Monday, 29 October 2012

Rainbow - a short story

Written in March 2009, this was my first attempt at flash fiction. I was set a limit of 500 words and managed to write this in just 299. Of course, only I know the character's full story, and all I will say is that it could never be told in under 500 words.

Sadness scarred her plain features and etched dark shadows beneath her wet eyes. Down her colourless cheek a single tear ran, before being evaporated by the heat of the sun shining through the dirty glass. As if sensing her mood, it began to drizzle outside. The light rain that danced down the window was a humourless parody of the woman's grief-stricken face.

            The coach was full of passengers all going somewhere, each with his or her own story to tell and life to lead. No one noticed the young woman with her head resting on the window pane. Everyone was too busy with thoughts and conversations to see that while her moist eyes stared outward, her mind was turned inwardly, blinding her from the present with memories of the past. If someone had taken the time to stop and look at her, they would wonder why she looked so sad, so lost. The curiosity that is so innate to us all would only last a moment. They would forget her, just like he would. But his rejection had stung her, and she would remember it for a long time. She had once thought that she was hardened beyond emotion and pain by the life she had led, but the past had come back to haunt her, made her feel again, and broke her still fragile heart. He had made her have hope again, and hope was so cruel. Yet, without hope, she had nothing. The drizzle caught in the sunlight and a rainbow spanned the grey-blue sky. So beautiful, so fleeting. It wasn't solid, not something you could touch, but it was real...

            Maybe there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, she thought, but I guess I'll have to climb it to find out.

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