Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.
This is a very short story that was originally published in Bethlehem Writers Roundtable. I have reprinted it here with permission.
it was written with only one rewrite and was accepted to the first place it was submitted too. That's never happened to me before and I IMAGINE that it never will again. This piece is a true rarity in that regard.
I don't recall the inspiration for this piece, but I do remember that it was completed after a long period of not being able to complete anything.
Also, it has nothing to do with John Lennon or his song. Perhaps I should consider a title change.
I hope that you enjoy.
reading time: Approx. 2 minutes.
Imagine: Flash Fiction
by Justin W. Price
First Published in Bethlehem Writers Round table, Spring 2018
It’s always best to extricate yourself from a stressful situation. If you can’t do this physically, do it mentally. Like chomping on ginger before eating one of your beloved sushi rolls, cleanse your mental palette.
Imagine, this morning, that you had not burned the toast.
Imagine rainbows and quiet babies and yapping puppies. Imagine yourself on a warm beach somewhere, your toes tunneling into hot white sand, eyes pasted to the skyline, the arc of the earth visible ahead, the clear blue skies, a pina-colada.
Imagine a time, a time long ago, where your dad wakes you and your sisters up for a surprise trip to Disneyland, and the two-hour trek south, with animal style "In N Out Burgers" for lunch and saccharine soda pop slurped through a straw. Imagine being there, in the Magic Kingdom, seven-year-old you, all bespectacled and pigtailed, greeted by Goofy and Mickey.
Imagine his plate with lightly browned toast the way he likes it. Imagine there is a smile on his face.
Imagine a time, this is years from now, your soon-to-be-born daughter as a grown woman, bringing her daughter over for lunch with grandma. You. Grandma you. She calls you “Mee-Maw,” or simply “Nana.” You haven’t imagined this yet. All you imagine now is her being over, pigtailed like you were at that age, eating peanut butter and jelly, and watching whatever cartoons are popular at that time. Playing board games and letting her win.
Imagine your daughter picking her up and thanking you for watching her that morning and telling her that it’s no trouble and that you don’t need to be thanked for doing what grandmothers do. Imagine you being a grandmother.
Or, imagine maybe, that you hadn’t stormed out of the house that morning. Imagine that your husband hadn’t screamed at you for burning his toast or that he hadn’t thrown his plate of scorched toast at you, a woman pregnant with his child, and that it hadn’t hit you square in the right orbital, imagine that you hadn’t seen those white flashes. Imagine that you didn’t see those stars or decide, finally, that you had had enough and that you wouldn’t take this anymore.
Imagine if you’d only let yourself endure more of his punishment and that you hadn’t, instead, waddled to your car and flown down your street, away from him and towards who knows what. Imagine that your heart hadn’t raced and that you hadn’t lost your breath or felt the terror when you saw his car behind you, chasing you, advancing. Imagine if you’d only stayed home, if nothing else, for the kid, or if you had decided to call the police like your friends all said to do. Imagine that, as he gained on you and you struggled to sustain speed and consciousness. That the plate had not smacked against your orbital, the headache, the forehead streaked with blood.
Imagine yourself on a ski lift, high up in the mountain air. Just you. No plate-throwing husband, no high-speed chase through suburban streets, just you, bundled up and soaring down steep hills, slaloming like Lindsay Vonn. Imagine you escaping to this mountain nirvana, gulping at fresh air instead of gasping beneath your overturned car, blood coming from your abdomen, your arms, all of your orifices, your husband’s boot smashing your face.
© 2018 Justin W Price