Amelia still isn’t sure what it was she saw that day exactly, but she has long since stopped talking about it. At first, bursting with wonder and excitement and curiosity, she told everyone she met. Her words spilled out, tumbling over themselves in a gabbling torrent, the description warping and buckling under the weight of so many, many words! Her hands flew here and there, trying to catch the words and put them into better order. People were kind at first, listening, their eyes bright and interested, but then the shadows came, clouding their faces. Gentle hands would hold hers, a single finger placed over lips to stem the flow. Gradually the listeners became less friendly, their eyes filled with dark clouds as soon as she began to speak of it. Hands rough and hard, brushed her words away. She stopped talking. Instead she hugged the memory to herself, and waited. One day it would come again, and she would be ready. She would know. And the others? Well, she could not help them. They should have listened better and tried harder to understand.
PROMPT: Start a story with the following line “Amelia still isn’t sure what it was she saw that day exactly, but …”
First published on The Write-In for National Flash Fiction Day 2015.
A friend has suggested this makes a good companion piece:
Have you seen them?
Have you seen them?
Over and over, she asked, her quavering voice rising in agitation. Arthritic fingers clutching anxiously at their sleeves, hands, bags.
You must have seen them?
They were meant to be here. Meant to be here.
Meant to take me with them this time.
People saw her, heard her desperate pleading, gave her a wide birth, hoping to avoid any awkwardness. They had seen nothing. Shaking their heads and looking away, they scurried past, not wishing to become involved.
Doubtless someone would come for her soon.
Safely inside their cloaked ship the aliens watched and waited.
First published as part of Brighton Digital Festival Geo Writing.
LOCATION: Carden Park
PROMPT: A woman in her 80s is asking people whether they have seen the aliens