Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

May Flash Fiction Challenge Winner: Katrina Monroe

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Snowy Night

Want to try your hand at flash fiction? Check out Renee Miller's June Flash Fiction Challenge on Open Book.

May’s Flash Fiction Challenge was to share your city or your town with us. I asked you to blend it into a story, let the setting either take a backseat to the action, or bring it out as you would a main character. This month’s winner, Katrina Monroe, brought a Minnesota winter to life in a story that heartbreaking and familiar. Congratulations, Katrina, and thank you to all who submitted.

"Just Tonight"

By Katrina Monroe

Snow fell in heavy blankets on my car, and for a moment, it seemed it would bury me. The longer I sat idling in Haley’s driveway, the harder the windshield wipers had to work. I shut off the car and the heat died, the cold hitting my already shivering body with an intensity I hadn’t anticipated.

I could barely see out the windshield, mimicking the drunken blur in my mind. I promised Korin I would be home by three. The clock read 2:30 — a night plagued by broken promises.

Just go, dammit.

I forced my legs to propel me over the unshoveled driveway. Haley was always lazy. When I moved out, the place went to hell.

That didn’t matter right now.

I banged, hard, on the door while the wind whipped through my hair. I wrapped my coat tighter around me, but the biting cold nipped at my body. I could freeze to death, but somehow I knew I would wait on her doorstep no matter how long it took. Because I’m an idiot.

A light turned on in the back of the house and soft footsteps approached the door.

It was an agonizing second before the lock turned and the door opened, revealing Haley’s small frame, hugged by a bathrobe.

“Dee?”

“Let me in. It’s freezing out here.”

She stepped aside holding a bewildered, slanted expression.

“I thought we said we wouldn’t –“

“I don’t care what we said.”

I stomped off my boots and dumped my coat to the floor. Outside, the snow fell harder. The first snow of the season, and we could all be trapped inside for at least a day. Minnesnowta.

“Have you been drinking?”

Haley picked up my coat and hung it inside the closet.

“Does it matter?”

The whiskey would be in the usual place — the cabinet above the refrigerator. She never drank anything but whiskey. I loved that about her. Past tense.

Instinctively, she pulled two glasses from the dishwasher and set them in front of me. I poured, and she snatched the glass before I had a chance to find a mixer. She downed the amber liquid in one swig.
My glass met my lips, and the wind screamed. It rattled the windows and knocked on the door like a ghost. God, I love her. Present tense.

My brain swam and I saw nothing but her. The storm outside was a backdrop. Who gave a shit what happened? Bury us, mother nature! I dare you! I’m already buried…

I glanced toward the living room. An ornately framed photograph of Haley and the new girl stared happily at me, oblivious.

Of course she caught me. Haley knew me better than I knew myself.

She poured another drink, and, faltering at first, said, “She’ll never know.”

My glass shattered on the floor and I grabbed her hips, pulling her against me. Her soft scent enveloped my senses.

“Just tonight,” I promised.

I don’t know if I meant it.

Katrina Monroe is an avid reader and enthusiastic short story writer. She is a regular participant in the writer's group, On Fiction Writing, hosted by Goodreads.com, where chip implants, foil hats and straightjackets are standard uniform. Her work has been featured in Every Day Fiction Online and the YA anthology, Unlocked. You can visit her blog at http://www.do-as-i-say-and-nonsense.blogspot.com.

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