Saturday, August 1, 2020

Janet Flash: (No) Escape

by Michael Seese

Just catching up from last week. 

For being chastised by a "Reider" for her use of or "less" rather than "fewer," Janet Reid challenged us to write a 100-word story using:


I was trying to somehow break up flue into something like:

"I have the flu."

But then I realized that "flue" is contained within the word "affluent," and the third sentence basically fell into place. Though I had to think a while to come up with nePHEW.

And so I present "(No) Escape."

We're "lucky." We're alive. Yet it's killing me, knowing my nephew and I were among the affluent few who secured seats, and flew away from it.

As the inferno grew behind us, he turned to me.

"What about the people back there?"

"Gone," I said, with necessary pragmatism.

"Mom? Dad?"

"They caught the flight before us."

How does one tell a boy he's an orphan at 12? That the world he's known is gone. That our new "home" also might be cinders. That radiation, starvation would be constant threats.

The bomb in my carry-on ensured I would not have to.

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