Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Flash Fiction: Lashes

   c2011 Helen Reynolds

Lashes by Mary McCallum

The art of mascara isn’t hard to master. It just needs a firmness of touch, and a wiggle before the brush leaves the lashes. I’ve applied it on the run: on the toilet, eating breakfast, driving to work – one hand on the steering wheel, one on the mascara wand, both eyes on the road. I swear, I’d only look in the rear vision mirror once or twice to check I hadn’t missed anything.                                                      
         That last time was different. Something scratching – a dislodged lash? The mascara clogged on the brush. I remember tipping the mirror and looking deep into the weeping white of my eye.                
         The flash of yellow came out of nowhere. Tiny candy-pink tights cartwheeling. One shoe. On the bonnet, the daisy from the little yellow hat. That’s all I see now, and I refuse to frame it. I can’t. No more black plasticky lash-paint for me.                         
         Lashes, only lashes.

It's National Flash Fiction Day on Friday and there's a prize (or two) at stake. Sadly, I didn't make the shortlist in the NFFD competition but others did. 

Just in case I get a NZ Society of Authors regional prize, I won't post my submission here until later... this is another piece of flash fiction I posted a little while back - half the length of this week's competition. The drawing is by my friend Helen Reynolds. 

Check out the Tuesday Poem hub which is all Flash Fiction this week thanks to NFFD organiser Michelle Elvy who is also a Tuesday Poet - and there are more flashes in the TP sidebar. FF is after all the love child of poetry and fiction. 


workbook : Helen Reynolds said...

look forward to seeing your new flash fiction - crossing fingers for the regional award!

AJ Ponder said...

Really like this :)
Good luck with your other piece.

Elizabeth Welsh said...

Oh, I love the witty hint in the first line towards Elizabeth Bishop's poem 'One Art' - fabulous! The drawing is perfectly matched, too. Good luck with the regional award, Mary!

Janis said...

That's great, Mary. Love the opening line.

Mary McCallum said...

So pleased you got the Bishop nod, Elizabeth and janis! I gave a little squeal when I saw your comments just now. I'm really pleased with this story but sadly I'd posted it on my blog so couldn't enter it - gnash, it's the first time that's happened to me. Oh well...

Michelle Elvy said...

It's always so interesting to see how words and images go together. In this case, such an excellent match! Really enjoyed this piece, Mary. Glad you have enjoyed the Flash Week here. We'll all be glad to hear the results of the national comp on Friday! :)

wordpress/gurglewords.com said...

Clever to use frivolity as an introduction to tragedy. How quickly it came. The use of lashes in the last line is a powerful image too.

Harvey Molloy said...

Great flash fiction and a lovely complementing illustration.