Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Peddling Back to Life #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to the lovely Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW August 8th, 2017 Edition. 

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Credit: Dorothy

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Mike peddled with little effort yet his face was dripping sweat as a hot candle dripping wax. Each peddling motion on the tandem bike was agony.

“We have to stop, Tommy.”

“Nope, I promised you we’d get you fit.”

“What if I don’t want that? And why hills?”

“Hills are the best for doing intervals which burn fat better.”

“Who cares?”

Tommy frowned. “I care because I’m your brother.  I realize you’ve been depressed, that finding the right medication has caused you significant weight gain.”

“I also know antidepressants make you extra hungry and that eating makes you feel better since Beth’s death.”

Mike halted the tandem bicycle. “Don’t ever talk about her.”

“I will, someone needs to tell you the facts. The Doctor phoned you and I answered your phone, thinking it was important.”

“I was right. The Doctor’s concerned your blood pressure has skyrocketed. He says you’re quite obese and that if you don’t eat well and exercise you’ll get diabetes.”

Mike growled, turning to glare at Tommy behind him. 

Tommy shoved him. “The Doctor told me so I could help you. Beth chose death so your healthy daughter could live. Tira is two and being raised by her grandparents. That isn’t right.”

“I’m in no shape to raise, Tira.”

“That’s sad. Remember your therapist said, in our family session, that most of your problems are set behaviors, that can be altered? Depression isn’t to blame for everything.”

Mike shook his head, disagreeing. 

“I’ll help you, Mike. We’ll take it one day at a time.”

“Todsy’s day one, right?”

Tommy grinned, “Yep, and stop whining. I’m doing most of the peddling, not you.”

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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Writing 101 – The Red Sweater


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A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

 

He hadn’t always wanted  a child. Michael found them messy and loud, a disturbance to his peace of mind. Then, Natalie became pregnant and the way he thought about a child changed. He could see her belly grow and feel the child kicking, a life force all her own saying, ” It’s me Dad. It’s me Mom. Are you out there?” Then the day came when Natalie started having large contractions and he drove her to the hospital excitedly proud that he would be a new Dad soon. The labour took hours and when the baby was born Natalie and Michael waited for it to give that first piercing cry of life, but the little one never cried. She didn’t move, she was still and remained still.

Walking through the park that day with Natalie the tiny red sweater reminded him of their lost baby and he wept. Was it his fault because he hadn’t wanted a baby in the first place that their little girl died?

Natalie watched her husband cry and at first, she didn’t know why. Mike was not an emotional man, she had rarely seen him cry except for maybe after she had given birth to a still-born child in the hospital. Then Natalie saw the little red sweater an old women was knitting and she understood why Michael wept. He was remembering the baby. She grimaced. Hours of labour and she had give birth to a lifeless doll. She didn’t understand why but the baby episode, all the preparations, the looking forward to the baby, the labour, had all made her feel numb. Natalie felt as if she didn’t exist as if her and Michael were 2 completely different people since that time 2-years ago. Mike had wanted another baby as soon as possible, she had shaken her head sadly at him and said, ” Maybe in a few years.” But Natalie didn’t know if a few years would ever come.

Grandma Florence sat happily knitting a little red sweater for her first grandchild. She was ecstatic and had even thought that none of her kids would have grandchildren, since they were all in their late 30’s anyways. She held up the tiny red sweater and a man walking by her with his wife begin to cry in earnest. Florence wondered why she holding up a little red sweater, would make anybody cry? Babies brought joy the world. They were the promise that life, that the world would continue with a piece of you in it. She shook her head absently, noticed she had goofed up the last stitch and went back to finishing the sweater on the bench. Her sparkling eyes and ruddy cheeks gave her the look of a grandma who was extremely happy and had never experienced what Natalie and Michael went through. She had other things to focus on.