I am terrible at completing writing exercises on a weekly basis and I never write flash fiction, until today. A Facebook group for writers that I am part of posted a writing prompt flash fiction challenge with the word “Unsettling” as a prompt. I decided, why not? And so, I quickly jotted down my little story, and here it is.
Slowly, careful not to make a sound I slipped my feet out of my slippers knowing that the sloshing sound they create when I walk will surely attract attention. I take each step one at a time making my way all the way up to the top floor. That’s exactly 59 steps up to the large open plan lounge and kitchen area. The glass door is shut and I’m not sure how to slide it open without a sound. I know it’s a sticky door that requires strength to open it up. I hold my breath as I try to pull it open with just enough force to let it budge but not enough to let the whole door slide quickly. The balance is important. I’ve learnt this over the year I’ve lived here. I manage, and I don’t think they hear me.
I slip through the gap I’ve created into the room. I pause for a second watching the dust shine in the rays of the sun that comes through the vast wall of glass. I watch them fill the air and before walking through them and shattering their existence I take a long, slow breath in, imagining the dust particles filling my lungs. I imagine them turning black inside of me and tainting the oxygen spreading through my veins like an oil spill in the ocean.
I force myself to keep walking towards the doors. I place my one hand on the door and the other on the handle pushing one down and the other forward to reveal a gust of wind through my hair. It’s always windy here. I step into the wind and the first thing I notice is the sunrise. The ocean reflects the pink and purple sky. It’s a sad sunrise this morning. It’s slightly less bright than it usually is. The colours are slightly washed out this morning as if the sky knows my secret. The sky is mourning already.
There are an abnormal amount of clouds today and I stand watching as the sun slinks behind one of them. Suddenly all brightness fades away and I feel like I can relate to this sun. I feel like I once shone bright too and now I no longer do. I walk forward not worried anymore if I’ll be heard. Outside here, the wind deafens any other sounds.
The air has a chill and I find myself automatically wrapping my jersey closed across my body wondering why I even bother because soon my whole body will turn cold. My hands find the icy metallic railing and I grasp it tightly watching my knuckles turn white. Carefully, I step up and over feeling unsettled by the wind, the sky, the sea.
I am now standing free on the other end. I clench my jaw in a moment of hesitation and then, I let go.