Microlit – “Into the Clouds” and “To Ashes?”

Hey all,

So in late September I submitted two pieces of Microlit for the Joanne Burns Award over at Spineless Wonders. Unfortunately, like all of my writing so far, it was not accepted for publication. Even so, I am proud of it and I am going to post it here.

The theme was “Scars”, and each piece could only be 200 words in length. Being a lover of short fiction, how could I resist? One piece is called “Into the Clouds”, and was written in the aftermath of an anxiety attack and a depressive episode one after the other (always fun to get both extremes in one night!), and the other is called “To Ashes?” and is a bit of a reflection on my family and their relationship with me.

I only submitted two of a possible three pieces, and I was – shockingly – feeling pretty down when I wrote them, but I do hope you enjoy having a read!

As always, let me know what you think. Any feedback is appreciated.


Into the Clouds

He was curled up below me, crying, and I just watched, circling above, unable to help.

“I just want to be loved,” he said, desperate sobs choking him before he could get the words out properly.

“You know I love you,” said another voice. I couldn’t see who owned it.

The man sobbed again, but nodded softly, and the other voice continued, “but it’s just so much pressure, being the only one.”

I could see her once the man looked up – emerald-eyed and golden-haired. Her hand touched his knee softly, beckoning him out of his cage. I saw from his eyes again, and we whispered when we spoke this time, “but it’s not my fault everyone left.”

On saying that, we curled up together inside the cage we’d almost escaped, and I couldn’t see her anymore.

Who was this damaged man, and who could save him?

I floated away, into the sky, and while he sobbed, I escaped to the clouds. He can’t hurt me up here, and I can’t help him down there.

So he sits in his cage without me, and she tightly holds the space where I was, hoping I’ll come back soon.

To Ashes?

I don’t remember Dad’s Dad, but at his funeral I wasn’t allowed to go in and see his corpse – I had to sit outside with my sister and wait until my Mum and Dad had seen it. Apparently I was too young to see Death then. George was burned up and scattered on the Chatswood Rose Garden. That rose garden is a train station now, and his ashes are gone.

I’ll never forget Mum’s Dad. When I hugged Grandad for the last time all that was left of his organs were a lung and his heart. He told me it would be okay and that he loved me. He’d never said that before, but I always knew it. He’s with Gran now – for him that means heaven, but for me it just means the wall outside St Matthew’s in Windsor, next to her ashes and covered with a rusty plaque.

I too want to be burned, then sent into space in a little capsule that opens up in a hundred years outside the gravity well of Earth and our little solar system and spreads to the corners of the universe unnoticed until the end of time.

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