Flash Fiction: Stretch Your Style

This piece is a flash fiction style I tried out for fun. It is about inner yearning, and the soul’s need for nourishment beyond the mundane or superficial stuff that our egos become consumed by.

Branching out taught me to never limit yourself to one genre or style of writing. Expand your boundaries or get rid of them altogether to see what you’re capable of. Even if it is kind of sucky. But who knows, maybe someone will like it! But above all, write for you.

Within Us by K.D. Rose

I hear the pumping of your heart and the whooshing sounds of blood. Your organs groan and mumble and bubble and spit out acid, churning and transporting all that you ingest, despite my disapproval of your tastes. The cheeseburger’s grease coagulated in your arteries along with the fries you drenched in cheese sauce. When your body fills with extra air and swells and bloats, it becomes less roomy in here, and I feel squished against the walls. It sounds and looks and feels like a separate planet inside these walls of fat, muscle and skin.

As for the outside, I only see what you see; I stare from windows you call eyes. You scan so quickly that the colors and shapes of the world around us—blend and fade.

Why do you miss what you see? 

You rush, or close your eyes at pivotal moments—to you, the front yard tree you pass on your way out the door has become inconsequential. But the lines, and the branches, and the leaves coming and going, why are you not a part of that?

The honey you chose in the container shaped like a bear, do you think about where it comes from, and how the honeybees, with their intricate process of honey creation, extracted nectar for it? You take the details for granted because they are too small for you, but I find watching ants carry crumbs like boulders back to families in highly complex underground homes is much more fascinating than what your boyfriend said to you an hour ago.

I have my own thoughts—but my actions are based on yours. When you lie down, I lie down. When you choose which shampoo to use, I must choose that one too, even if I’d prefer the coconut scented one. When you yell, I yell with you and when you drive too quickly, I wonder if this will result in my chance to finally leave you.

The friends you picked are forcibly my friends too and thankfully one is exceptionally witty—the rest are not. When you fall, I fall. Please watch your step. And the first boy you chose to kiss, he kissed me too, and I must admit as wet and icky his tongue felt swirling around your mouth, I enjoyed it. 

You pair sweaters with skirts, and although your bare legs are your legs indeed, I feel the sting of the cold too. You know when you see goosebumps? That’s me. When a chilling sensation crawls down your spine after a horrid story, or the opposite, a profoundly heartfelt one? That is me, too, shivering along with you, against your tissues and throughout your cells.

I must admit, and I apologize for this as I know it would upset you, but I long for the day I can escape.

I imagine what it must be like out there, wandering on my own. At first, I might float there, adjusting to the vast amount of space around me—I might even be terrified and have to remind myself to push through it, to just move on, to not impulsively and miserably sit inside a rotting corpse. Once I stretched and saw I was considerably safe, I would begin to roam in sloth-like steps, making certain nothing marvelous would be missed.

I would stare at a single rose for hours; I’d sit and watch it from bud to bloom. The petals, silky and soft, would fall one by one to the ground and it would remind me of my separation from you. I might even miss you in that moment. 

The different skies could keep me busy for weeks, studying the intricate changes of dark blues and light blues to grays and whites to oranges and pinks. And the clouds—wispy and casual; puffy pearly bouncy whites; moody gray ones paired with rain or thunder; and striated clouds that come with fog, looking close enough to touch. You learned about this in grammar school, yet you never looked up long enough to wonder and see each type of sky and cloud and how the angle of the sun casts different shades and glows. 

Until your organs shut down, I’m trapped inside this vessel.

I would travel. A variety of cultures would do me well, especially since I’ve only seen the world from your perspective, and I am highly certain it will remain limited. New accents, dialects, languages would whisper around me, loud and low all at once, expanding my vocabulary. I’d listen to the bustle of city natives as their feet clack the pavement, and at night I’d hear them rollick in bars and clubs and restaurants. It would be lively and splendid. I’d then stroll from city to countryside, and I’d see fields upon fields of grass, each blade waving at me with the breeze. The black and white spotted cows and shabby, sleepy sheep and other potentially smelly farm animals you mentioned in that childhood song would undoubtably be roaming. I might even miss you in that moment too, knowing you’d find it delightful.

I’m not sure if I would be able to smell any longer though, without the use of your nose and olfactory system. I do find the delicate sweet smells the best—cotton candy, lilacs, gala apples and those ‘fresh linen’ candles you burn.

It’s possible, that even with my yearning, with my indelible curiosity and desire for expansion, that maybe it is better with you, and that maybe you’d even come upon all the above on your own. I wouldn’t want to miss you seeing all of that. I realize now, despite my grievances, we are inextricably linked, and I am fine with that.

So, when your organs do shut down, and I am freed, I will thank you for the journey. Perhaps you give me life, too.

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