Red sky

This is a piece of Flash Fiction (short, short) that I wrote over five years ago.
I attribute the inspiration to post it to Deb Woehr.
If you've yet to visit Deb, you're missing out on some very cool stuff.

I found this story interesting in that it closely mirrored the overall plot of a story written by Katherine Vaz called "Blue Flamingo looks at Red Water".
I wrote the short piece in October of 2001. Flamingo was published in Spring of 2002.
If you have an hour sometime (yeah, right) read the Vaz story.
It is simply stunning. Oh, to write that well.


It all began the day she disappeared.
I’d lost Molly in the powerful tide of my self-absorbed life; unaware of its consuming undertow. Jaime would never forgive me for taking my eyes off Molly for that one second because when I did, she was taken by a stranger to another place and time.
I’ve no idea where to even start looking.
It was at a baseball game of all places; a small field out in the middle of nowhere.
It seemed safe enough.

There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide unless you were fast enough to reach the wood’s edge with prey in your hands. All I can see now is red.

One dream in particular replays itself over and over like an endlessly skipping stone on a glass lake. In the dream, I’m walking through a forest when I get the sensation that I’m not alone. Someone is breathing down the back of my neck and I can feel the warmth of their humid breath leaving droplets of moisture that run down the middle of my back. I turn, not wanting to see who’s there when my heart stops: it’s Molly wearing the same outfit she was wearing the day she disappeared—blue jeans with an elastic waist and an orange t-shirt from Old Navy.
The oddest part is that she’s floating a foot off the ground rotating very slowly.
While she’s spinning I hear her whispering to me, “Remember… my face. Remember… my face.”
The disembodied voice is so unlike hers.
I begin to cry in this twilight netherworld until Jaime wakes me up and I look out to see the sun steadily burning in the red mourning sky.



5 thoughts on “Red sky

  1. Michael, that was an excellent portrayal of a mother’s worst nightmare. I’ve downloaded the Vaz story to read in my spare time. I liked the photograph of the mother and daughter on that site. Their eyes look quite haunted.

    Thanks for the plug and the kind words. 🙂


  2. I thought I would pop in. Moving flash.
    We might be neighbours soon. I am slowly, slowly sending everything to WP. Blogger has been driving me wonky. Look for me coming around to ask for a cuppa sugar!


  3. This is very haunting and gave me goosebumps mate, I wonder if it would have had the same effect before I was a mother? I wonder if you could have written it if your weren't a parent….

    probably not.
    Actually, definitely not…




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