Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 6) of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge 2021” Week #35.
Today I’m featuring contributions from entry Part 6) By Kirsten Nairn
Last week I set the following Challenge:
Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing. Maximum word count: 750 words.
Here is the image prompt and Kirsten’s contribution.
The glow from the flickering candles reflected in her eyes, as he leaned in for what they both knew would be their final kiss. The stillness of the night broken only by the insects, buzzing and humming in the palm trees above, oblivious to the bittersweet pain unfolding below.
They had known this moment would come, but neither were truly prepared. Her heart ached as she felt his lips on hers, kissing her with a tenderness she had never known.
‘Please,’ he pleaded, his pain and desperation clear to see. She looked away, the sorrow in his eyes unbearable. ‘Please think about it,’ he urged, ‘we can make this work, I promise.’
‘I can’t,’ she whispered. A chill ran through her, despite the warmth of the balmy evening.
He rested his forehead on hers and traced his thumb over her cheekbone. ‘I love you. And I know you love me. Surely that must count for something?’ He knew it was hopeless, but he had to try, and keep trying, until he could try no longer.
She closed her eyes and raised her face up to the sky, desperate to commit this moment to memory. The fresh, salty smell of sea spray, the sound of the waves gently slapping against the shore, the warm sand beneath her feet. His touch. Most of all, his touch. She would draw on this in the dark moments which undoubtedly lay ahead.
One day, if the stars were in their favour, they might find each other again.
She looked up at him, his eyes downcast, refusing to look at her. She placed her hand under his chin and gently tilted his head up. Their eyes locked.
‘I’m so sorry. Sometimes I wish we had never met. The thought of the pain I’m causing you is unbearable, and yet, the thought of never knowing you hurts even more. I will hold onto these memories for the rest of my life. This place and the times we have spent here. They will give me courage when I need it most. Is that very selfish of me?’
He shook his head, unable to speak for a moment. A lump had formed in his throat. ‘You’re the least selfish person I know. You’re kind, and caring. You put everyone first. Even him!’ he spat. That’s your downfall. Perhaps if you were more selfish things would be different for us.’ He turned his head away, like a sullen teenager.
They sat for a moment, both deep in their own thoughts, letting the silence engulf them.
She stood up and held her hand out to him. ‘Shall we? One last time?’
Reluctantly, he accepted it, and followed her down to the water’s edge. They gasped as the cold water circled their ankles. The moon, low in the sky, cast its eerie light far out to sea. Beckoning them. The waded out further, glancing at each other as the same thought crossed their minds. She felt his grip tighten as they continued, trance like, the strong currents below, gripping and pulling them downwards.
For a moment they felt no fear.
Brought to her senses by the shriek of a wild animal in the distance, she yanked her hand away.
‘No! This is wrong. I can’t.’ Unable to run, she wailed as she punched at the water, taking her anger out on the sea.
‘Katherine, wait! I’m sorry,’ he yelled. He caught up with her quickly, his long strides offering some advantage against the resistance of the waves, and pulled her into his arms. ‘I’m so sorry. Forgive me, please. That was stupid, I wouldn’t…we wouldn’t….’
‘I know,’ she soothed. ‘I know. And you’re wrong. I don’t put him before myself. It’s the children. The thought of what he would do them…’ she tailed off. ‘The only way I can truly protect them is to stay. Can’t you see? I have no choice.’
‘I’ll wait for you. Right here, where you can find me.’
They kissed once more.
He turned towards the sea, unable to watch her go.
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