Flash Fiction Friday: The Break-Up

Today’s Flash Fiction Friday Prompt:

Spring is here with joy and anticipation for a new beginning, but not everything can be revived.



Spring is here with joy and anticipation for a new beginning, but not everything can be revived.

The tone was far too formal, Allen decided, tearing the page in half and adding it to the pile of rejected verses at his elbow.  It reminded him of a quote from one of his university lectures, and sounded nothing like the tender beginning to a parting love letter.

Allen sipped his coffee, wishing he had remained at home to teach his literature and poetry courses instead of coming to the Avalon Seaside Resort with Lisa.  The week-long trip had been a desperate attempt to resurrect their dying relationship, but it failed to achieve its goal.   His was still suffocating under an oppressive sense of entrapment.  Allen motioned to the waiter to refill his cup before picking up his fountain pen again.

Although I will always hold an abiding affection for you, I cannot live this lie any longer.

He scribbled over the words with jagged lines, realizing they sounded trite as well as melodramatic.  He tried a different approach.

The time we’ve spent together has been so special.  I will forever treasure these sun-lit memories.

ink-29484_640Allen crumpled the paper in his fist.  He was recognized by his peers as a master of the written word, and was even now putting the final touches on his magnum opus, a soon to be published treasury of his original poems celebrating love and loss.  Why was this so difficult?  Why wouldn’t the proper words come?

In a sudden moment of clarity, Allen realized Lisa deserved the courtesy of a face-to-face farewell.  They had enjoyed six meaningful months together, before the ennui of recent weeks shrouded their relationship in melancholy.  He now knew why he struggled to compose the right words.  The resolution to their relationship had to be spoken, not written on a cheap sheet of hotel stationery.

Allen pictured himself striding back to the hotel, into the deluxe suite where Lisa was still slumbering, unaware of his decision to end their relationship.    He would bring her a single red rose, and hold her hand while he spoke the difficult words.  The situation called for finesse; he wanted to avoid undue pain on her part while still ensuring a conclusive end to their affair.

He would have to soothe her and comfort her, enduring whatever emotions spilled from her overwrought psyche.  It would be exactly the sort of scene he abhorred.  It was the price to pay for becoming involved with a much younger woman, and one of his students at that.  He had learned his lesson, however.  He vowed to never again yield to the temptation of dating one of the fresh faced co-eds who turned up in his classroom year after year.

He sighed as he rallied his courage for the difficult task ahead.

Allen gathered up his belongings, and began searching for a trash receptacle for his stack of ruined pages.  As he did so, his eyes crossed the restaurant window and fell upon the figure of Lisa standing just outside the coffee house door.

Allen glanced about the room, taking note of the mostly empty chairs.  Perhaps this setting was a better option than a private meeting.  There was a solitary figure nursing a cup of morning java at the long counter, and a fit-looking man in his twenties sitting near the window, displaying his overdeveloped biceps to passersby.  Allen’s own table was tucked into a small alcove.  It was a perfect place to talk undisturbed, and the presence of the other customers might serve to discourage displays of hysteria.

While he pondered these options, the well-muscled man rose from his seat and went outside.  He approached Lisa and engulfed her in a full body hug.  Lisa tilted her head back and granted him a passionate kiss, her long fingers caressing his muscular chest throughout the intimate embrace.

Allen watched the display with slack jaw and bulging eyes.  Lisa and her paramour wandered off, hand in hand, down the sandy boardwalk.  Unexpectedly, the perfect parting verse leaped into Allen’s mind. It wasn’t as lyrical as his usual poetry, yet he felt it to be profoundly apt.  Inspired, he slowly tapped the words into his phone, and hit send.

Roses are red, violets are blue, this poem is over, and we are too.


Thank you for reading.  Here’s are some ways you can help keep this feature going:

  1. Submit a first line suggestion for next week in the comments section.  No obscenities, please.   Prompts will be chosen at random, lottery style.  
  2. Come back to Bright Tuesday next Friday to find out which suggested first line was chosen, and to read the next Flash Fiction Friday story. 
  3. I appreciate constructive criticism, so please offer your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

Fiction Writers:  You are invited to write your own story using today’s prompt to post on your own blog.  Please include a link back to this post, and leave a link to your story in the comments section.  Doing so allows participating authors to read and comment on each other’s work, and also helps readers find new authors to enjoy. 



10 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday: The Break-Up

  1. Wow, what a twist at the end. I loved it. Somehow, I feel that Allen’s text wouldn’t have upset Lisa as much as he might have anticipated. Whilst I do not condone cheating by any means, I am so glad that Lisa was not the victimised damsel in this story. Ironically, it’s an unanticipated happy ending for all!


  2. One of your best ever. As the waves crashed over his head, Paul relived the events that brought him into this deadly situation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s