General Flash Fiction posted December 5, 2013


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flash fiction contest entry

Journey to Somewhere

by Spiritual Echo

She looked down at the blood that had dried in the dust. It was all that was left of his humanity. She spread his cremated remains as she walked the gravel shoulder of the highway.

There was no fanfare when Joseph Morris died; no funeral, wake or blessing from a priest. The only notoriety that Joey ever received was on the six-o'clock news when CNN reported a massive vehicular accident that left sixteen people injured and one fatality. Joey was that 'one fatality.' "They never even mentioned his name" Laura whimpered.

Laura knew that she had no right to mourn the man she barely knew. But somehow, she was the only person in all of Swanson County that ever heard of Joseph Morris, the trucker who travelled up and down I95 every week. He'd stop for breakfast at the diner where Laura worked, always making sure he sat in her section, always ordering the same food--eggs over easy, sausages and warm biscuits.

When he first came into the diner, he kept his eyes down. He'd mumble a thank you, but never looked up at Laura when she greeted him with a cheery 'good morning.' But over the last year, she caught him sneaking glances at her while he ate. She liked him looking at her. Nobody had noticed the waitress on the losing side of youth for a long time.

Laura found herself looking forward to the trucker in the wrinkled denim jacket. He seemed to feel the same way, and Laura couldn't help notice that after a while he'd started to shave and smelled like Ivory soap.

"I brought this for you," Joey had said, holding out a paper bag when Laura came to refresh his coffee.

"For me?" Laura was stunned. Nobody had brought her a present--ever.

"It's not like its new or anything. I saw it stuck in some bushes by the road, and I thought of you, how it matched your eyes and all."

"Wow, Joey, it's beautiful. I think it's silk."

"I washed it real careful like, just so you know and won't be afraid to wear it."

She'd wrapped the scarf around her neck and kissed Joey on the forehead, watching him turn crimson red, blushing, but he flashed a toothy grin. "Maybe we could have supper together sometime, you know, do you think?"

Joey never made it back to the diner for their date. The jack-knifed trailer was said to have swerved to miss a dog. Cars and transports slammed into the semi, throwing the driver out the window.

"Looks like I95 will be closed for a few hours, Folks," the announcer reported on the TV. Laura knew right then and there that Joey wasn't going to make it for supper or breakfast or anything.

She'd wrapped the plastic urn in the blue silk scarf; somehow thinking it gave a little more magic or dignity to the ashes of Joseph Morris. She began her own walk down I95, tracing Joey's last breaths, final moments of life when possibilities were erased by a stray dog. The ashes flew high, fluttering across the highway as cars raced by, continuing their journey to somewhere.

She stopped at the spot where Joey died and looked down at the dried blood. She set the urn down on the spot, then let the wind catch the scarf and released it, letting the silk dance above the highway, caressing the ashes of Joseph Morris--her Joey.


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Write a flash fiction story that is between 300 and 600 words.

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