Today’s flash was written for a Fire & Ice Contest last year. I was reminded of it today as I worked to complete the final copy edits on my first novel, Fascination. I hope you find it moving.
Dividing the yarrow sea that lies behind the hospital moves the squeaky wheels of my permanent roller chair.
I close my eyes and imagine pheasants, avoiding the brightness of my first outing since the crash.
“We’re getting close, Haru.” My mother kisses my head as if I’m a little boy preparing for bed.
Close to what, I wonder? Nightingale, my mother’s favorite perfume, fills my nostrils with the bitter smell of Japanese plums. My little sister’s holds the handles. Humming against the wind, her legs step wide like the blades of a windmill.
Mom pauses to pull down the sleeves of my red emperor jacket. It’s all that’s left of my inheritance after paying the surgeons.
“When can we go back?” I’m exhausted from holding my head up so long.
When we reach the end of the wooden walkway, my sister comes around to kiss my cheek. “Haru, now’s time.”
She helps my mother to lift the chair. “Your journey requires more love than we can give.” My mother strains to speak under the weight of the upright chair, and then they combine strengths to tip the chair skywards, dumping me onto a pelt of pink flowers. My paralyzed body gains momentum with each roll into the blushing gulch.