Damon Wakes’ Flash Fiction Day: This way I can pretend

Red door with brass door knocker

Image: Pixabay

There’s the same lamppost with the broken bulb sitting in its pool of darkness.

And the beech tree with its crop of condemned trainers drooping from the boughs by their laces.

The same skinny stray sniffs the air, pads half heartedly towards me but turns tail before he’s within whining distance.

Now the countdown.

31, 30, 29, 28 … 27, Newberry Gardens.

Your house.

Not your house now, but always your house in my head.

One desperate afternoon, I considered knocking on the door (now painted red – you would never have chosen red) and making some excuse to get inside. My Nan’s old place. Brought me up. Sorely missed. I ached to walk the boards where you padded, look out across the broken valley, its smoking stacks.

But what if the wine stain’s gone from the carpet? What if they’ve fixed the sticking doors, changed the bathroom suite?

Then I’d have to accept you’re gone. This way, I can pretend.



Written for Damon Wakes’ Flash Fiction Day. Take a look here to see what all the fuss is about.


26 thoughts on “Damon Wakes’ Flash Fiction Day: This way I can pretend

  1. A wonderful depiction of how we can so strongly associate memories of people with the places and things they touched. And yes, the urge to pretend they’re not really gone, as well Powerful stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “condemned trainers drooping from the boughs by their laces.” For a long time I didn’t know the significance of those dangling trainers. When I found out, it came as a shock, remembering how often I’d seen them around the town…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TBH, I think a lot of them are just places where young people through them for fun – they’re not all sinister, I hope. There’s one near my mum’s house, so I hope not!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I expect you’re right. I’d be furious if my friends chucked my £80 trainers over an electric wire – not that they cost me £80 – I got them from Oxfam 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve spent that sort of money on walking boots, but never trainers. My problem is, I just don’t care about brands or buying something fashionable. Does that make me a bad consumer? Not fulfilling my spending duties 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ve tried practically every strong coffee on the market. Cafe Direct Espresso comes in second place, unfortunately topped by Bellorom Espresso from Lidl – to my shame, I’m not sure that is’s ethically sourced.. They’re both ready ground. These days I can’t be bothered with grinding it myself, and drink so much of the stuff that it odesn’t have time to go stale.
        I have a hot chocolate every night. I tell myself that it’s not so bad as I make it with almond milk – but almond milk doesn’t draw out the sugar 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cafe Direct stuff is good – I drink their instant, which is all I can cope with being a ground coffee-phobe 🙂 I love a hot chocolate too, though only at home or in very specific cafes as most of the coffee shop chains serve stuff so sweet it melts your teeth. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. My hot chocolate consists of chocolate powder, cocoa and plain chocolate, and is so strong you almost have to chew it. At least I’ve given up chucking in a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee! You would be forgiven for thinking my motto is “Enjoy all things in excess.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Your hot chocolate sounds amazing. One of the best I’ve had was by an Iranian chap who made it from grated chocolate – amazing. Starbucks and the rest are rubbish by comparison.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Grated chocolate is the best, but it has to be plain, and is a bit expensive if you drink it every night, even if you get it from Lidl.
        I had amazing chocolate in Ireland. It was served in an espesso cup, and was thick. I think it may have been a combination of melted chocolate cream and milk. It was served warm. One of these days I’m going to experiment.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, that’s a lovely thing to do. Some of those we love never entirely leave us. Sometimes I wish you could turn love off – when someone dies it’s painful to keep loving them when they’re gone. But it would be heartbreaking to lose the emotions you had for them too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I agree. Sometimes I think of losing other people; I can almost feel it as though it’s happening now and I’m terrified. I have to put it out of my mind so I don’t make myself nuts.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, you can’t torture yourself with the ‘what ifs’, projecting what will happen in the years to come. Easy to do when you love someone though. But what’s the point of life without love? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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