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The Convergence: Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on March 07, 2017
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Chris has written more than 100 flash fiction/short stories.Working Vacation took 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

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I lay on my bed and looked up at the blue sky. Clouds pretended to be a hopping rabbit, a wolf’s head, an eagle. The entire room was, in fact, a mural. Half of one wall featured a distant woods. On the other half, a tree lined stream and a cart path running alongside wound their way across the meadow, through my room and into a thick forest on the opposite wall.

I had purchased the house a few months before and knew it would provide me with years of remodeling opportunities. I had planned on starting in the bedroom, but was having trouble with the idea of applying a paint roller to the green grass of the meadow and the stream that flowed through my room. There was even a brook trout painted into the water.

I was still gazing at the ceiling when a bird flew over. It took me a few seconds to realize that there was actually a bird in the room. I searched behind the dresser, in the closet even under the bed but found nothing. I was standing on the cart path, looking to where it disappeared around the base of a hill.

I walked toward the wall and beyond a few steps. I gasped and smelled the scent of wild flowers carried on the breeze from the meadow. Panic knotted my stomach and I stumbled back into my room. I ran out the door and held it closed. What had just happened?

I slept on the couch and in the morning moved into the second bedroom that had floral wallpaper and no clouds painted on the ceiling. Leave it to me, Calvin Heide, to purchase a house with a holodeck like the Starship Enterprise. My mother had been ill, and, as an only child, I felt a great deal of responsibility to see that her needs were met. I chalked the bedroom experience up to too much stress and tried to move on.

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My mother passed away, and I took some time off work to stay at her house and deal with the estate. She had been my only close living relative. When I came home, I went to my bedroom door. I had failed to convince myself it hadn’t been real. I turned the doorknob and pushed.

The rabbit, the wolf’s head and the eagle were still on the ceiling, albeit on the other side of the room. The doe and fawn were new and bounded away when I stepped through the doorway. In the meadow, a young woman, blonde hair blowing in the breeze, led a donkey loaded with what appeared to be firewood. A smile brightened her already fair face and she waved.

I should have been terrified, but what surprised me most as I stood in the confluence of fantasy and reality, was that I was no longer afraid.

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I moved back into the room and got used to animals passing through in the night. The countryside had encroached so much that the floor was a thick carpet of grass and, at night, I could hear the trout catching flies in the stream.

The young woman walked by every day with her donkey and load of firewood. I made a point of never missing those few moments when our eyes would meet, and she would smile and wave.

I was driving home from work one day, anxious to see her. A firetruck sped past, siren blaring and lights flashing. It turned onto my street, and I followed close behind. The air was filled with smoke that billowed up from my house. Everything I owned, all the photos I had brought from my mom’s house, were burning. At that moment I decided what I would do, but, as far as I knew, the only access to the enchanted world and the woman I loved, would soon be gone.

I parked my car and was halfway to the house before anyone knew what I was up to. Policemen and emergency personnel came at me from both sides and from behind. Someone had already beaten down the front door, so I launched myself into the inferno. Heat and smoke made breathing impossible so I held my breath and charged straight toward the enchanted room.

The door was burning. I kicked it in and went through without pausing. I jumped the stream and turned around just as two firemen burst through. They stumbled to a stop and looked around at a world they could not comprehend. Their eyes settled on me.

“I’m staying. Go now, before it’s too late.”

Smoke poured through the doorway and rose into the sky. The firemen fled into the conflagration that was my house.

A hand slipped into mine, and we watched the two men fight their way through the smoke, heat and flames. The scene was obliterated by burning debris falling from the upstairs, and the house collapsed.

The doorway held for a moment, long enough for me to utter a farewell to my world. As if a giant vacuum cleaner had been turned on from the other side, the door, the frame and the smoke were sucked away. An oval the size of the doorway was all that was left, and we could see only light. The hole healed itself like torn tissues, joining and mending. Then it was gone.

Her name was Layla. We walked hand in hand through the meadow to the forest and back. The sun had set and twilight settled over my new world. We sat in the grass on a hillside and listened to the music of spring peepers and crickets. Small lights appeared in the distance at various places.

“What are the lights?” I said.

“Rooms,” said Layla.

“What rooms?”

“Like yours.”



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    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 8 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Shauna, I agree, it would be wonderful to slip into another place and time, one where time has no meaning, things are not the measure of anything and people are everything. Thanks for reading

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 8 months ago from Central Florida

      What an awesome story, Chris! Wouldn't it be wonderful to slip into another place and time? I really enjoyed this.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 8 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Deb, It's a strange world you live in. Actually, I'd like to visit that world sometime. I think I'd fit in just fine. Thanks for reading. Once again, your comment finally came through 28 hours after you posted it, and you are referred to as a guest user. Your name is not highlighted as a link. I've reported this to HP and Christy Kirwan said that they found the problem and that it would be fixed within a few days. Still waiting on that.

    • profile image

      Deb Hirt 8 months ago

      Like me, those rooms belong to a different reality. Welcome to my world...

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Larry Rankin, I appreciate the comment. This story grew out of reading the novel by Clive Barker called Coldheart Canyon. Great story by Barker.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Venkatachari M, and I admire your persistence in reading these stories. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Frank, I appreciate the comment and the visit. The NYC Flash Fiction Challenge is coming up on July 22. Registration deadline is July 21. http://www.nycmidnight.com/Competitions/FFC/Challe...

      I wanted to let you know about it this year. It is a blast to participate in.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Ruby, Thanks for reading. Sometimes when I'm having trouble coming up with new material, I go back to the archives. This one has been sitting around for a while. I kept only the idea of the room and threw the rest of the story out. I like the change. I think it is a better story.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 9 months ago from Oklahoma

      Very imaginative bit of fiction my friend.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 9 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Beautiful story. Your flash fictions are great. I admire your story telling skills.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton

      wow, first the title was the lure, then your amazing, very enjoyable Cam as all your fictional pieces are.. awesome

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This is surely your very best! This is a winner. I loved it....

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Thank you, Eric. The pleasure is mine.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I surely did like this one. I remember the earlier version which was also great. What a marvelous gift you have been given to let folks like me enjoy our respite from a hectic world.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      John, I wrote the original story about two years ago. The main character in that version was female. This came out much better, I think. Thanks for reading and for the comment.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 9 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      Manatita, Thank you for that comment. I'm glad you liked the story.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow, Cam! This was some great fantasy fiction. I loved it.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 9 months ago from london

      What a sweet and touching story! Exquisitely told! You deserve a medal, Bro.

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