Saturday, February 21, 2015

Flash! Friday... The Professor + Mooning

by Michael Seese

I think the folks at Flash! Friday delight in torturing us. Last week, we had to incorporate a gladiator as a character. This week we had to focus on setting, and use...


Plus we had to work off this photo.

Luckily, we're given some leeway in how literally we have to use the prompts. I started working on "The Professor" in the shower, coming up with the beginning and the ending. 

Professor Huggins scrawled furiously. Chunks of chalk bounced off his oblivious nose and collected at his feet. The maid had long since given up sweeping away the white footprints – a sort of mental travelogue – throughout the house.

"You see, it is possible, if supported by a proper counter, you see." Professor Huggins tended to end sentences the same way he began them, though he rarely completed them.

The slate which lined the walls of his study had lost their ability to contain any more of his equations. Luckily, he still had one-third of the floor. In his clouded yet clear mind, these numbers always took precedence over others. Like birthdays, and dosages.

"A far better solution. Rockets! Bah! An elevator! Far better!"

The knock on the door registered, but failed to motivate.

"One moment, carry the, one moment."

"Let's go, Professor," said once of the white-jacketed technicians standing in the door. "Your... " Madeline nodded. "Your launch vehicle is ready."

"One small step, goodbye Maddy, back in a, giant leap," he said, almost connecting a kiss with his wife's cheek.

When he saw the sign on the van's side he gasped with elation, failing to notice his things piled by the curb.

"Wild blue! Wild blue!"

Blue Moon Sanatorium.

Later came "Mooning."

Barren. Cold. Lifeless.

David cast a weary glance at the moon, and tried to remember when other adjectives – luminous, shining, full – described their marriage. But the moon's face changes as she slips through her ordained phases. As did Deborah's.

"So that's it?"

Her non-answer said more than words could.

Even as Deborah spun on an out-of-control axis, David held onto a hopeful dream, one which saw them some day growing closer. But he knew that just like their celestial counterparts, once gravity took over, it would have to lead to an inexorable death spiral, culminating in a spectacularly fiery ending.

So they remained destined to never again touch.

The Swiss Psychiatrist Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross posited five phases of grief. David had managed to claw his way to the final: acceptance. But Deborah remained fixed in depression, unable to cast off the curse of grief that comes from losing a child.

As David waited for the movers to rescue the various sundries of his life – clothes, photographs, and dreams – stacked outside the home on Hope Street, he looked back one last time and waved. She stood frozen. Frozen in time, on that day. David knew he was saying goodbye to a ghost. He just wondered whether Deborah realized it.

Let's see what the judges think on Monday.

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