Here’s a flash fiction piece I wrote a while ago where I was simply just trying to make more of an effort to write from a woman’s perspective. The overwhelming majority of my stories are centered around male characters, so every once in a while, I try to break that habit. Hopefully you all enjoy!
No one knew she was missing until their lives started to become more difficult. She was the backbone of the house, but the little little things she did typically went unnoticed or had no immediate effect on anyone. Her parents were getting older and more forgetful. It was hard to be selfish when she knew their brains physically couldn’t keep up, and they were victim to something completely out of their control.
She had to get out, and she did — with no clear path going forward. She wanted to act cathartically, until the effects of being invisible for twenty years were drained from her body. Sometimes invisibility had its advantages: when she needed to be left alone, she always was. Other times, however, when she would be getting home from a rough day at work and school and all she needed was a simple how are you or someone to just what was wrong, she was left to fend for herself.
The escape wasn’t even an attempt to get her parents to notice she was gone, and that they needed her and couldn’t live with out her. They would never give her that satisfaction. When the bus came, her mind begged her to turn around and forgive them, but her heart had other plans. It moved her feet forward until she found a window seat where she could stare out into the distance as she took the bus to the last possible stop. From there, she could hitchhike so no one could find her.
Everything felt right. The bus had no hold ups, the air was warm, no clouds in the sky. She took all of these as good omens. When she got off the bus two hours later with her bag full of a month’s worth of clothes, she walked to the entrance of a Holiday Inn where she decided she’d ask someone for a ride. Everyone was either coming or going. Being in the middle of nowhere, no one would have their families with them either. She watched herself write the note she left on the stove.
Panic ensued almost instantly. Her heart dropped. She could have fainted right on the spot if this wasn’t such a serious matter. There was a pot of water on the stove for the tea she made for the bus ride. She was sure she shut the gas off, but she wasn’t one hundred percent sure. She remembered seeing the flames go out, but she couldn’t remember if she turned the dials. Or maybe she just left the stove on and the paper caught fire. If the flame was large enough, and if the windows were open, the shades could fly over the flames and catch.
She turned her phone on for the first time and saw no missed calls. She didn’t know what to do: should she call to see if they’re alright and give herself up, or should she continue to pretend that nothing was wrong? What if they didn’t call because they couldn’t reach the phone when they smelled smoke? There were too many what ifs. She felt her mind going down a rabbit hole. They would have called, she tried to convince herself. Keep going. Don’t stop. This is what they want. She couldn’t bare the possible guilt, but there was no bus for another hour. All she could do was sit and suffer.
If you’re interested in submitting your own flash fiction story, or work of any other genre, please see my submission guidelines on my blog. You’ll find I’m open to just about everything. Also check the submitted works tab to see what other amazing works people have already sent me.