…blogtober bonus post :: mid week flash…
The hinges creaked as Katja pushed the door open, screaming in protest after being undisturbed for so long. Her steps shattered the silence as she moved into the house, the air around her dancing with speckles of dust. Around her, the house seemed to vibrate with memories left behind, no-one to carry them into a new life, a life far away from here. Love, laughter, hope. Katja could feel so much joyous history in this space, but something else lay over it. The good times merely background radiation to the bad. Concern. Worry. Indecision. Terror. A final long scream, a futile fight against an invisible enemy who could never be defeated.
Her breath grew shallow as she struggled against the sadness of the house. One step, two, a glance at the letter still in the typewriter. “Comrade, we beg for your reassurance of our safety. Rumours abound, troubles grow. We stay at your directive, and yet our neighbours continue to…”
The letter trailed off. Katie’s eyes stung with unshed tears, the desperation and fear dripping off every word. She retraced her steps out of the hall, out of the house, being careful to not disturb the dust on the floor any further, using her own footprints as stepping stones. Gently, she closed the door behind her, and tacked up an orange ribbon across the frame.
Not yet, the ribbon signalled, for anyone who might come after her. Too close, too soon, too sad. Maybe one day the house could hold love again, but not yet.
This flash fiction piece is for Miranda Kate’s Mid Week Flash challenge. The photo provided, is titled “The Last Word (by Day Of The Dead – Chernobyl in 1 Week)”, and is of a home in Chernobyl. Historically inspired fiction can be tricky, so I hope I have managed to remain respectful in my written response to this image.
I’ve very much missed weekly flash challenges and stretching my creative muscles in a different direction to my usual. I hope you enjoyed this little piece! Day’s “proper” blog post coming soon!