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Lip balm

Updated: Aug 29, 2023





THE ART OF FLASH FICTION SUBSTACK

PROMPTS:

PEPPER · GOLDEN LAB · PECULIAR · LIP BALM · RAIN · CEMETERY ·

THEME: NEW FRIENDSHIP SAVES CHARACTER IN SOME WAY


When it rained—it was always raining—her lip balm tasted like pepper. The chemical bonds creating the flavor were peculiar, but even stranger was how memories of Broome Street came back to her. Broome Street. Not the up-scale commercial street it has become, with its five-dollar lattes and street light flower planters. It was instead, the sooty, industrial Broome Street of her past, when the black pepper factory still operated on the corner of Broome and Addison. These days, she imagined herself as a different person, and had changed her name to underscore the shift in her identity, but in those days, she was Carrie.


She first saw Jason walking his golden lab. He was tall and blond, with a dancer’s physique and eyes that were as flat and brown as two copper pennies. They looked into her in a way she had never felt before. True to his word, he called her that first time when he said he would. She’d not been in the city for very long, and Jason was her first friend. The gravitic pull between them was miraculous. He joked that she was Epoxy A, and he was Epoxy B.


One year later, they were married. Every day with him was another stitch in a warm wrap that enveloped her entirely and gave her world its vibrant hue. They were going to have everything.


How cruel , that it would unravel so fast, and fate would take him so young. Now ten years later, she stood in Holyoke Cemetery in the rain, over the stone that bore his name, the taste of pepper on her lips.



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