Fiction Friday 003 — “Maximus”

So, I don’t know how many of these I’ll have, but, occasionally, when the mood strikes me, I’ll post a flash story on (some) Fridays for the enjoyment of them wanting to dip their toes in my fiction.

Today, I give you a story I literally finished two minutes ago. I started it about an hour ago. I had no plans to write anything, but the mood hit me when I sat down at my desk. I had a fifteen minutes interruption as I took care of something else, but then I sailed through it

As usual, I had no idea what I was going to write . . . but it started to flow, and 3/4th of the way there, I knew what it was about and how I would end it.

Less than 400 words, but I like it (nothing new there).


Copyright 2022 — E. J. D’Alise (376 words – less than a 2 minutes read)

As Brian walked past rows of headstones, he felt the first drop of what soon would become a steady rain. Then, walking past an ornate monument that included a decorative but functional bench, he could see the site up ahead and knew the proceedings had already started.

Doubling back, he stopped at the bench and sat, his back to the service one hundred yards behind him. His hat kept the rain from inserting itself between his collar and his neck, and his raincoat shed the drops mounting the assault. He pulled the lower part of the raincoat over his thighs and knees to keep his legs dry.

He closed his eyes and let his mind drift as the sound of the drops hitting his hat and coat blended with the more generalized sound of the rain. Then, suddenly, the raindrops stopped hitting him. He opened his eyes.

“I didn’t think you would show,” she said.

Without answering, Brian slid to one side of the bench, and the woman sat next to him, her large umbrella shielding them both from the rain.

“You could have walked the rest of the way and have been part of the send-off.”

Brian looked at the woman with a piercing gaze for a few seconds before looking away.

“There was nothing to send off … he was already gone,” he said.

The voice sounded cold, but the woman knew the grief behind the words.

“Then, why are you here?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” he answered.

“Want to see the site?” she asked.

After sitting without answering, Brian stood, turned, and walked toward the marker, his feet feeling heavier with each step. The woman walked some feet behind him and stopped some twenty feet from the freshly disturbed earth as Brian went on alone.

He stopped, turned, and forced himself to read the words machined into the marble.  

2014 — 2022

Brian hadn’t been sure about this, but he was now glad that he’d come. Most of all, he was glad Max had a resting place. Removing his hat, he stood at attention and saluted his friend, raindrops mixing with the tears he finally allowed himself to shed.

The End

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