Thursday, 9 December 2010

Friday Flash: Grace

You would stand at the end of the playground, poised and graceful in your long brown coat.

“How are you?” one of us would ask.
“Fine thanks, how are you?”
“Fine thanks.”
But you were never fine, were you?

I’d see you often. We’d greet each other the same way each time.

I hoped that one day we would have time to move on from “fine.” That I’d get to know the person behind the friendly smile.

I had no idea that you were battling a demon.
You would always offer a smile; an illusion in a long brown coat.

But now you're gone.

32 comments:

  1. This flash was inspired by a real life event.
    Rest in peace, JJ.

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  2. We so often know nothing about the people we speak to every day. I'm not sure if the formulaic speeches we use are a good thing or not - they enable deception.

    Lovely piece, btw! Though I'm now curious about the particular demon....

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  3. Beautifully written, Rebecca and oh, so sad.

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  4. Oh Rebecca, this is a heartbreaker, and how beautifully you told it, and in so few words.

    This is a favorite.

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  5. Just found you via your tweet...am following you on Twitter now and have added myself as your latest follower on GFC. I am also a rusty writer - very, rusty writer but keep going nevertheless. I love reading too.
    I thought this particular post was well written and poignant.
    Do feel free to visit and hopefully follow me at
    www.facing50withhumour.blogspot.com
    Warmest regards
    Carol

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  6. I like this. I'd say a lot of people have this kind of relationship with a lot of those around them - more of a mask than anything else. Not necessarily in a bad way; it can be practical, especially if you live in a city.

    Occasionally it crumbles with a shared problem, though, like the unseasonal snow we have over in Scotland right now - folk are noticeably more chatty and interactive, which I like. Not the biggest of crises, but still...

    Next person I see in a brown coat, I'll say hello.

    Thanks for the thought for the day :)

    St.

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  7. So grateful for the comments on this so far. It's actually surprised me as I haven't linked to it on Twitter or FB yet and so many lovely people have visited, so thank you so much.

    Obviously it's an emotional flash and I appreciate the comments a lot. xx

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  8. I'm sorry for your loss, Rebecca. You left it haunting, as what the demon is, which is elegant of you.

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  9. Short, haunting, beautiful, thought-provoking.

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  10. There's a beautiful simplicity about the way in which you tell this tale. This one's going to haunt me for quite a while I suspect.

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  11. Lovely. Delicate writing. I had the same feeling as NikkiF So often there are stories behind the people we see.

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  12. Very touching. We are seldom aware of the demons others are fighting.

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  13. Yes I agree with all the previous comments, very poignant, gets to the heart of humanity and very powerful in such a few words. A great piece.

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  14. These things happen. All the time. And it's hard to get through to someone who doesn't want to be found underneath.

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  15. Very sad & sweet, haunting, especially with the inspiration behind it. Well done and big hugs xxx

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  16. Gave me goosebumps, thank you! Made me think more about the people I encounter daily.

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  17. A sad, and sadly, true to life story. Very thought-provoking.

    Thanks for sharing Rebecca.

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  18. Another good one, Rebecca. Keep them coming

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  19. Fantastic Rebecca. This shows a real insight into human emotions (and a real ability to transfer experience into words). I try never to say 'fine' as a response to the 'How are you?' question. Although sometimes 'actually, not good at all, thank you,' is not appropriate.

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  20. It's so hard to get past the facades others live behind and you wind up regretting that you didn't make more of an effort - even if it might not have been possible. Powerful.

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  21. A very poignant and frank piece. The illusion in a long brown coat is a simple yet powerful image. You definitely leaves us wanting more, which is great.

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  22. So short, yet so powerful. This hits with the impact of a hammer to the heart. The playground setting makes it all the more poignant - one can only imagine.

    Sorry to hear it is based on a real life incident. Peace.
    ~jon

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  23. Oh wow. Now that is how flash should be.

    As with others, I'm sorry to hear it stems from real life. But you provide the essential essence of the story. No more, no less. And all the more impact for that.

    Really well done.

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  24. Beautifully understated & poignant.

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  25. The brevity is the perfect form to sum up the casual interaction of human relationships, when we yearn for so much more depth. Stunning and as others have said, poignant.
    Adam B @revhappiness

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  26. Rebecca, this is so beautiful!
    I recently lost my family's long coat, cheerful smile, and consistant "I'm fine" to the old age demon. This piece gave me reason to pause, and remember how it was just a few months agao. Thank you for posting.

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  27. Very intriguing and haunting! When I first started reading I thought of siblings meeting their estranged mother at the playground for weekly visits...but then it turned into something completely different!
    Love it, well done!

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  28. Seems to echo my real life for the last few months.........except I know all the people.

    Well done Becs. I think I'm too late to vote.....aaahh, life too much sometimes.

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  29. Thank you for the overwhelming amount of lovely comments on this story. x x x

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  30. This is a sad reminder how often we are afraid to share our inner struggles/demons. So much was conveyed in such a short time. Thank you for sharing this personal experience.

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