Flash way-beyond-55 #33: untitled

Her belly opened wide like a yawn, taking in everything around her. The cards, the flowers, the unreturned phone calls on the machine. She shifted in her overstuffed chair and tried to sleep. But the pictures flashed in her head, like the preview of a horror film. It played over and over and over, so that she could think of nothing else.

“Do you want some tea?” her husband called from the kitchen.

The sound of his voice echoed around her. In her mind she said no, but wasn’t sure if it came out of her mouth. She shifted in her chair.

“Tea?” he peeked into the living room where she sat. She rolled her eyes toward him and shook her head, but just barely.

He went back into the kitchen and she turned her head toward the wall-sized window next to her. The dog looked up as if to ask a question and put it back down again. She fixed her gaze on the tree outside. A finch landed on the branch and for one instant, the horror film in her mind stopped. She took in his bright yellow feathers and listened to his sweet chirp singing to her.

And a single, quiet tear tumbled off her face.


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 7 post challenge « Kathan Ink.
  2. deidra
    Jul 31, 2010 @ 08:26:15

    The belly opening.
    The inquiry about tea.
    Shifting in the chair.
    The dog.
    The finch.
    The yellow.

    It is true what they say about God being in the details, isn’t it?

    This was beautiful…


  3. dayner
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 20:31:24

    How, with the talent that you have, can you ever doubt your capability to write? This is excellent! So expressive and fluid. I can never write like this.
    I think you can expand on this and have a great short story. I want to know more about her, her husband, her dog, everything. Keep going!

    The finch is just the cherry on top.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Jul 31, 2010 @ 11:34:52

      Ok, so this is the deal. I am feeling better about my writing. I think I’ve conquered the “characters and scene,” or at least I feel sufficient at it. What I really, really struggle with is the story. Seriously. It’s a real problem. I come up with these interesting little tidbits, but I can never seem to figure out how it ends. It always ends up being trite or corny, or doesn’t really work in one way or another.

      But thanks for your confidence boost in my writing! I think I can see all of us growing bit by bit, over this last year.


  4. Parrot Writes
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 15:44:24

    Great job of taking us inside her grief and emptiness. I liked the introduction of the yellow finch – did not know that is symbolized joy, happiness and the eternal love of God. It fit perfectly in your “showing” .


    • Kathan Lewis
      Jul 31, 2010 @ 11:32:05

      I know, I was glad DS asked me because I never knew what it meant. It just seemed in my mind to symbolize something like hope, or that maybe she for one moment, saw something beyond herself.


  5. Natasha
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 08:39:02

    It’s always interesting to me when unconsciously or subconsciously we put something — like the yellow finch — in our thinking or writing, and it turns out to have many, many layers of meaning that tap into a universal consciousness.

    What makes your writing so good is how you tap into these universal feelings so simply and yet with so much power. Phew.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Jul 30, 2010 @ 11:53:27

      Thanks, Natasha! I know, the power of symbol in writing is really very cool. It can communicate something very important to the story…and as they say, it’s perfect for “showing, not telling.”


  6. darksculptures
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 05:50:21

    The yellow finch!

    Did you realize how much symbolism was hidden in that glance out the window when you wrote it? I’m just wondering, for my benefit in constructing dramatic elements, whether you intentionally planned it or if it was something you wrote and later realized its symbolic purpose. I’m trying to wrap my head around symbolism and euphamism this week.


    • Kathan Lewis
      Jul 30, 2010 @ 07:10:42

      No, I really had no idea what a yellow finch symbolized until you posted this question! So I googled it and found it symbolizes: joy, happiness and the eternal love of God, among other things. I think when I was writing it, I wanted to have her see something that symbolized happiness or hope and a yellow finch came to my mind.

      So, yes, I wanted some symbolism, but never really knew that I was correct! I think there’s just some things that are obvious symbols in our minds…even if we don’t know what they mean exactly. I mean blood is likely not to symbolize joy and a yellow finch is probably not a symbol for evil. 😀

      I do tend to write symbolism consciously in my writing…it’s almost always there in some form.


  7. Shaddy
    Jul 29, 2010 @ 16:02:56

    You’ve left me in the midst of your character’s despair, in other words, you’ve done an excellent job with your 55 plus piece.


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