Flash Fiction #14

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. This is the second Flash Fiction post. I got behind last week, but I didn’t want to skip too many of them if I can help it. Enjoy!

Four long months of living in the middle of nowhere, in a country completely unfamiliar to her had done little to keep Sylvia’s spirits up. Hard work was nothing new – she had grown up with next to nothing and as the eldest child of four, had taken on a lot of responsibilities from an early age. She just hadn’t expected to feel quite so isolated when she agreed to marry Jack after exchanging a series of letters and a photograph. With her younger brothers all grown up and working, she packed up what little she had and set out for Australia.

Sylvia made her way up to the house from the truck with her empty cases and a full pouch of her earnings for the week. Something that had endeared her to the locals were her bread making skills. While they were friendly with her, she still didn’t feel that she had made any exceptional friendships. Their closest neighbor was a widower named Bob who would drop by every so often to talk with Jack. The extent of his conversation with her was “all right, Syl?” – he was a man of few words.

Jack was the quiet type as well, but an honest and fair man who spent his evenings with either a book or listening to the wireless. She didn’t mind, although at times she wondered why he wanted a wife and not just hired a ranch hand. They shared a bed, but he had yet to touch her. There were times when she saw him working or getting cleaned up after a long day of work that she wished he would.

He met her in the kitchen, wiping his paint-splattered hands on a rag.

“Touching up the paint?” she asked, and set down her things on the table.

His hazel eyes brightened – something that she’d never seen before. “Come and look.”

Sylvia followed Jack into their bedroom and found it a cheerful shade of pale yellow. The lingering scent of paint hung in the air. She smiled as she took it all in, and then looked back at her husband. Her favorite color.

“It’s the color of that dress you wore when I picked you up that first day,” he said, and rubbed the back of his neck. “I thought you might feel more at home.”

She swallowed around the lump that had appeared in her throat. “That was very considerate,” she said, and then walked over, kissing him on the cheek. “Thank you.”

Something shifted between them, as though the air had become suddenly charged. A moment later, Jack’s mouth had captured hers in a fierce kiss that made her gasp. Sylvia wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders to keep herself upright.

“Guess you like it,” he said with a laugh.

“Absolutely.”

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