For the month of April, fellow author, Thea Atkinson is streaking through 30 blogs and flashing us a piece of fiction. I generously offered her a space today so she could expose a piece. My blog will be back to normal tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy and follow the links at the end to see who she flashed yesterday and who she will flash tomorrow. Feel free to leave a comment to let me know if you enjoyed the streak, and you are welcome to tweet it or share it on Facebook. You can also follow the chain through twitter with the hashtag #blogstreak.

And here's Thea's Flash Fiction...

June 16, 2010


Auburn sky rises into azure. From my spot on the painted but worn veranda I listen to the frogs off in the bushes down where some pond touches the shore. I listen while I smoke the cheroots you hate, my fingers gripping this old book as though it were a codex to some strange and ancient language.

I found it last night after you flung the insults at me, called me masochist and retentive along with some more mundane things like jerk and creep and a dozen other things thrown in. I hadn't expected to find it, and certainly not where it was left, laying out in the open demanding to be found, maybe even forgotten there. But I did. I discovered it too late and now I sit on our veranda -- the one we built to stare out into the backwoods instead of the front -- and I do stare. Yet I think too.

I remember your hair. The way it smells clean--just clean--and how it fringes your brows like the edge of an old quilt. It’s auburn, like the color that creeps into afternoon when the sun goes down. Always in your face and you’re forever sweeping it back with those elegant hands stained with earth from the garden.

That simple motion captivates me. I'm sure you've noticed the way I stare, but then you’d just say I was being rude again, like you did last night because you don't understand that your simplest movements capture my heart, and I can't find the words to tell you. I’ve never been good at that. Instead I make some foolish comment that your nails are dirty and you throw a hurt look at me.

I think too of the years we've spent together. A dozen years of misunderstandings and struggles to empathize with each other. Man against woman. Me against you, trying unsuccessfully to melt into one, culminating in the ill-fated dinner.

All I’d said was, "the shrimp is stringy" and you'd flung your napkin to the floor the way only an infuriated woman can do, and even that movement mesmerized me. You thought I was acting superior again. My frightened silence doomed me as surely as words could have.

I didn't want you to leave. I watched you throw jeans and T-shirts into grocery bags (you were in too much of a hurry to bother with a suitcase) and each time a ripped pair slapped against plastic, it sounded like a tear of my heart. Yet I said nothing, couldn't speak.

"Creep. Bloody insensitive bastard," You called me. I'll always remember that; now I hear the crickets chirping it from the woods. It sounds giddy tonight, not doomed. It sounds playful. So why does my throat burn?

I still don't know what to say. Even one whole night later, listening to the night -- our favorite time -- and feeling the summer breeze on my face, whispering past my sideburns and into my ear, nothing comes to me.

You were always the talker, thrilling me with stories of your childhood, or moving me with emotions I couldn't articulate. And I was the listener, not the ignorer as you believed. I couldn't give you the speech you wanted. Only my heart, my soul. My living breath. But you didn't recognize it in my silence and now I wait in the dark praying you'll return.

And this book can't help; as I've said, I found it too late. It could well be a true codec, not just a metaphor like you speak of so often. You see I was listening when you called yourself a well and me a bucket draining you dry. I understood the idea of metaphor and have found my own too late.

This is your diary, your confidante. My key to your heart. I only hope you return for it.

Yesterday Thea was on Kristina Jackson's Blog. You can catch up with Thea tomorrow on Daniel Arenson's Blog


Lurrved your streaking, Thea! And I'm now awarding you the Official Streaking T-shirt!

Happy Streaking!

Sibel xx