So it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here. COVID has been hard on me, just as it has for many people. I’ve struggled managing my own stress, trauma symptoms, and the like from it all, which has made writing and posting here hard. To be honest, it’s made life a lot more challenging than seems fair (and before you say it, Mom, I know – “Whoever told you life was fair lied”). But I’ve missed being here and I’ve realized while I needed to adjust a little what I’m working on, I need my writing now more than ever. I need it because it is an outlet for me for all of this stress and craziness. Do I regret the choices that led to me being on the front lines of the Opioid Epidemic during the COVID Pandemic? Nope, not at all. But I have learned I need to fight for myself that much harder because I can’t help others when I’m not in a good place myself. And with the data now coming out that the Opioid Epidemic has worsened amidst the Pandemic, I know I will be fighting this war for a long time to come.
So, that brings me to the rest of this post – my first flash piece of 2021. It’s a bit dark, but it’s rather symbolic on many levels. I hope you can relate to the allegory I tried to infuse into this piece. And my thanks to Kat over at Fiction Trials for the awesome prompt this week that helped get things going again.
New Year, New Life
She glanced around the rundown shack he’d deigned to call a house. Bleach mingled with nail polish and gasoline. Nothing stood out other than the smell.
“Good. Out with the old and in with the new. New life that is.”
Then she turned to the battered mirror near the front door. Her skill as a make-up artist paid off today—no one would know anything. At least not now. Maybe never. All the time she spent listening to him go on about how he could do whatever he wanted to her and successfully cover it up helped, too. He never saw this coming, that’s for sure.
“Too bad, really. He was good looking. But that just isn’t enough, not for his crimes.”
With that parting thought, she grabbed the backpack leaning against the front door and stepped outside. She scanned the neighborhood. No one was out, which was perfect for what she needed.
She made her way to the side window. Trees concealed her from prying eyes as she dug the lone cigarette out of her pocket. Flicking the lighter, she coughed a little as she got it lit. Then she flicked it into the cracked window. Its red glow traced a line as it landed on the bed. The whisky she’d dumped out caught right away, crackling up into a respectable blaze, the glow outlining the still form on the bed.
“Goodbye, Frank. I hope the shit you put me through was worth it.”
Then she slipped away through the trees to her car, waiting over on the next block. Parked there, it would force her to take the long way around, which would give her the perfect alibi.