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Future Memory #fridayflash #fiction #flashfiction

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Thank you for stopping in to read my #fridayflash. Future Memory is a sort of reverie I wrote in about five minutes and what I’m calling pace practice….. It is rated PG by my standardsBe sure to visit the Friday Flash Community for more great flash fiction by outstanding authors! 

Image by Roslyn Fain

 

Future Memory, Roslyn Fain

Palm fronds dark and vivid tickling hazy indigo sky and, if you look beyond your peripheral vision, you’ll see, on the horizon, salt-water lifting, lifting from the ocean to race towards shore where you stand with camera in hand capturing the beauty of nature, up, around, down, more beauty below at your (sun-kissed) toes squishing into sand where a lone hermit crab slams sideways into your ankle, shakes the sharp blow from his head, reaches out, tentative as a human examining a jellyfish, brushes his pincer against your skin and you move, it tickles!, and the crab, quick! so quick you don’t even see it, retreats into his shell and lays there, not moving.

The crab lies perfectly still for your perfectly aimed camera and oh, the children will love this!, you think – you have access to the resort’s printer and for mere dollars you can blow up the picture of the hermit crab crawling towards the horizon where the ocean rains down on itself and, just between shore and water, you’ll carefully align the Dead pirate, (peeking up from desiccated casket like your Uncle Joe pulling a prank), put him in his place, exactly where he belongs: in his watery grave.

And oh! don’t forget – you must take a picture of the alligator that lives in a pond by the cabins, surprisingly close to the cabins, to the pool where the little ones splash day-in-day-out and the alligator will go on the other side of the pirate, line him up just so, maybe there’s still blood on the pirate’s hands and the alligator will have a meal and as soon as your sons see this picture on the cover of their vacation activity book you just know they’ll be inspired to fill the blank pages, (not with scribbly lines to color but with words!), they will write words on these pages, each of them will create an entirely different story of their own and on the trip home, the fourteen-hour-long-ride-home, the story and their own accompanying illustrations will complete the book for you to store away until high school graduation.

As you’re traveling by car to visit your sons’ first choice of six colleges you’ll open your book bag and pull out the notebooks, the first and the most recent, and you’ll say, “Oh, wow, look what I found!” and you’ll reverently hand each of your children the books they created all those years ago and your children will say, “Gee Mom, you kept these things?”

“Of course.”

“I thought it was just something to shut us up on those long trips.”

And you’re hurt, you’re offended until you glance over and see your husband in the driver’s seat smiling and then your sons are laughing – once again, joke’s on Mom, Mom’s so funny!

And all this reels through your over-wrought brain like the best movie you’ve never seen, all in the space of mere seconds it took to snap that crab in your viewfinder.

You’d best savor that future memory, cherish it, for it’s the only time you’ll ever see it.

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17 Comments

  1. the last line made me wonder if emotionally the mother was going to retreat & hide in a shell of her own once the kids grow up, leave for college & then find homes & wives of their own? lovely central image for the passage of time

    • Thank you Marc. That outcome is indeed what I had in mind myself but I wanted to leave it open to interpretation to hear what other possibilities are imagined.

      So go ahead, everyone, let me know what you feel the last line means….

  2. I enjoyed the breathless nature of the tale, with only the paragraph breaks giving a moment to catch your breath. It certainly portrayed a mind whizzing off into the future very well indeed.

  3. This was a beautiful memory created and yet that last line says it all. One gets the feeling this mother thinks it will all be over for her, once her kids have grown up as though there will be no place for her. Sad. but very well written. ^_^

  4. Steve Green says:

    It does seem that she is hoping, but not expecting, any future happiness from this, just taking what pleasure she can from experiencing that future echo. One would hope that the future memory she envisages actually happens,

  5. That last line is just so necessary. I thought it was very smart to have that phrase further up about just beyond the peripheral vision — it hints the readers so nicely about the perception realignment the MC is about to have.

  6. This feels so sad. I hear the words of a woman who suffers neglect and abuse from her family. They never really respect her and she dreams of a time when they joke with her instead of at her.

  7. How many times my wife and I have been there, looking out toward the future, and wondering if our children will really appreciate the memories we’ve tried to create for them.

    The images in this story are amazing. I love your descriptive language that places me into the story I can almost hear the water and feel the crab. Nicely done.

    • Thanks so much! I admit, the crab running into her ankle mostly autobiographical, so maybe that made it a bit easier to describe. I appreciate you reading and taking time to share your thoughts.

  8. There’s definitely something bittersweet about this – she tries so hard to please her children, as if her entire world is revolving around them, and they don’t even seem to notice. Beautiful writing.

  9. richardbon says:

    I like the idea of thinking of a present scene as a future memory, and how you created a future conversation with your son.

I love hearing from my readers so please do open your mind, open your heart and open your mouth!

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