All That Remains by Chris Barraclough

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Flash Fiction - 500 words

Submitted: February 18, 2012

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Submitted: February 18, 2012

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She slipped her arms into the soft silk sleeves and drew the robe up to her shoulders. The kiss of the material against her skin made her shiver. Next came the plastic visor. She fitted it over her face, the edges melting across her skull to form an instant seal.
 
Through the tall glass door, a crimson streak lit up the adjacent skyscraper, the windows flared like a million devilish eyes that watched through the darkness. She stared back, the hairs on the nape of her neck pricked up like needles. Just five shaky steps and she was pressed against the glass, her fingers clasped around the handle, and then the door slid aside and a wave of boiling air rushed over her body.
 
The balcony was bare and narrow and ringed by a fence that came up to her waistline. She closed the door and moved to the fence on stiff legs. Her hands danced across the top, a nervous beat, until she forced them to stop and leaned forward. Her eyes sank into the black lake beneath, unable to help themselves.
 
Her hands fell away and she pulled back and twisted until she was sat on the ledge, her back to the world. She stared through the open door into her apartment, ignoring the sharp edges that bit her flesh through the robe. Their bedroom was filled with art and antique furniture, but looked so empty. The three-piece suit was still draped across the back of the desk chair, its dark surface silvered by dust, the lapel weighed down by a row of shining stars.
 
A single tear leaked from her eye and slipped down her cheek and settled in the crack between her skin and the visor. Her instinct was to wipe it away, but her fingers brushed only plastic. With a muffled sob, she dug her nails under the seal and ripped the mask from her face, hurling it over the railing. Her skin flushed in the sudden heat. Thick, choking fingers forced themselves down her throat, plunging into her lungs and squeezing tight.
 
She gripped her throat, eyes bulging. Her chest trembled as her heart pummeled her ribs. She felt herself slip backwards and the warm glow of the bedroom disappeared, replaced by a sea of smoke and a vast shuttle that tore across the sky. Startling orange flames leapt from its wing and spread themselves across the sky. She could almost feel their heat, her body tossed and spread as the air roared past her.
 
A tiny kick from within. She clutched her belly with both hands and a tender smile crossed her lips.
 
“Be still. Please be still.”
 
Then the shuttle exploded above and the darkness turned to light.
 
www.ChrisBarraclough.co.uk


© Copyright 2020 Chris Barraclough. All rights reserved.

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