Flash Fiction

July 2021 | Written by Keshia Sophia Roelofs

Tunnel  Vision

The sting burns red hot across your palm. Your arm shudders with the utter, screaming pain of it. A clattering conclusion to an impulsive act. Clutching frantically at your hand, a flurry of profanities cascade through your brain as a light breeze drifts the squeals of happy innocence through the kitchen window. The sound is perverse against the unspoken venom dripping onto brilliant white tiles. 

 

Unaffected by your agony, the water continues to bubble and spit, its gurgling song beckoning and terrifying you all the same. One solitary egg remains sunken amongst the steaming turmoil, abandoned by its company shattered on the granite shoreline. Slivers of oozing thick yolk seep among the remnants of shells, spilling forth from coagulated wounds. A massacre on the countertop, another blemish in your relationship. 

 

Aftershock drowns the rising whistle emanating from the stove, the steady building shrill like an oncoming train, no more than a kettle. Your fingers blister with the heat of impact. Your body runs cold. Time freezes. Echoes of a dripping tap. The escalating whistle. Distant naivety. The sharp suction from your chest. 

 

He has recuperated. 

 

One quick movement, and then there is nothing. High pitch howling fades to a resounding wheeze. The train has rolled by. The light has faded. Too late to realize the scream was yours and yours alone.

 

© Keshia Sophia Roelofs

Keshia Sophia Flash Fiction
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July 2021 | Written by Keshia Sophia Roelofs

IOU

What has you walking these pavements alone? And dressed like that, you must be begging for it. Craving it. What strange thirst grips that body? Not yours, surely. It belongs to us all, so why hide the rest? We have seen it all before. You think you’re clever hiding breasts and skin while the infuriating shape of you stretches my restraints thin. You snob, you whore. What a fickle mind you possess. Incapable of affixing upon a rational thread with emotions like that. One earphone out? What a strange invitation. Always playing female games. Ok, I’ll bite. Do you a favour. Don’t be shy. My attention is all yours. You didn’t even have to ask. With rolls like that, you should be grateful. Hard to get? Please, you’re not the first. Looks fade, my dear, and yours are already ending. I’ll take the hit, just one touch. It’s just a whisper. Why so sensitive? Where are you going? I’ll follow your stride. Can’t be too sure of predators. See? Such a nice guy. Profanities! From such a mouth. I’d like to fill it. Why so prude? I see your lack. It just takes one fumble to straighten you out. I’m kidding, you tease. We’re all adults here. Such youthful looks, if only you smiled. Don’t put too much stock in your appearance. Empty conversation is so meaningless. But you’re not like other girls. I can tell. You’re a natural beauty. At least you could be. Makeup highlights only insecurities. Besides, it does nothing for me. Need a ride? I can sit. I have the time. Sure, take the lead. I like the view from behind. All the boys chasing you. Just like they said when you were five. Good thing you are not my type. I’m not like other guys.

 

© Keshia Sophia Roelofs

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July 2021 | Written by Keshia Sophia Roelofs

The Fawn

Rip and tear. Right at the seams. Why must separation sound so violent? Like a terrible wrenching in half of two parts that were once whole. Break up. Break down. Break bread. The aggressive stuffing of dough amongst gnashing teeth. The discarded crusts that daddy called the good part. “All the nutrition lies in the rough!” There’s no real sustenance when you go deeper. It’s all in the skin. All the essential elements discarded for the flesh. That’s always what they want. Just the pulp. The full, juicy thickness of it. Plump and firm. Not too bruised, not too hard, not too bitter. Just sweet. That’s what little girls are made of. That’s what full grown Kevin wanted. Not an itchy old crone. Not a wrinkled, leather bag filled with all his baggage, his guttural shit stuffed deep down her recesses, smearing across her delicate stitching. He wants the stiff apparel yet to be broken in. The feeling of newness and tight pinching as it moulds to his body. His alone. The possibility of bleeding making it all the sweeter. He is the man exploring a new frontier. Staking claim to untouched lands not yet fully formed and perhaps never will beneath his premature stalks. Rip and tear, right at the seams. A new shoe submitted to the inappropriate thickness of him. While I lacerate myself in two. One disgusted by his predatory nature. The other jealous of the prey.

 

© Keshia Sophia Roelofs

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July 2021 | Written by Keshia Sophia Roelofs

Quench

At first light they come, jiggling the lock with clumsy fingers. One of them curses and the rattling stops. My breathing intensifies, dousing my cell in dank unwashed breath. I need water. The sound resumes and in one swift movement, the cage bursts open. Nothing to see but light and bodies. Limbs akimbo like a strangely arranged forest. Their branches sweep and miss as I hurl myself forwards. I feel my body spasm back to life as the cold floor shocks my legs into action. Endless voices hurl rhythms through my head but I hear nothing. I want nothing. Just their hands all over my body, enveloping my being with their essence, their energy purifying my own. Yes, do it! Mould my disposition into the temperament of your desire. Anything that gifts me with pleasure more real than I can provide myself. I need water. Oh, how they kiss and squeeze, running their bare hands across my vibrating body. Let me reciprocate. Their heightening tones is the sweetest music I could make. I am delirious in the hues of ecstasy, aching to run. Desperate to consume every ounce of their delicious attention. I need water. And then it comes. That aching distance punctuated by sharpened syllables swept up in a painful pitch. I recognise the melody, but the cadence is changed. Nothing’s changed I try to say, my tone kept high just like theirs. But the air feels different now. The woods have returned to stillness, immovable even to my own frenetic energy. I am alone once more amongst the statues, lost in the lapping up of water.

© Keshia Sophia Roelofs

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July 2021 | Written by Keshia Sophia Roelofs

Crazy Hands

He was christened by the rhythmic spasms his hands made, flexing fingertips as if dancing to a melody from long ago. Sometimes they made ‘oomph oomph’ sounds in between sniggers, trying to match classic rave music to his movements. I imagined him a phantom stenographer, transcribing voices from another realm in his own coded sign language. On and on his wrist would flick, fingerpainting messages into unspoken air, his eyes fixated on some unseen space. And on and on people would mime, thematizing his shuffling existence with coherent stories of a silent man or simply pass him by. But never recoil. Avoidance was reserved for the scarred faced brute who pestered passers-by for hostel money, the imbittered crone who hurled putrid abuse from her roughcast face. Not he who walked listlessly on the borderlines of the living. His past was sacred and yet victim to conjecture. He is what happens when the acid trip goes wrong, when a mind is let rot by an unchecked disorder, when repressed trauma can only spill out in clicks and flexes. Onwards he wanders, reinforcing stigmas and perpetuating beliefs, reduced to a scathing indictment of a multitude of ills. The loss of the nuclear family, the horror of addiction, the increase of property rent; Crazy Hands balances them all on the tips of his fidgeting fingertips. And still the voices of the other side call, falling to the sound of deaf ears, lost amongst the noise of those who fail to see. 

© Keshia Sophia Roelofs