We create our own reality, they say.
And I’ve only recently grasped the hair’s breadth between Joe’s reality and a nightmare.
I bring food daily to the derelict multi-storey, occasionally clean clothes. He sells the clothes to fuel his habit.
Sometimes he recognises me, his eyes fill with tears. Mostly though, he’ll snarl, scrabble away towards the shadows.
I no longer want him back. I’ve other siblings that mustn’t be tainted.
“I’m coming home soon, Sis,” he says today, and my own reality edges closer to hell. There are, I’ve learned, no fairy-tale endings.
“Here’s 30 bucks,” I say. “Treat yourself.”
I love it when a story has legs; I’ve long fretted that once a short story is published, it dies its own death – you can’t use it again, unless, of course you’re a world-famous writer. My story The Reluctant Witness won Writing Magazine’s flash fiction competition way back, and then won again on the only site I knew that accepted previously published work, Ink Tears. And now it gets a third outing on Amazon as part of their Splash of Ink commemorative collection. I think I can let that one rest in peace now – its work here is done. 🙂
Someone whose stories very definitely have legs is Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, leader of Friday Fictioneers. Thank you Rochelle, for all your work.