WEP - Back of the Drawer

So here is my contribution to this month's WEP - Back of the Drawer. I've literally written and edited it in one day (today) so it's not great! I had such good intentions for this challenge, then I went and got ill so I've had to force myself to write it. Still, I'm pretty proud that I'm even posting anything, so it's a win in my eyes! Hope you all enjoy it, anyway. 


Forgotten Life

Coralina sighed. She’d just opened the garage door, and an unpleasant sight awaited her.

She carefully climbed over the junk on the floor so that she could reach the light switch. She switched it on, and sighed again. There was a reason she’d been putting this off for so long.

She rolled up her sleeves and surveyed the mess, trying to decide where to start. There was an old cabinet pushed up against the wall closest to her that looked as though she could have it cleared by lunchtime. Tripping over a couple of old toys on the way, she started clearing.

Half an hour had passed before she found it, folded up tight and pushed right to the back of the second drawer from the bottom.

She pulled it out carefully, smoothing her hand over its silky surface. It was more beautiful than she remembered; it had been a long time since she’d allowed herself to think of it. She had forgotten where she had hidden it, all those years ago. Age hadn’t affected it at all. A few minutes passed in silence as she gazed down at the velvety folds, remembering. Her past life, her original life, seemed almost like a dream, now…

Shaking her head, she hurried into the house, taking the bundle with her. She needed to snap herself out of this. The red light was flashing on the answering machine; she pushed the button to listen to the message.

“Hey, sweetie. Guess you’re still working on the garage! Just calling to let you know I’ll be home early tonight. I’ll pick up the kids from school; you’ll be tired from your big cleanup! I love you, see you later.”

Coralina frowned, her hands stroking the soft object in her arms. She strode over to the window, watching the waves lap against the shore across the road. An overwhelming urge was overcoming her, one she had hoped never to feel again. She wrenched her gaze from the window, to focus on her tidy living room. She tried to master herself; this was stupid. This one, tiny thing couldn’t ruin everything she’d built over the years. She had a husband now, a family she loved more than anything.

Well, that’s what she had thought. Her family seemed to glare at her from the pictures on the mantelpiece, as though they knew exactly what she was thinking.

But how could they? They didn’t know her biggest secret.

She raced across the living room, slamming the door on her way out of the house. She flew across the road without even checking for cars first, and dashed across the beach.

Just one more time; once more, and she would hide it away forever. She’d burn it if she had to. She just wanted to feel it one more time, that sense of belonging, the joy of being truly free.

She took one look back at the house; the garage door was still open wide, and she could see the mess within, calling to her, along with the rest of her mundane life that, until today, she thought she had loved so much.

One big breath, and Coralina threw the bundle over herself. The skin fixed onto her seamlessly, and she transformed, feeling whole for the first time in years. She threw herself into the waves, long-hidden flippers propelling her quickly through the water, all thoughts of her family erased from her mind by the sea.

She was finally home.



581 words
Critiques welcome.

Comments

  1. Laura, this was perfection! Loved it! Oh the sweetness of escape, of going home, no matter where that is! :)

    Congratulations, despite your illness you gave us a great flash!

    Thanks for participating in the WEP Challenges!

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  2. Laura, this is beautiful! I love the old tales of Selkies and this is told in such a realistic way. I love it and I'm glad you posted it :D

    Well done and I hope you're feeling better,
    Jen

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  3. Laura, i hope you're feeling much better today/tonight. I loved reading your story. It doesn't seem quickly thrown together at all! I was waiting for that surprise at the end and I loved it. How we can all relate to it! Away with the mundane on with the excitement. Selkies rule!

    Thanks for posting for WEP. Lovely having you!

    Denise :-)

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  4. Maybe illness had a side of insane great inspiration because this flash fiction was amazing. Loved the surprised ending. Mine was thrown together quickly as well. Grateful people still enjoyed it. So great job Laura and all the best.

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  5. A mermaid? Or a shapeshifter? I like the idea of throwing a different skin over oneself to transform. A very interesting take on finding something hidden away. A secret indeed. Now I'm wondering about her family. . .very nice.

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  6. I started mine a couple weeks ago, then forgot to finish it until very last minute. For being sick, and rushed, this was superb. An exciting adventure. So sad for her family, but how sweet for her to finally return to her natural form. And home.

    Boy would I like to escape like this sometimes :)

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  7. This is beyond glorious. Doesn't feel rushed, quite the contrary, very polished. Inspired! And done with such economy of words, too. Completely loved it.

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  8. Great story, wasn't expecting the ending which was perfect.

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  9. Hello Laura,
    I am happy that you're feeling better. Your story has a lot of heart and desire to escape from the mundane things of life and just be yourself. The feelings come out so clearly and maybe they wouldn't have come clearly if you had not been sick. It is the hard places in life that give our stories wings to fly and this story flies.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

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  10. A transformation and back to what feels like home, something all can relate too. Not sure I'd want to grow fins and jump in the sea though haha. Great ending.

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  11. Wonderful story! All of us feel this way sometimes - this irresistible urge to escape the mundane, the everyday at least this once. Some go on an ocean cruise. Others dive into a book. Still others, like your heroine, throw on their selkie skins and plunge into the sea. We all have our escapes.

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  12. What a fabulous way to escape the mundane. No regrets. Very well crafted and as has been commented it doesn't feel rushed at all. Glad to have read it.

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  13. For being sick, you did a masterful job. I waited to the last minute too, but I think it suits you better. I wasn't expecting the Selkie ending, it caught me off gaurd. Lovely and enticing read.

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  14. That was a surprise. A mundane life can't hold back a mermaid. Freedom calls. I loved the surprise at the end.
    Nancy

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  15. What a great story! You built up a lot of intrigue about Coralina's secret, and it turned out be something so very magical. A pity she'll have to say goodbye to it, though maybe she'll tuck that skin back in the drawer instead of throwing it away.

    A wonderful tale of a past re-lived. Hope you're feeling better!

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  16. Don't know how. Missed this on the first go round. Glad i read it today. Congratulations on 'Runner-Up'. Great well written entry.

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