/FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!).
This week’s selected photograph comes from a student of mine, Aja Myles. Aja has taken feature writing and public relations writing with me, and she is a very beautiful writer. When I asked in class if anyone had a photograph for this series I’m working on, within an hour she sent me three photographs from which to choose. As a sushi lover, I couldn’t resist using this pretty shot she took. And while the story isn’t necessarily about sushi, its appearance offers some solace for our main character, Sandra.
At 380 words, this is the shortest piece of Flash Fiction I’ve written so far on this journey.
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All Sandra wanted to do was sit in a sidewalk café in Paris with her favorite book, sip a glass of French wine, and watch people shuffle by on the busy streets. She had been saving for this trip for two years—this trip that was going to help her speak the language more fluently. And she didn’t plan on being in France for a short time. No. She would be there for weeks. A month. That’s how much money she had saved. That’s how long she budgeted to be there.
She hadn’t taken all those courses for nothing—she wanted to speak one of the languages of love—the Romance languages. A friend of a friend was from the hills of France, and she loved listening to her accent and the way she was so expressive when she talked, her eyes wide and dancing, her hands moving along with the words, her smile contagious. She hoped she could be the same, maybe evolve into a person who was more physically emotive, more passionate.
Unfortunately, the taxi never showed up and the storm of the century was in its sixth hour. Down it came, the snow, the sleet, and Sandra’s hope of getting to the airport had dwindled earlier this morning from “possible” to “non-existent.” The airport had closed and all flights both in and out had been postponed.
She slipped into her heavy winter coat and took the walk down two flights of stairs in her rented brownstone, she one of three tenants in the building. She wanted to cry. She wanted to crawl into Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables novel and commiserate with those other miserable characters. Sandra was devastated. She had strategically planned this time off. Now she was already missing moments in Paris, and she would have to reschedule her flight when all this white nonsense decided to stop invading her world.
The streets were not all quiet. Snow lovers were outside, walking their dogs, visiting pubs that were open, and kids were shouting in the streets. She walked three blocks when she came across the flashing orange sign: OPEN.
She pushed through the door, removing her snow-covered hat, and the hostess greeted her. “Table? Bar?” she said in her thick accent.
“Sushi for one,” she said. “Seat me anywhere.”