I pause with the toothbrush in one hand. She stands next to me, draped in one of my tee shirts, playing with the old small vase, her smooth finger delicately tracing circles over the worn surface.
My eyes are alive, yesterday she said they sparkle when I smile, laughing with me, her fingers playfully teasing my cheek – but now in the harsh light of the mirror the flaws and lines in my ashen skin are everywhere. On even this first morning the end already seems inevitable. I will mentor her, be interesting for her, but I cannot in the end fulfil her. She will move forwards while I continue to decay, to soften at the edges. I am trapped in what I am, the vessel is as it is.
I turn and get into the shower, grateful for the time alone in the soothing warmth before my optimistic pretence continues.
Behind me the girl gently puts the old vase back on the shelf, and turns to go back to the bedroom.
During todays flash fiction workshop with Wendy Ann Greenhalgh we were set several tasks. This one was to write a flash fiction piece inspired by an image to push us to incorporate images into our work. I chose an image of an old bronze pot. The workshop was my first experience of flash fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed it.