Flash Fiction: The Proposal

I write a lot of notes in my phone’s notebook. Grocery lists, dreams, story ideas, names, blog ideas…you get the picture.

Found this in my phone written about a year ago. I guess I was going to submit it somewhere, but had forgotten about.

Going back and reading my dreams, too, are a hoot, but I think that’s worthy of a post all on its own. Anyway, enjoy. 🙂


The Proposal

A man leans against his black SUV in the early morning chill and stares down at his burning hands. His girlfriend left him, or maybe she died; it doesn’t matter now.

He thinks it might matter when he can get back inside and finally warm his hands, but he can’t decide what to do. His thoughts are jumbled, and panic ignites in his chest. He fumbles with the door handle behind him and climbs back in the SUV, rubbing and blowing at his hands.

He eyes the velvety box sitting in the glove box, which has spilled open, papers sliding down to the mat on the passenger side floor. He calls 911 and starts to sob into the receiver.

“Fiance,” he gasps. “Floor. Not breathing.”

He relives the scene etched forever into his vision as he begins to describe what happened. Her collapsed body on the sofa, her arm dancing towards the floor. The other one pinned awkwardly underneath her chest. She could have been passed out from drink, she could have been drooling into the sofa cushions, but she wasn’t.

Yesterday, she had told him yes, but today doesn’t feel like an affirmation.

Later, they will tell him that a complication with her medications was the cause; a misuse of sleeping aids. It haunts him to think that maybe she couldn’t sleep because she wasn’t happy, or that maybe she was too happy and sleep wouldn’t come.

Either way the cold continued, and he could never warm his hands.

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