When I woke up this morning, I think six people from SHU had already posted their flash fiction pieces! Reminded me I needed to get on the ball. I'm not one for writing flash fiction, as you can tell by my aiming for a 95K word count on my novel and considering that "short," but I wanted to try it.
Here's what I wrote. I was trying for something subtle, but, I am not sure it came across. Anyone get how it ends?
A New England Sunday morning, two men unrelated but joined at the engine, stood together in the sun. Neither noticed the sweat rolling down. One picked at an acidic science project, one scavenged the right funnel. The impending trip hung between them as they fiddled with fluids and caps. Their camaraderie was new but comfortable. The thing families were made of.
The women came out, beckoned by the activity. The older resisted the sun, the younger needing to be close enough that she risked a burn sitting on the front steps. They spoke low to each other. Each minute was held, both aware of time speeding past.
“I’m all right,” the younger one said. “All right” didn’t mean much to her these days. It meant “I’m not bawling my eyes out in this precise moment,” and the elder understood that.
“He talks to him like he does Cameron,” she said instead, nodding to her husband, speaking of a beloved nephew.
“He takes it well.” The younger man wasn’t Cameron, but knew just about as much about cars as the nine year old did.
The morning was a first of its kind and already one of the last.
“They came again last night.”
“The robbers? What is that damned driveway bell worth if no one can hear it over the ACs?”
The elder woman shook her head, careful not to be overheard. “Not the robbers.”
That sank in. What to call them? “The Others” was so sci-fi tv, “The Aliens” too far-fetched to be believed.
“What did they take?”
In answer the elder woman opened her mouth wide. Back in her molars, jagged broken tooth-pits gaped like mini-black holes.
“What the F?! Your fillings? That’s F’d up, mum.”
“What can I do? They were all on the pillow beside me when I woke up. I look like a crazy woman who pulled all her fillings out in the middle of the night.”
“How would you even accomplish that? Seriously. We need to tell someone.” The daughter looked again at the men, at her fiancé bending over a battery cable. “What if they hurt you? Or… one of us?”
“They won’t touch him. They haven’t bothered anyone but me.”
“You’ll be leaving soon. Maybe they will too.”
The Visitors had come with the daughter but never messed with her life the way they’d taken the mother’s computer apart, moved her car, broken her dishes. No mother wished that on their daughter, but…
“Maybe they’ll leave too.”
The daughter glanced then over at the men, at her fiancé wielding pliers, at the tiny screwdriver he’d used to pry the corrosion from the battery terminal.
“Maybe they’ll leave with me.”