Jolt to the Heart

Flash fiction writing in twenty minutes–the perfect means to kickstart a day of carving new chapters in my novel. Thanks to The Daily Post for providing a morning prompt to write.

A Tale of Love and Loss

There is a man. He looks eighty. He is crossing the road whilst gently scolding his Pekingese for the dog’s meandering pace. She will have dinner waiting and promised to make his favourite: roast lamb with homemade mint sauce.

There is a woman. She looks young. She is navigating a sharp bend whilst swiping left and right with thumb across illuminated screen. She is seeking passionate connection on her mobile phone but most faces are a disappointment.

Ten seconds until they collide.

The woman is now kneeling, cradling the old man’s head. His legs are crumpled and his wee dog squeals. The woman is baying loudly, cursing her choices, fearing what next. This is a gut-churning scene.

Strangers amass around this pair—the crackled-faced man with slowing heart, the guilt-filled woman with broken heart. A heart-connection. Consequences of two lives making choices.

A crowd now surrounds. Some onlookers weep, some try to console. Sirens blare loudly, the alarming volume increasing as help nears. The old man is mumbling softly into the lap of the young woman, where her hands hold his head with comfort and shame.

‘Tell my wife I loved her all my life.’

An indiscernible shape approaches and wraps his jacket over her shoulders from behind. She does not see his face. Her shaking is soothed slightly by the fleece lining of his coat. Two figures sporting green jumpsuits take action swiftly, disentangling the woman from the lifeless man. They unfold him carefully onto stretcher and wheel him with dignity to the open ambulance doors.

She watches the flickering blue lights retreat down the dark road ahead as police approach.

Then hands on her shoulders. Her head tilts up, catching glimpses of a tall man’s profile beside her. He has come to remove his insulating coat from her body. When the swirling lights rhythmically cast against his cheek, she notes his kind and handsome face. Her heart jolts. She would have swiped ‘yes’ if his photo had graced her screen.

But in that moment, there is no place for love to be found. Love is lost. And so it shall be forever more.

Estella Lynch,  2017

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