Flash Fiction: For the Walk Home

Every two weeks writers have the chance to take part in Soliloquies Anthology’s Flash Fiction contest. We publish a new single-word writing prompt as a starting point, and you write a story in 300 words or less. This winning story uses the prompt map.

For the Walk Home

Knees to chest, I wait outside his apartment door, grinding grit with the soles of my sneakers.

My palms are clammy and red from wiping them on the thighs of my jeans. I clench and relax my fists, watching the colour of my skin leave and then return again.

I have a short life line. I remember being a little disappointed as my best friend and I compared hands in her room with the latest issue of Tiger Beat spread between us to guide the discovery. We were always looking for ways to predict our lives, and we appreciated the trivial things that let us do so. She’s married now.

I can’t remember what the other lines are. I don’t think the shallow ones mean anything, but they should. And the faint ones swallowed by the deeper folds. Those, too. I bet there’s a map of the city somewhere hidden in my palm, from the Old Port to the Mile End, from my apartment to right here.

The small scars I’ve collected from cooking intersect with, or bridge over, the other lines—I can’t decide. When my hands are cold, the scars show more. At least the food we ate together was good, always edible and sometimes nutritious.

“Demi?”

My eyes meet his. I brush my hands on my jeans one last time before I get up. We stand for a few too many seconds until we stumble into a hug, an awkward attempt to convince each other that we are perfectly amicable.

He clears his throat. “Do you, uh, want to come in?”

“Oh, no. That’s okay.” Grit is stuck in the rubber sole of my shoe.

He is searching for small talk. My face burns and is uncontrollably itchy.

I start: “So, when did you guys get a cat?”

Author bio
Julia Scandella is a Montreal born-and-raised writer and editor. When she is not proofreading medical journals, she is undertaking freelance projects, and when she is doing neither of those things, she is probably watching Netflix. Lover of puns and Post-Its, she completed her BA in Honours English and Creative Writing at Concordia University and has since then been learning how to “adult.”