A selection of flash-fiction, shorts, ideas and (a very little) poetry. All by V.C. Linde.
Two sets of footprints in the sand became one much deeper set when he was gone. Her faith had stopped walking beside her and she had to carry it.
She grew up looking at the mountains; there her worship started and was encouraged by her family. She spent her entire life looking after this dead-weight that had been tied to her neck forcing her head down from the clouds.
He came and made her forget the sadness that their faith brought until he appeared too much of a threat and so they decided to take him back. The day that he left she began to suffocate on the deep chain around her imperfect throat.
Everyone rallied to see her carry on, made sure she kept pulling the corpse of faith until the day that she fell into the earth and it dragged her down so deep that she couldn’t resurface.
Character Portrait – Karen
Karen has ordered the same cup of coffee again. She gets to the station fifteen minutes before the train is due in and then has just enough time to buy a cup of coffee and maybe even a pretzel if she’s not had time to stop and eat. It’s a short journey home but having a hot drink on the way means that she has something to do with her hands when she is waiting and allows her a legitimate barrier while she is surrounded by strangers on the train. She could always leave work a bit later and get almost straight onto the train but she likes being there early, just in case. She works in insurance in the middle of the city. She graduated from a nondescript university in the Midlands with a 2.2 in English. Nothing she could do with an English degree, she wasn’t exactly surprised at this, she had known that it would not lead anywhere but it was the thing to do. So she did it. London seemed like the right place to go for a girl with nothing to do. A bank seemed like a good place to go, and so she went. And stayed. And now she has her routine and an easy commute between London and Kettering. Karen sits in the same carriage everyday in one of the closed-in seats with fold out desks so that she can put her coffee down and her guard up. The conductors nod in recognition of her, no longer needing to see her season ticket that she buys a day early, to make sure that she has it if there isn’t time the next day. Other people don’t seem to think of these little things that can make your life less stressful and unexpected. Odd really, it comes naturally to her. Today she is wearing one of her three suits, well she really has four but one is kept for interviews, funerals and very important meetings – which never seem to happen. She’s wearing the dark grey pinstripe today with a blue blouse and skin-tone tights. She has a pair of court shoes to match each suit, which makes sense seeing as it avoids a decision in the morning. Another simple and effective time-saving device.
Character Portrait – David
The man sitting at the table diagonally opposite me is called David. Never Dave. He works for the London branch of Abbey National in marketing. He doesn’t very often have to take work home, or rather he has very little to do with it when he does but he always does it on the train. Not because he has anyone to spend time with at home whom he is prioritising but rather because he wants people to think he is a lot more important than he actually is. He always buys medium-quality shirts in bright colours to attract the attention he is not sure that he wants. The wax that he puts in his hair makes very little difference to how he thinks he looks, or even how he feels about himself, but it’s now part of his daily routine. David loves his leather briefcase that his brother and sister-in-law bought for him five years ago as a birthday present. He never unpacks it because then he knows exactly where everything is for the next day, routine. Every so often he stops annotating his very unimportant papers and looks out of the window into the lights of British night and thinks about changing. He might go to Latin America. He likes Spain so Latin America would be a good place to try next. Or maybe just stick with Spain. Latin America can be rather risky, all of these feuding people and silly leftist rulers with cigars. Yes, sticking to Spain would be a good idea, and he knows when is best to go so he can take the same time off work as last year.
Time stops, spins and falls
Hits the crazy paving hard
It shatters into seconds
People don’t notice
Just walk on by
Pretending that it doesn’t matter.
Moments litter the street
Quarter-hours drop in the gutter
And birthdays drip into the drain
Roads awash with minutes
Each little event has come apart
And sloshes at our feet
The city covered in an era.
Little black ‘v’ flies
across a two-tone sky.
A child’s sun smiles on the curved waves
Crumpled, increased edges
Thin people play and fall
on a yellow beach.
Holding five fingered hands
with outstretched thumbs.
Crescent smiles on a
picture perfect face.
In the mind’s eye
Outside factors cannot
Blinded by youth
not seeing the blinkers.
All content copyright of V.C. Linde