Life is a Short Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Flash Fiction Summer 2021 Writing Contest Entry

My wife and I met in college in our Insects and Human Society class. She sat down next to me and said abruptly,

“I’m not sure if I’m here to overcome my fear of bugs, or of people.”

We started hanging out after that. We drank at the Collegiate Bar, found our way into parties we weren’t invited to, but still found time to study side by side in quiet library room. In the summer of our senior year, we walked through the abandoned campus together.

After undergrad, she moved back in with her parents in Washington to save money. We kept in touch at first, playing co-op Stardew Valley and getting on Zoom calls with our former classmates. But my public planning graduate program kept me occupied, so I became distant. When I was planning a business trip to downtown Bellingham to help them modernize their historic district, I gave her a call. She half-jokingly volunteered her house so I didn’t have to stay in the lice-ridden hotel. I took her up on the offer.

On the Saturday morning before I left, she took me on a hike up the mountains along the PNT. We found a spot overlooking the valley, golden in the late fall. We watched the clouds move across the sky and listened to the crickets. I remarked that she didn’t seem afraid anymore. She smiled and kissed me.


“Life’s too short to be afraid.”

We’ve come back up here every year since. Obviously, this will be our last time.

That’s the siren. I’ll try and snap a picture once the mushroom cloud goes off and bury it with this final testament. I’d like to capture the glow against the evening sky. It’s surprisingly easy to launch a nuclear bomb by accident, isn’t it?


Submitted: July 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Ryan Wesdock. All rights reserved.

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