Flash Fiction Thursday: Just a Box

There’s a cardboard box lying on the floor. That’s all, just a box, taped together at the bottom and top, no bigger than a six-pack. Why am I thinking of beer? Oh, yeah, it’s because I’m holding one. Fancy that. I look at the bottle, then look through it to the box on the floor. The empty room takes on a tinge of green. I stop looking and take a long, fulfilling gulp. Oh, dear. Now the bottle’s empty. Might as well smash it as hard as I can against the wall.

It doesn’t shatter or anything. Damn. Even the damn bottle doesn’t do what I want it to do. I want it to smash, to crash, to splinter. I want it to make a noise in this too-quiet room. It’s much to quiet in here. It’s creepy, like she left a damn ghost here or something. I look hopefully around again, almost wishing I’d see her body swinging. But no, the room’s just as empty as it was when I got back from the train-station earlier today. That damn box is still on the floor.

I try to recall the past months, but I’m finding it kind of hard to concentrate. Guess the barman was right for telling me to quit it and go home. It’s not even nine, and the idiot told me he wasn’t going to serve me anymore. I told him where to put his head and went and bought a beer and started walking home. When I ran out of one, I bought another. That one, the one I threw, is the fourth. What? It was a damn long walk home. I needed the fluids, or the sustenance, or something.

Truth is, I just needed something to fill up the ache. I thought that maybe, just maybe, when I got home I’d find all her stuff back here. I’m home now, or what I used to call home, and she’s still gone. So’s her sofa, and TV, and her clothes and her dishes and everything else. I can still smell her here, though, even through the stink of beer coming from my own mouth.

And that damn box is still there on the floor. Is that all that was mine in here? Or did she leave me some stupid long letter about meeting the stud-muffin of her life and leaving with him? I don’t know. I collapse on the floor, the room suddenly spinning worse. I decide that whatever’s in there, it can’t hurt more than what I’m feeling right now. So I let myself drift away, knowing that the box and a headache will be waiting for me tomorrow.


As a proud participant in Flash Fiction Thursday, I urge you to check out the others at: http://unabridgedgirl.wordpress.com/


15 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Thursday: Just a Box

  1. zeldagirl says:

    I like how u painted the picture of it all. I also like how u used the box as a side target of his anger (if that makes sense).

  2. Hadassah says:

    Okay E, this is completey off topic..I was wondering why you were not posting,and it turns out that for some reason you were deleted from my list. DOH!

    I’m sorry if I seemed rude by no commenting. I’m so glad I figured this out by way of Kenzie’s blog. love ya!

  3. oh wow. You just got someone else following your blog!
    I loved this. It’s so amazing =O
    You’ve got me aching to know what’s in that box now!(Eventhough it’s not really important)

    x Lizzi

  4. Very nicely done. It’s difficult to sustain a piece of fiction with only one character in it even if the fiction is very short but you’ve done it here. I think it was the box on the floor. A very nice touch. And the fact that he doesn’t open the box to find out what’s inside is a beautiful ending device. It really doesn’t matter what’s inside the box. That he doesn’t open the box goes against the reader’s expectations. It’s sort of a twist ending without being a twist ending. Very nicely done.

    • Wow! Thank you so much for the compliments! I really appreciate them.
      You’re absolutely right – it doesn’t matter what’s in the box. It matters only that the box is there for the character to focus on. That sounds a little too Matrixy [“There is no spoon”] but still, that’s the only way I can explain it.

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