Friday, February 24, 2012

Five Sentence Fiction: Yearning

You're walking through an outdoor mall; one of those so charmingly designed monstrosities that all have a Sephora and an Anthropologie and a train on a circular route to transport you from Starbucks to Coffee Bean, but it does create the illusion of a community where teenagers have lover's quarrels in front of a fountain, and families go at Christmas to watch a tree lighting or sit on the perfect squares of lawn to eat from gourmet food trucks and watch 80's flicks on movie nights.
It's almost a place.
You're walking down one of those faux cobblestone streets outside the multiplex when you see a woman wearing a certain kind of quilted jacket -the sort of thing hand sewn by an artsy type who grew up in the 60's and makes jewelry out of polymer clay- and maybe she has long salt and pepper grey hair so you slow your pace and squint a little.
She might be too tall or too thin, but for a dizzying moment you come close to shouting for your mom as you imagine this woman turning her head to grin with a big overbite, eyebrows raised in amused expectation.
It's almost real.


  1. Erin, you have done it again...though this one ultimately has the twinge of sadness that yearning can bring at any moment. Wonderfully done!

  2. I like the overall effect, but for me, you've crammed too much into single sentences to get to that effect. Great imagery in there, though. :)

  3. Totally fair criticism. I should probably try some flash fiction exercises with word limits. Teach me to write a bit cleaner.

  4. Ah, so fun and quirky-unexpected. Awesome, Erin!

  5. Love the way you captured 'yearning'... sometimes Moms are all you need to make everything okay.

    And the description of the mall is pretty spot on. ;)

  6. Came back to read it a second time. About 3 months after my Mom died, I saw her many women of the same age, same hairdo, same coat. I get weepy even now, 20 years later. I'm so glad you wrote this Erin.

  7. Aww, thanks. I'm glad it meant something to you. My mom passed a couple years ago and I had one of those moments a few weeks ago.