A flash fiction after a while!
It’s the first time in months, that I’ve ventured out today. The cafe is a far cry from the hopelessness that my life has reduced to.
For the past six months, I’ve been living a hand-to-mouth existence. The savings are dwindling and nobody has got any work for me. I’m redundant. Not needed anymore. All those encouraging words from my old contacts and friends came to nought. It’s difficult to believe that all those applications that I’ve been sending out since March last year have got me absolutely nowhere. I have been penniless before but this time I’m utterly broke. Life has wrung every ounce of hope out of my share. I no longer feel the urge to go on. Darkness has seeped into my soul. I’m running out of my last few hundreds. The only thing I’m waiting for is the final countdown, due tomorrow. Before the New Year dawns, my abysmal existence on this planet will be wiped off forever.
The waiter smiles, as he places the coffee mug on the table. I smile back.
“Enjoy your coffee, Sir“.
He rushes to meet the other customers who seem to be forming a queue by now.
I’ve been sitting here almost an hour, watching the crowd flowing in an endless procession.
“The last day of the year is a strange one”, I muse to myself. While, on the face of it, nothing will change over the next 24 hours, yet, for many, it will be a time for new beginnings, and a new chapter will usher in new promises.
“For me, this last day of the year will also be the last day of my life.” And then, oblivion. THE END.
I watch couples walking hand in hand, little children pleading for candies, everyone dressed in their best attires, walking past me, casting curious glances—my dishevelled look bears my story, but now, I’ve run out of reasons to pretend anymore. The lines from a poem flash across my mind—
Resigned to fate, I grab my coffee, only to find that a fly has fallen on it. The poor creature is struggling to lift itself out of the frothy edges of the fine Cappuccino, desperately attempting to raise its’ feeble limbs, but can’t. It keeps rising and slipping, almost in an alternate rhythm. It keeps trying but doesn’t give up.
I am keeping an eye on it, more out of a sense of kinship than anything else—watching another helpless living being, who seems to be in the same predicament as I am.
“It’s the struggle for survival, my friend. Who knows it better than you and me?“—I chuckle to myself. Watching it flailing its arms in desperation for the last few minutes, I know it’s just a matter of time before it will give up. I know. I’ve been there.
I continue to watch again, following its’ every move, in silence. The temptation to play God is very strong in me, at this point.
“Should I help?” I question my stance.
What I do next, surprises me. Instead of ordering a replacement for my coffee, for that would mean snapping off this helpless creature’s life, I reach for the stirrer kept on the side of the saucer. As I bring it close, the fly grabs it. I lift the stick along with the fly and place it on the serviette, letting the tissue absorb the tiny drops of moisture from its’ minuscule body. The little fellow seems to be regaining its composure and strength, because a rather vigorous shake, it seems to be ready to fly off any minute.
Before I realise, my little friend dashes off, leaving me with my coffee mug and the last chance to ponder over my onward journey.
Did it come to plant a tiny seed of hope within me, just before leaving? Perhaps, that was the plan.
This flash fiction has been written for #FictionMonday, a blog hop hosted by Vinitha Dileep on her blog, ‘Reflections‘ based on the prompt, ‘FLY’.
Lovely! The emotions are raw and acute. Loved this narration. A tiny ray of hope is all that is required to survive this life.
Thank you so much Jyothi. I’m glad you enjoyed my story. It’s true, sometimes all we need is a tiny ray of hope to get back to living again.
How much I enjoyed this story of hope, Esha. And so beautifully crafted that at the beginning I thought the story was told by the fly! Clever and meaningful writing. Hugs.
Thanks for those kind words, Corinne. So glad you found my story hopeful. Been telling myself I need to write more and often. There is so much to learn about the craft of story telling.
Hugs right back, dear Corinne!
Empowering story Esha on how a tiny fly can teach us so much when everything goes against us. The story set against the backdrop of reality we are in and impacting jobs, the desperation driving us and a tiny creature can teach us seamlessly. Hope you are well and keeping safe!
Thank you so much, Vishal. So good to see you here, on the blog after a long time. You are right about how the pandemic has impacted our lives and our financial positions in more ways than we’d ever have imagined. Glad you enjoyed my story, Vishal.
Have survived so far, despite the upheavals and and illnesses rocking the family. How have you been, Vishal? Are you in Mauritius now? Hope all is good at your end.
A tiny fly can teach you so much, perhaps a way of God to show him to never give up , come what may. This was a very endearing one Esha
Thanks a lot, Akshata. Yes, a little life affirming lesson from a tiny creature, we often tend to brush aside. So glad to see you stop by after a long time, Akshata. 🙂
This was so beautifully done, Esha. A hopeful lesson in the end! I am so glad you wrote it and shared with us. Thank you so much for always being an inspiration, dear Esha. 🤗
Thanks a lot, Vinitha. So happy to know that my story was inspiring in some form. We need little shots for boosting our faith in our own capabilities, right? For me, writing fiction, after a rather long break was one such. 🙂
THAT was such an inspiring story, Esha! That quote on the coffee mug was just what i needed to remind me that I can win,too…we all can, IF we want. And, God knows how much we all are trying. 🙂
Superb narration,dear. You haven’t lost touch with fiction writing, babe!
Thank you for those encouraging words, Shilpa. So glad you found the story inspiring. I think we all reach a point in life when we need such reminders even though we all have the potential in us to be our best.