I've been trying to avoid flash fiction lately and force myself to write longer, because for a while, everything I wrote seemed to come in at 1500 words or less. I think I naturally write short, which causes me no end of pain as I try to expand my MS to something approaching novel length. Microfic is great fun though. It's a challenge to see how much story you can pack into 250 words. This was what I came up with.
A blessing on your fields
I have never seen an uglier thing as I turn the little statue over in my hands, all lumpen breasts and belly and huge buttocks. It doesn’t even have a face.
“Isn’t it gorgeous?” Laura says. “I saw it in the souk and knew you’d love it. It’s supposed to bring fertility to your fields.”
“It’s wonderful,” I lie.
When she’s gone I throw my fat, pregnant statue out onto the lawn. Stupid statue and stupid, insensitive Laura who has no idea how her gift makes me feel. The dog retrieves it and takes it to her favourite spot under the honeysuckle.
The postman brings my letter the next day. The dog bites her tongue in her frenzy guarding the house, but the spectre of bad news always finds its way in. Tooth marks and bloody smears on the envelope won’t change anything.
I shut her out in the garden to drip blood and calm down as I open it. I already know what it will say.
In the morning a swathe of wheat has grown out of the dirt under the honeysuckle. The dog looks confused. In the afternoon she comes into season and breaks out of the garden, returning late and smug. There might be puppies.
That night as my husband sleeps, I lay under the honeysuckle on a bed of immature wheat. I pull a knife across my palm and let blood drip on to the dirt in front of the statue.
I can’t wait.