Jan. 18, 2022

250 word NYC Microfiction round two - Remains

Well, we did it! Round 2.  All three of us. Skin of our teeth.  Here’s my effort:

Genre: Romance

Word:  Weak

Action: Playing a guitar

 

Remains

 

Smoke seeped from the blackened corpse of their house, as though all the silence it had absorbed over the years was escaping.

Legs weak, she lowered herself onto an upturned bucket. Their only surviving belonging. That and the guitar he’d grabbed as they stumbled, coughing from their home, now hanging absurdly around his neck.

 

Last night’s hotel was a bleak and peculiar vacation, chocolate hearts on the pillows mocking their usual nightly routine: a peppermint tea and separate bedrooms.

 

Back that morning, they were quieter than ever.

They’d lost everything.

The kitchen-living space she’d spent months designing.  The bean-to-cup coffee machine. The infant toys. All the bait she’d thought might reel her grownup children home.

His model railway in the attic. Fifteen years of solitary and dedicated focus turned to dust.

 

In the absence of anything else, his ashen face turned to hers. His eyes following the line of her jaw to the beauty spot on her nose. The gleam of tears on her cheek. The morning sun, illuminating her silver hair. Her stockinged legs, shapely as they’d always been.

He sat on the ground beside her and began to pick at the guitar strings, his low croak joining the music.

 

The time to hesitate is through,

No time to wallow in the mire…

 

He felt a warm hand on his neck, and looked up to see his wife smiling through tears. Resting his head against her, she laughed.

And together, growing louder with each word, they sang the chorus.