I had the opportunity to participate in a flash fiction writing opportunity on the lovely Jasmine’s EatMoveWrite blog. While I didn’t take home the gold (didn’t really expect to – so many great writers!), I did manage to show up on the blog as an Honorary Mention. For the link to the specific post, click here. At any rate, I’m going to post the story below if you don’t feel like link clicking today.
The assignment: Write a piece of flash fiction (500 words or less) with the first sentence being “I took my first pregnancy test when we lived in that old house on Rory Drive.”
I have never written flash fiction before, but I will admit that I enjoyed this prompt. I spent an hour on it due to needing to get back to homework (oops?), but all the same I think it turned out rather well. I hope to do more flash fiction in the future.
I took my first pregnancy test when we lived in that old house on Rory Drive. I wasn’t exactly a child at seventeen, but I wasn’t an adult either. The real adults, my parents, were downstairs preparing dinner, completely oblivious to my debacle a mere floor above. The warmth of early summer peaked through the bathroom window as I sat in the bathtub, hugging my knees in agony as the results showed positive. There was nothing warm about this.
Jason and I had been together for nearly two years by this point, and sex was strangely not something we talked about often. He was a year older than me, and due to leave for Army training in the South at the end of that month. I think the passion came from that fact alone, the need to truly be together before being apart. It was our first time.
I never told him about the pregnancy, and for a while it was my own not-so-little secret. It wasn’t until I started to show that questions came about. I’d been to the doctor, of course, doing my best to be responsible. But had I said something sooner, perhaps things would have turned out differently, turned out better.
My mother cried for hours when I finally told them, and my father’s first thought was that I’d need to quit school. Traditional is what they were, and it was too late for an abortion, though none of us would wish that either. Something about it already having fingernails always got to me.
My parents hired a tutor. Like my baby, I was trapped inside a dark place with little room to grow. I wanted to tell my friends, but something in me held back. I gave them up for this secret; I gave up everything for it. My parents did nothing to stop this decision. They assisted in my drowning, except there was no water – only pain.
Jason was allowed a week at home during Christmas vacation. By then I had graduated early, thanks to my tutor. By then I had lost the baby, my girl, thanks to my inability to keep her strong. He would never learn of what was, what could have been. He simply thought that I had grown eager to graduate before my classmates so that I could move to the base where he was training – at least that’s what I told him.
The old house on Rory Drive was much changed the day I left it. We shared a secret, a secret that would remain so for the rest of my life. I knew that I could never go back there. And while I did move to the South to be with Jason, I removed myself from the lie I’d been living after he went overseas. We both had battles to fight, and we had to fight them apart from each other. We both failed.
[Copyright: Jenna Miller, 2010]
Have you ever written flash fiction? If so, do you enjoy it?
Any words of wisdom on this piece?