Flash fiction: The air was crisp

Author’s note: In preparation for NaNoWriMo 2009, someone put up daily prompts on one of the forums. I did them in the spirit of warm-ups, but some of them turned into stories. Here is one such. This particular sprint gave me the opening scene of my 2009 NaNo novel, The Reincarnations of Miss Anne.

Prompt (and title): The air was crisp.

Rain, soft rain, had fallen all night long, and great swags of underlit cloud had swooped over the city, blowing wind and fluttering streetlights.  By dawn, it had blown over.

The air was crisp.  The sun rose, razor-edged, and the wet sparkled on parked cars, on crisped leaves, on the edges of rain-gutters, on the glittering asphalt.  Vera woke up and stretched, with that familiar feeling of having fallen a thousand feet out of her dream into the warm, rumpled bed.  Fallen from a great height.  That’s her picture of waking.

In her dream, she had been flying, wrapped in drapery like a Renaissance angel, in the arms of someone who was destiny itself, sometimes a man and sometimes a woman and sometimes, Vera suspected on waking, the apotheosis of the world spirit moving in history.  Well, that’s what comes of eating cheese popcorn and reading Hegel right before bed.  There was cheap glitter on the drapery, so whatever world spirit it was, it definitely was on a budget.

So was Vera, who looked out the white eyelet curtains onto the grey street punctured with light: gold and red and green leaves, sharp-edged maple, brown leather oak, dried and curled up species-unidentified.  The squirrels are getting fatter all the time; there’s one rooting around in the dumpster just now that is truly worthy of Rubens, that is if Rubens painted squirrels.  And if he did, he’d better hurry up before this one keels over of a stroke from hypertension.  It’s not just Americans who are fat, Vera thought, even their animals are fat.  Even the vermin in the dumpsters are fat.

Hell of a country.  But the air was crisp.

(Process information: 10/17/2009 2:44AM to 2:50 AM, 280 words, made it up as I went along)


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1 Response to Flash fiction: The air was crisp

  1. sassyspeaks says:

    How fortunate that this exercise inspired your story. I do chuckle at the Hegel line. My dad read philosophy and my husband is a philosopher I can’t remember the exact incident but in my family reading Hegel before bed was not considered a smart move 😀

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