Thursday 15 August 2013

Flash Fiction 2013, Featured Writer Manjima Ghosh

The Day

The gravel crunched under her, like fruit loops in cold milk. She liked fruit loops. She liked days when the world whispered. She liked how drops of drizzling silver clung to her damp curls, as she let telltale wisps of stale smoke caress her, like a loose unguarded veil.

She liked how the cancer was devouring at her insides, like a child with a tub of ice cream; with a numb tongue on a messy kitchen counter. She liked vanilla because the world didn't and she didn't like the world very much.

She liked metaphors. She liked watching them ease out the verb's angry creases. She never did like verbs very much. Verbs were like impatient cars on a Monday morning, rushing to the next traffic light.

She wondered where they'd go-the words the world forgot and books they'd never read-lost in musty drawers and rumpled notepaper. She wondered if they'd ever run out of words. She wondered if there were enough for the world to live on. She wondered, if she'd ever run out of words. She wondered if she'd ever find the words she'd been looking for.

She liked mud. She liked how it enveloped her right toe with dirty warmth, as it dug into a puddle that still glistened from long gone rain. She liked when her tea turned bitter-a glimmer of what could've been, gone cold.

She liked the bus boy with the split lip. He liked his tea sweet. And loud. And extravagant. Quite unlike his fraying shorts and tired eyes-a gloomy shade of grey. The kind of gloomy that sweeps into you on rainy mornings. Like these.

His voice was like a book you'd read, twice, to remind yourself of words you'd never forget. He didn't like cancer, very much. He didn't like her, very much. He'd told her he was boring, once. Boring, like fruit loops in cold milk. And sweet tea. And verbs. And the cancer.

And it was the greatest thing she'd ever been told.

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