“Sixty Years” was written for last week’s Microcosms flash fiction competition. My prompts were “singer”, “purple rain”, and “romance”.

 Sixty Years

We stood by the doorway between the standing stones when the sky turned the deep purple-blue-black colour of a bruise. Nine times we had walked around the ring of lichen-covered stones, nine times we had sung the words that would open the doorway once more.

“I cannot stay,” she says and tries not to cry, but the tears are flowing freely across her cheeks.

“I know,” I say, my own voice hoarse. It has not been the voice she fell in love with for nigh on thirty years, but she stayed with me nevertheless. I have not sung to her for over two decades, I realise. Yet she had stayed.

“I am only permitted one day away,” she says again, and I wipe the tears from her face. We both knew how this would end, after all. Sixty years in my world, one day in hers.

“I know.” My voice breaks and I shuffle forward, legs no longer working like they did once. I lean down to kiss her one last time before the bruised sky starts crying its own tears at our parting. She leans into me for a moment before pulling away and stepping backwards between the stones, disappearing from my sight.

I shuffle around the ring again; nine times until my breath come in short bursts and my chest burn. I stand in front of the doorway once more, but it does not open. Tomorrow, she would be waiting by the doorway, I know. But her tomorrow was sixty years into my future.

I sit down against one of the standing stones and lean back, feeling the soft drizzle of rain on my face and hands. In the distance the rain looked purple against the clouds.

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