The Four of Us”, so I was particularly interested in how things would turn out for Carly and Chloe. I felt they would turn out okay and they did. Cool. (Can’t say the same for my 3 siblings, as you know.) : ) Thank for the lift, my friend. HUGS!

  6. admin

    I’m glad the story gave you a lift, dear Susan. And thanks for the hugs! (I sometimes remind myself when I’m feeling discouraged that as long as I’m breathing there is hope. Things can and do change for the better, sometimes when we least expect it.)


  1. A dime a dozen - [...]  The four of us Filed Under: Flash fiction, Relationships Tagged With: blogging, crime, daughters, family, fear, fiction, flash fiction,…
  2. Cascading to the sea - [...]  The four of us Filed Under: Flash fiction, Relationships Tagged With: blogging, childhood, conflict, daughters, family, relationships, war [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up here to receive your free copy of Just In Case

Subscribe to Laura McHale Holland’s newsletter

Thank you! Watch your inbox, your welcome email should arrive soon.