October 2, 2012

No Place Like Home

Emmabeth doesn’t understand why Dorothy ditched Munchkinland. She certainly wouldn’t have. If a cyclone drops you in a town full of dwarves with flowers on their heads, why skip away before you even finish your lollipop? Especially when a snarly, green witch is after you.

Every morning, as soon as daddy shuts his door and his keyboard starts a’clicking, Emmabeth drops her toast and runs to the bay window. She dreams onto the world beyond until daddy yells she should get dressed. Today it’s drizzling, which makes her work even harder.

There are goldfinches at the feeder, even though Daddy hasn’t filled it. She makes their tree into a sprawling Munchkin lodge, gives the Thompson’s roof Twizzlers for shingles, and overflows the birdbath with frosty blue. All around, the lawns gleam with rounded drops of dew.

And then up the sidewalk she comes—Mommy, not in a gown of foamy pink, but in homemade tie dye, just like before she died. Emmabeth closes her eyes and imagines Daddy beside her at the window, almost crying, as they wait.


Emmabeth opens her eyes to find the window cracked. Her marvels blur through splintered glass before they fade. She leans close and sees a goldfinch, limp on the ground. A scream tears her throat. She is emptied. There is no sound now except footsteps rushing down the hall and then a sigh as Daddy kneels and lifts his fingers to the glass.


Above is a flash story I entered in the first Lascaux Flash contest. It is inspired by a photograph prompt provided by the magazine. I was not selected as the winner or a finalist, and after reading the editors’ post about the winning entries, I think the great weakness of my piece is probably that it is more of a vignette than a story. I thought I’d share it here anyway, though, because let’s face it, I’ve been horrible at posting content lately! It is my first attempt at flash fiction, and I look forward to reading the stories that the judges selected so I can learn more about the form.

Here is a link to my piece as it appears on the site.