Short Story #1

I have forgotten how to tell a story since the world turned upside down. For the next 30 days – up to Christmas eve – I will be writing one short, more like flash fiction piece a day for practice. Apparently you can’t write 30 bad stories – I’ll be putting this theory to the test. Forgive me if they are, and feel free to give me pointers as I truly can’t remember anything that I’ve learnt about the art of story writing, or maybe I’m just having trouble accessing the information in my jumbled-up brain. Here is hoping that this gets me unstuck. I hope you enjoy some of it at least.


What Do You Mean?

Try something new.

What was this? During her obsessional morning ritual, she had never pulled this card from the 44 ocean blue rectangles with sparkling swirls of white, pink and purple energy. Kimberly imagined them to be the gateway to the universe – her answers to life. She lived by these cards.

Throughout the day she worked at following the advice, never once questioning what it meant.

She walked to work instead of taking the bus. If she had bothered to check the weather forecast before leaving the house, she would have known to take her umbrella. Two blocks from the office she was caught in a downpour. Perhaps that just meant she needed a new outfit.

If only she had listened to the sales assistant and years of feedback, she might not have gotten the uncomfortable glances in the lift. Some patterns don’t suit, no matter how good your body. They are disturbing.

Lunchtime at her favourite haunt left her starving when she forewent the usual chicken salad with creamy dressing and ordered sushi. Colourful wheels that raised alarm as their decidedly fishy odour pulled up her nose and then left her mouth with the unquenchable fire of hell after just one.

Once she could talk again, she attempted a conversation with the marketing designer whom she avoided out of fear for all her piercings, tattoos and monochromatic black wardrobe and ass-kicker boots. Avoidance had been a wise choice to begin with.

In bed that evening Kimberly questioned the message of the cards for the first time ever. Maybe that card was meant for someone else, or the word ‘new’ didn’t mean different, but rather a more recently purchased something that she already liked. Maybe tomorrow would give a card that would clarify todays.

Next morning tipping the cards from their box they missed her hand and fluttered to the floor. In a grab to catch them she knocked her coffee cup over and cried out as the soggy ocean blue now resembled a sepia caffeine pool crowned with her bedside peace lily as it toppled over onto the mess. Kimberly cradled her head and sobbed.

“Finally!” Her best friend exclaimed on hearing the sorry tale. It is about time you tried a new place to get your answers. Like maybe your own intuition. Let it out and it could surprise you.

by Debbie Gravett © 2020.11.25

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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