Bill Engleson Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Bill Engleson is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning entry:


flash fiction writing prompt mono-lake-california-june-2001-copyright-ksbrooks
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by Bill Engleson

On the morning after, she roused me from my media slumber and said, “Let’s take a walk.”

I shook off the dust and cobwebs of opinion and angst and dressed warmly.

“Where do you have in mind?” I asked.

“To the sea,” she answered, as expected.

Our path to the ocean took us first through the memorial of trees which, ever fragilely, continue to shelter us from the encroachment of others. Then, through subdivision after familiar subdivision, we silently picked our way.

It was November and the dawn mist still hovered in patches, mingling in spots with swirling smoke from the few remaining antiquated wood stoves.

“We should do this more often,” she said as her arm, linked in mine, pulled me just a little closer.

“We do,” I reminded her. “It’s just…you forget.”

“I do?”

“Yes, sometimes you do.” And to soothe her, or me, I added, “So do I. Sometimes.”

“You do? How sad.”

As we came to the rise where we often catch our first glimpse of the sea, there is a silence. The sea had pulled back, restless, perhaps, seeking to restore itself.

“There is a tidepool in the affairs of men…” She says this as she always says it. With an acceptance, a haunting acceptance. And a fraction of memory.

“Tide,” I remind her.


“Yes. Though there clearly are tidepools. Here, at least.”

“Where life begins.” She knows this.

“Yes, my love.” I draw her close and remember seas once sailed.

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