He smacked the baby blue pack of American Spirits against his palm twice before pulling out a cigarette. By habit he began to roll it across his hand, filter over paper, between each finger and then under the palm to continue the cycle.
She had always hated that. She never stopped him, but she did tell him he did it just to draw attention to the fact he was smoking.
"You don't need to make a production out of it,” she would say.
But she wasn't here anymore, was she?
He cupped his hand to protect the lighter's flame.
* * * *
"Her" was the most conventional of my submissions, a pretty simple limited third-person narrative without any particularly unusual techniques. I like the ambiguity of the ending and the lack of certainty regarding her. What was her relationship with him? Family? Friends? Lovers? Did they have a falling out? Is she dead? At the same time, I like the defiance present in the final line, a nice piece of characterization for such a short story.
"Her" has a special place in my heart both as the first flash fiction I thought of and wrote. Also, when I wrote the rough draft, which received very little revision since only so much is possible with so few words, it came out to exactly 101 words. I thought then that this story was going places.
3 years ago