Sunday, May 14, 2006

Flash Fiction Friday #36

A cool breeze licked the back of her neck as she carefully climbed out onto the girder of the Queensboro. Unlike Harvey, she was the picture of health for an elderly woman, and it served her well in making her journey from the small home they had shared in Woodhaven for longer than she could bear to recall to the perch she now occupied. Most of the gnarled old bats in her neighborhood could barely get several steps out their front doors before beckoning (she chuckles lightly in her mind at the thought of Ruth Finkelstein issuing any request so polite as to be characterized as beckoning) to their children or husbands for aid. So frustrated they would get. She would gladly exchange her own robustness for more time with Harvey.

Harvey. Such a maelstrom of emotions thoughts of him stirred. Fondess, laughter, indescribable grief and horror regarding the way the disease rotted him from the outside to his core in so short a span of time. But most of all, out of thoughts of Harvey arose deep love and tortuous longing. These last two feelings were what brought her to where she now stood.

As if from another universe or a long-forgotten era, she is vaguely conscious of people noticing her from the pedestrian path on the bridge, even over the cacophony of cars and taxis and buses. She was aware this might happen. Though she couldn't seem to pinpoint when it had started, over the last few years a minor miracle had occured. New Yorkers seemed to care about the well being of their fellow citizens. Right then, on with the task at hand.

She wills herself to look up from her feet and takes in Manhattan beyond the East River. Such a glorious city. When her grandmother would take her on their treasured outings to Central Park as a girl, she would vow each time that she would never live anywhere else. And so she felt today, but in addition could not even bear the sight of the source of such fond memories knowing that she would never share another with Harvey.

"Ma'am. Hey ma'am! You gotta get..." an authoritative voice shouts at her. It is growing louder.

Dear, dear Harvey. I hope to see you soon. She sucks in one last deep breath and, resolve steeled, steps off the girder towards the waters of the East.

7 comments:

Display Name said...

Fantastic! I am so moved by this, I can't even describe it. That's not a bunch of smoke blowing either. Really, really succinct and marvelous.

angel said...

oh that is so sad. nice work doll.

James said...

Pretty good go for your first time. Did I say it was good exercise or was it good exercise? Haha

Slave to the dogs said...

Thanks kids, I'm blushing. It's fun to try to convey as much as possible with the required brevity. Consider me a FFF addict!

sweet trini said...

now i miss harvey too.
nice fff.
walk good.

JJ said...

Quite evocative.

gizmorox said...

That's really beautiful. Nicely done.