SUNNIER CLIMES

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A cautionary tale inspired by the prompt 'light and dark'

Submitted: July 31, 2018

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Submitted: July 31, 2018

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As temperatures continue to soar to unprecedented levels, there appears to be no end in sight to the current heat wave sweeping Britain. Amber alerts are in force to remind people of the hazards to health in such extreme temperatures… those particularly vulnerable are the elderly and young children. However, everyone is advised to avoid exposure to the sun at its hottest that is between the hours of ten o’clock in the morning and three in the afternoon. As levels in reservoirs are receding at an alarming rate, you are reminded that a hose-pipe ban remains in force until further notice, and to use water only sparingly for domestic purposes.

Brian reached for the remote and switched off the television. After dabbing his sweat soaked face with a tissue, he heaved his weary bones out of the armchair and walked over to the open French window, staring out at the garden... his pride and joy. He sighed heavily at the sight of his precious lawn, the immaculate, green patch-work blanket of former years, now parched and barren. 

The temperature in the old, creaky house was unbearably hot and sticky… an electric fan battled to blow humid air around the room, providing little or no relief to the cloying atmosphere. We are not used to, or equipped for such a hot summer, he mused.

Holidays spent abroad with his wife Janet, in pursuit of sunnier climes, invaded his mind. Oh how she had worshipped the sun… her insatiable appetite for mahogany, glowing skin. Over the years, he had watched her glowing skin shrivel under the intense heat of the sun. He had warned her, but she wouldn’t listen… had even teased her about such vanity, but realised in hind-sight, it was an addiction and, in all probability, she would be out there now, soaking up the sun in the heat of the day.

He had enjoyed visiting sunnier climes, but for him it had been more about the travelling, visiting different places, experiencing diverse cultures. He often left her to lounge on the beach, while he soaked up places of interest, buildings and historical facts, or explored quaint little villages off the beaten track. But he missed her terribly… her bright blue eyes that shone with humour, her acerbic wit, her spirit, her positive attitude and enthusiasm for life.

He now felt as bereft and barren as the lawn… at fifty nine years old, the light of his life had been snuffed out. Maybe if she had sought treatment sooner when he first noticed that mole on her back had changed. But she had made light of his concern.

“I’ve always had moles,” she had said, with flippant disregard.

That had been two years ago. How quickly Melanoma had invaded and ravaged her body, how stoic and upbeat she had remained right until the end, when her addiction to the sun finally claimed her life and left him in a deep, dark hole of lo
ss. 


© Copyright 2018 Sue Harris. All rights reserved.

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