Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday. This week, I took another idea from Chuck Wendig’s blog, over at Terrible Minds. I hope you like it. You can find other flash fiction on this website under Flash Fiction here.
Flash Fiction Friday: Red Bookshop
Selena could still hear the train’s soft woo woo as it cut a path through the snowy woods. It was taking away her Robert, and she could only stand and wrap her arms around herself to ward off the cold. It was stealing it’s way down into her bones and soon she would be as cold and dead inside as Robert.
She turned from the blowing snow and went to go back inside the red bookshop behind her. It played two parts in this region–one as a train station, (more of a stop really, but people did embark on their journeys from here)–the other as a little red bookshop stuck away in this minute corner of the world. Here, no one read anything longer than the train schedule.
No one except Selena, that is.
But she wasn’t interested in reading today. Today she could only sob quietly as she sat on the red painted benches where passengers whiled away time waiting on the train. She knew that Robert would reach his ultimate destination with no more help from her. His family back east would see to it that he had the best funeral that money could buy. Too bad they’d never given a thought to his well-being when he was alive.
She’d never met any of them. Not his sister who was touted to be his mirror image. Not his mother or father or even a distant cousin. That was her Robert. He left them all behind and told her that they could rot in their big fancy houses. He’d kill himself before he’d ever ask them for anything, and he hadn’t. Not in the twenty odd years they’d been together.
She straightened a little and wiped her eyes. She had to get home. The train station was no place for her to act out her grief.
Her eyes went to the pretty covers of books that nestled on the shelves in the brightly colored bookshop. The owner had put a pot of tea on, she could smell it’s lemony scent as it floated over to her aided by the air that pushed in from outside whenever the door opened.
It would be so nice to just sip a cup of tea, flip through a novel, and forget the hellishness of the past few days. The car accident had taken everything from her, including her sanity.
She rose from the bench and went over to the nearest book shelf. She walked purposefully down the row and when she had counted out fifteen steps in her head, she turned and took the first book off the shelf that she came to.
Selena had pretty eclectic tastes in her reading material but this was the strangest of all. She plopped the thousand page tome down on the counter and told the sweet young lady behind it to “wrap it up to go and add in a cup of tea”.
She had to get back to life. If the tea and book didn’t work, there was always a hot bath. Washing away her sorrows and trying to bury her pain would get her a lot farther than sitting by the window stroking one of Robert’s flannel shirts until she fell asleep in his easy chair, tears drying on her cheeks.
The moment the book and tea were in her hands, she looked around the red bookshop and wondered where her life had gone. It was like the blood in her very veins had oozed out and painted themselves on the walls of this building.
She forced herself to go out, ignoring the cheery tingle of the doorbell as she did.
Kim Smith is the author of Ten Tips For Getting that Book Written available on Amazon