Apple of Her Eye

She said I was the apple of her eye. She said that no one would ever replace me; that she would never cherish anyone as much as she did me. All through my childhood I remember her being there: catching me before I fell, giving me what I wanted before I even knew it myself. There is not a moment in my life when I do not remember her being there. I was the apple of her eye; but she had been my rock.

She has forgotten those words she said to me so long ago.

I am a middle aged man now and no longer live with her. Instead I have set up a home with a woman I love more than life itself. We are happy, my love and I, and we decided to complete our happiness with a child of our own. He was born a year ago and, from that day on, I noticed the change.

He became the center of her attention. He was the one she would coo at, the one she wanted to spend time with, the one she would look out for. She cast me aside, saying that my wife should be the one to look after me.  She had said that I would always be the apple of her eye; but now she cherishes my son more than me. I look at her holding my child and realise that this is the way it should be. I hold my wife close to me, secure in the knowledge that my boy will have three adults to watch over him and give him what he needs before he even realises it.

Who is the apple of your eye?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This flash fiction was inspired by Laura’s Literary Lions prompt: Eye)

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A Dance Memory

“Shall we dance? On a bright cloud of music shall we fly?” 

Listening to the strands of music that filled the ballroom, Lily’s fingers tapped to the rhythm of the song.

“Shall we dance? Shall we then say goodnight and mean goodbye?”

The dancers moved gracefully in front of her, skirts swirling as they passed by. She admired the graceful necks of the women and the broad shoulders of the men.

“”Or perchance, when the last little star has left the sky, shall we still be together with our arms around each other”

Hearing these lyrics, a teardrop fell slowly down her cheek. She remembered her love. So graceful, so strong. She had felt like a princess in his arms. And when they had danced! All the troubles of the world had seemed to disappear as they glided across the floor. During those moments, they were one with the music. Nothing else had mattered except their oneness and their affinity to what was playing.

“And shall you be my new romance? On the clear understanding that this kind of thing can happen? Shall we dance?”

And they had danced at every opportunity. At every ball. At every social. Even in the small dining room of their shared home. Closing her eyes, she pictured them laughing without inhibition as they had danced down the Champs Elysee on their honeymoon. The French had loved the romance of it – and so had she! Her love had known how to romance her – and how to bring laughter into her life.

She looked again at the dancers on the floor, their images reflecting in the mirrors hanging on the walls. The buzz of conversation revealed their happiness, their contentment. She should not be here, dressed in her widow’s clothing, mourning the death of her soul mate. She had thought she was ready. After all, it had been three years. But it had not been long enough. She was not yet ready to be a spectator to the evidence of what had made her so happy.

Turning her head, she indicated to her nurse that it was time to leave. Nodding her head, the young woman began wheeling the chair to the entrance.

What do you think happened to Lily and her loved one?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This flash fiction was inspired by Laura’s Literary Lions prompt: Dance)

A Source of Living

They say water is a source of life. Without water plants, animals and humans are unable to survive. Communities grow around a water source. Animals track the source of this life-giving liquid. Plants thrive when there is moisure.

And yet water is not the only source of living.

As humans, we seek for much more than mere survival. Yes, we need water and the food that we can grow with it. But we need so much more to thrive. We need shelter: a place where our bodies can be safe. We need a home:  a place where we can be quiet, a place where we can recuperate from the stresses of the day. And if we have love and acceptance in our home? An added bonus as loving care can help us develop into human beings that excel at living.

Love and acceptance cannot only help us thrive as human beings but can also lead us develop a positive sense of self-esteem. A positive sense of self can help us to make choices with confidence; it can help us be sure of our path; it can help us dare to live. It is in daring to live that we move outside the box and do things that cause us discomfort.

Going on an adventure, changing career mid-life, wearing something different, trying new foods. These actions are a reflection of who we are. We can be courageous, we can be sure of who we are, we can be comfortable in our skin. We can live and enjoy every moment.

Water may be a source of life – but it is not the source of living. Living comes from having a home, from being loved and from being accepted for who we are. Living comes from a strong sense of self and the confidence to take steps into the unknown. Living comes from so much more than drinking a glass of liquid. Yes, water may keep us alive but to live we need love and the confidence to dare experience life in its entirety.

What sources help you to live?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This flash fiction was inspired by Laura’s Literary Lions prompt: Water)

Time to Leave

“I was sure we would have enough time.”

“One thing I have learned is that one always runs out of time.”

The two women hurriedly completed their task. When  they had begun their plan weeks ago, they had been confident they would succeed. Weeks had passed quickly and the time to leave had arrived.

“I am scared. What if it doesn’t work?”

Hugging her daughter close to her, Mia whispered, “It has to. If it doesn’t, we will be separated and never see one another again. I could not bear to lose you.”

Today was the perfect day to implement the plan whispered in the dark hours of the night. Nathan was off ship and the guards left behind were not his best. They would be easy to evade for they had not yet learned the desperate measures prisoners take.

They crept out of their cell. As Nathan’s favourites, they had free reign on this floor. Yet they were still prisoners: their freedoms had been taken away from them, their choices made for them. Mia had been content to let the status quo continue. Nathan had given her a child and the last eighteen years had been more than bearable as she had watched their daughter grow and blossom. But now he wanted to send her angel away! Barter her for the goodwill of the Oxford clan! That she could not bear: to send her daughter to a prison worse than the one she had been born in. At least Nathan treated his prisoners well. What she had heard about Darkin made her shudder.

They reached the bay where the smaller ships were kept. As expected, it was quiet – not much happened in the dead of the night when the commander was away. They entered a small pod. Looking at the console, she saw that little had changed in the last twenty years since she had been captured. Mapping their course, she whispered a prayer of hope.

“If we are to be caught, this is when it will happen. Hold on tight and may the gods be with us.”

At first, the soft hum of the pod went unoticed. Yells echoed across the bay as the small ship moved towards the exit but Mia’s flying skills evaded the hasty attempts of those on board to recapture her. They looked on in despair as their leader’s favourite disappeared into dark space.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This flash fiction was inspired by Laura’s Literary Lions prompt: Time)