Margarida Brei 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 case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Margarida Brei
When she was a child, bubbles were amazing. Light and airy. Pure, perfect and iridescent. A joy to behold. Her siblings devised many games centred on bubbles. Who would blow the biggest? How far would they travel on the wind? How many could be blown from a single wand? The siblings frantically chased the bouncy floating bubbles. Run! Balance one on your wand! Pop them! Feel a cascade of moisture suddenly on your skin. Run, chase, pop! Bubbles for her symbolized the carefree days of childhood and all its joy. Where had all those happy days gone?
Her happy childhood bubbles had disappeared with adulthood. Failing marriage followed by divorce. Crippling mortgage. Hateful words. Salvage her dignity, pride and few items.
She often felt like she was floating high in a bubble looking down at herself. She felt so isolated that she did not use her own name. Instead she referred to herself as “she”. Instead of a happy experience, she felt trapped. Her bubble was spinning her around and turning her upside down as though on earth she had no control.
“Get a job… Find a fulfilling hobby…. Go on a cruise…” her well meaning friends advised. She just politely smiled.
She needed a miracle.
Her daughter was exuberant on the phone, “Mum! Mum! Great news! I am pregnant! We are moving back home. You can see your grandchild grow up! Mum?”
“Wonderful darling! You have burst my maudlin bubble! Do you think my grandchild will like bubbles?”