This post was written in response to a prompt from the red dress club:
Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.
* * *
There’s a sign at the entrance to Bitsy’s Diner.
“She’s selling out.” Spank waves his spatula in the air.
“This diner is your future, El. The money I got invested in this place will get you out of Medford.”
“You got your whole life ahead of you, child. This is your opportunity to go and live it.”
Years ago, Bitsy took me to New York. The people crowded on the sidewalk regarded one another with eyes of indifference. There were lights and noises and people. Everywhere, people.
“City’s full of life, Ellie.” Bitsy’s eyes gleam.
* * *
Annie once said babies grew on trees. Told me I sprouted from a pink blossom in the apple orchard over yonder hill. Told me she watched me grow fat and red before plucking me from the branch to bring me home.
Jonathan once told me that babies came from potatoes. “Cut one into pieces and you got babies. Just be sure an’ plant ‘em with their eyes looking towards the sky. The life is in their eyes, Ellie.”
Bitsy once said that Annie and Jonathan were full of shit; said a girl oughta’ know her birds from her bees. But I took their meaning: Life surrounds me in the country.
* * *
“A body can’t fit into the city,” I say now and the gleam in Bitsy’s eyes fades to hopelessness, reminding me of the homeless man at Penn Station with fingerless gloves and a tattered Starbucks cup full of nickels and dull, lifeless eyes.
“I choose to stay, Bitsy. I choose the farm.”
And in so choosing my life, I fear I have destroyed Bitsy’s.