New flash fiction by Brian George

SHE
PLAYED ME LIKE A STEEL GUITAR


Winter
trees scrape the cracked sky. Clouds like old bruises mass in the
late afternoon. I walk on.

She
played me like a steel guitar, coaxing out sweet sliding sounds at
will, just for the fun of it, for her own amusement. The rough pads
of her guitarist’s fingers snagged on my skin, set up a friction.
We fought often, drawn back again and again, always with her in
control, cool, scoring the movement in ways I didn’t understand.

In
the street there are houses boarded, steel shutters in place of
doors, pebbledash rendering streaked with black.  Bin bags spew
onto front lawns. A dog eyes me, contemptuous, rasps a bark, runs
off.

Let’s
go away together,’ she’d said.

Where?’

Does
it matter? Got to move on. Find the new.’

So
we went. She knew places, people. They smiled at her, looked away
from me. She smiled at me, told me lies, drew out another tune. I
danced to it. The crowd applauded.

The
crescents, the walks, the closes, all spiral away from me. I stop in
the middle of the estate. A gang of boys look me up and down, laugh,
swagger on, hands in pockets.

We’re
so good together,’ she’d said. ‘We’ve come so far.’

Do
you think so?’

Without
you I’m dross.’

I
believed her.

Wind
whips round the corners of this estate. Mudded slush soaks through my
boots. More dogs and boys are circling round me, ready to move in for
the kill.

I
heard the sound of a country and western ballad float on the breeze,
bright and crushingly sad all at once. She said something into the
wind as she waved. Her smile was bright. I thought she was saying
good luck, but she was saying goodbye.

The
clouds close in.


*

Brian George lives
in Pontypool, south Wales. Fiction in various magazines. One collection published Walking the labyrinth (Stonebridge, 2005). Member of Vanessa Gebbie's online forum the Fiction Workhouse.
 

2 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Lovely language and rhythm, Brian!
    Frances

  2. Anonymous

    Great lyrical flash, Brian!

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