Whilst acknowledging the enormity of the US election result, here at Fiction Can Be Fun, we felt it increased the need for distraction. So, following on from last Friday’s prompt, here are our fictional offerings …
Being a regular at Alcholohics Annoymous, he was often disposed to say “this too shall pass”. This Christmas, my first without him, when I’m alone because he’d been lying to himself and so to me, I’d have hit anyone who said it to me. But me, my future self, telling my past self this truth, actually that would be welcome. That’s what I need you see, right now, to know. To be absolutely certain that the vision I am creating of myself post-him is going to come true. That I will be strong and independent, happy and fulfilled once more. That I will look back and see the positives. That the negatives will no longer be painful. That I will have forgiven him. And forgiven myself, for loving him. That my life will no longer be haunted by the fear that I will never get it right. So I will believe I can find someone who isn’t just looking for that person to make them feel better, to make them feel whole once again. Before they take flight, that is. But someone who thinks “wow, isn’t she fantastic” and who will hold on for grim death, through thick and thin. That’s what I want from my future self, to know that I have a good life, one where I am loved and cherished, valued and respected, wanted not just needed or desired. A life where I am fulfilling my potential, not wishing I’d taken that chance, that opportunity. But where I am content with the roads not taken and where my current path makes me smile. So come on, future me, send me the welcome news. I need to stop crying, I need to eat from pleasure and not just because I’ve lost far too much weight far too quickly. I need to be able to be with people without them looking at me with pity or impatience and while I can’t get past this hurt, that’s all I get. I want to be able to laugh again, even a giggle would do right now. I want to be able to do more than put one foot in front of the other. And knowing that I will, in fact that I already have in some parallel universe, that would be the one thing which could help me right now. Because nothing and no-one else seems to. And that feels just so achingly lonely. So, come, wish me a Merry Christmas and deliver your message of good cheer, because me – that’s the one person I’ll believe not to tell me any lies. Just the thought makes me smile as I go to answer the doorbell.
Word count: 445
© 2016 Debra Carey
The dream slipped away: in my befuddled state I couldn’t tell if I was glad to lose a nightmare or sad that some utopia had been snatched from me. It turned out that the voices that had penetrated inside my head were from the radio-alarm clock. Sleep had not been a consistent companion recently, and as I wiped the gritty residue from my eyes (and, let’s be honest, the ooze of drool from the side of face), I tried to summon enthusiasm for a new day, new opportunities – and failed. Shaking my head, I started to pay attention to the radio. The news reader sounded hysterical: apparently people across the world were waking up to find golden envelopes in their post-boxes. Everyone, from world leaders to the lowliest of the low. No, not quite everyone – the very old almost to a person were exempt, as was anyone under the age of five, and a few others from all walks of life and of all ages had not received anything. There appeared to be no rhyme or reason to this.
I went to the front door, and there, sure enough was a golden envelope. I really wasn’t sure that I wanted to open it. I knew myself well enough to know that I wasn’t sending myself the sports results from the last ten years. Nor would I be suggesting investing a £100 at compound rates. What would I send myself? There was a part of me that was tempted to throw the wretched thing in the recycling bin and be done with it but, given the energies involved in sending this thing back to me, I felt that it would be irresponsible to do so.
I took the letter to my study, sat in my deluxe writer’s chair and picked up my favourite letter opener (wooden, hand-carved, with a pattern of elephants, from a trip to South Africa, since you ask) and slit the envelope open. I extracted two pieces of paper. One was a dust-jacket from a hardback book; the other was a handwritten note, which did indeed appear to be my handwriting.
I turned the dust jacket over. The cover was a little lurid for my tastes, but the title was for a book I had been pondering over for some time. It wasn’t my name on the cover, but it was a nom de plume I had been thinking of writing under…The plot summary had been redacted, but the usual trivialities by best-selling authors were present and complimentary, as you’d expect. Surprisingly this was not a first edition cover, nor even the third, but a surprising and gratifying fifth (which probably explained the lurid cover). Emblazoned across the cover was the legend: 1 Million Copies Sold. I looked at the cover, stupefied. I fumbled for the note, which was unsigned, but clearly my scrawl. It said: Write the damned book.
© 2016 David Jesson