So, a friend of mine put this prompt to me for a 400-word flash fiction. The result is as follows.
“He doesn’t like the rain,” Christy whispered.
Naomi glanced over at the younger girl. There was no way that Christy could know, this boy was at least twice her age – not even a boy, more of a man. And yet the little one delivered the words with absolute confidence. Naomi looked up. Not a cloud in sight. He was growing nearer, that one that didn’t like the rain. She’d seen him around before. His name was something strange and old-fashioned. Matthias. And he didn’t go by Matt. It was Matthias or nothing.
Good afternoon, Matthias, Naomi thought as he passed by. She would have given anything to speak to him, but she couldn’t. He passed by without even looking at her. And why would he? He was older, smarter, and ready for life. She was toting her little sister, a girl that spoke for her.
Naomi and Christy walked on. The mall was almost empty when they’d entered. Of course it would be. The stores were closing – only the movie theater and that seamy bar and grill were still open. The girls went to the theater. Christy picked the movie, and as always the girl strove to pick something Naomi would like too. Perhaps there was something to being raised with a mute sister in a household of neglect.
No snacks, no drinks. Didn’t have money for that, anyway.
Throughout the movie, Naomi kept thinking about Matthias. She didn’t know anything about him, not really. He had graduated high school less than three weeks ago. She didn’t go there, but some of her friends did and she’d gone to football games, amazed by the noise and the shouting. Were people never quiet?
The movie ended. The girls left and outside the sun had set. Naomi couldn’t see any stars – even the moon was blocked by dark clouds. Was it supposed to rain? But he doesn’t like the rain, she thought.
Indeed, as the girls began the long walk home, fat drops fell and soon enough they were sprinting through the streets, soaked to the bone. They stepped into an intersection. A car careened around the corner.
Naomi couldn’t scream, couldn’t warn the little one. Too late. She dropped to her knees. She couldn’t even cry. Footsteps. Matthias screaming at the driver. Matthias sobbing over the little one. Matthias staring at Naomi. Matthias.
He didn’t like the rain.
What do you think? I liked writing this. I intentionally wrote out-of-genre because I think I need more experience writing non-fantasy fiction. I also like the shortness of it. It really made me keep to the basics.
Take care, fellow travelers.