A Burning Cigar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A piece I wrote in my creative writing class in which we attempted to model Hemingway's style of dialogue and subtext.

Submitted: February 25, 2013

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Submitted: February 25, 2013



The man took his old steel lighter out of his pocket and gave it a flip. After a second of admiring its humble beauty he gave it a quick strike. He then the put new flame to the tip of the fat cigar he had hanging from his other hand. This caused an all too familiar puff of sweet smoke to flow from its tip. As he stood leaning against the doorframe he put the end of the cigar to his lips and took a long full inhale of tobacco and slowly blew it out of the door and into the front yard.

Looking back at his old lighter he squatted down and said softly "I want you to take this."

He got nothing back but two blue eyes beaming wide.

"Hold out your hand" the man said.

Again he got the same glossy blue eyes followed with an outstretched arm and a slightly clammy palm.

As he took a short drag of the cigar he put the lighter in the open palm and said "Keep it always."

"But... its… yours?" the blue eyed face replied.

"Not anymore, now it’s just my memory" he mumbled to soft to hear.

"Are you gonna be back for dinner? We are having Fried Chicken!!!"

The man let out a soft laugh and took another inhale of his slowly burning cigar.

"I might not make it back tonight, but when I do I promise that we'll have all the fried chicken you can eat.”

"Yaaaaaaaaay!!!  ,...you pinky swear we will?"

With another soft chuckle the man held out his pinky and said "Ya I pinky swear" Ruffling his companions hair he stood up, putt the cigar to his lips, and stared out the door. Looking back inside he saw the woman who had been eavesdropping from the kitchen slowly walking towards him.

As she reached the doorframe were he stood she clasped his one free hand and said, "You do good to keep that promise"

"Well that’s all up to old Sam now isn't it" he replied.

"Please tell me you will try and be more positive than that. Who knows, maybe it will all be over within the month, and they’ll send you back home."

Looking down at the burning half of a cigar, he muttered, "Ya, maybe"

Softly the woman replied, "I want you to take this with you". She then slid a black and white photo of her just three years ago dressed in a white flowing dress, out of her pocket and into his free hand.

"I will keep it with me always" he told her. He took another long drag of the cigar and blew it out the door. "You look just as pretty as the day it was taken", he assured her.

With a slight smile she said, "I wish it didn’t have to be this way”

“I’m sure God has gotten that wish a lot lately” he replied.

Kneeling back down he said accompanied with a long hug, “I love you”

He got an almost embarrassed “I love you” back.

Standing back up the man truthfully said, “I’ll miss you every second”

The woman wrapped her arms around him and returned a “We won’t ever forget you.”

As she released her loving embrace he looked down at his left hand. The cigar was nearly through. He knew it was time, and with a short passionate kiss, and sullen look he walked out the door, and the moment was over.



Thanks for reading. If you liked it you may also enjoy my Edgar Allan Poe inspired piece, "A View of the Ocean"


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