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Small Strokes

Micro/Flash Fiction

The snail sighed. His shell cut deeper into its back. 

A single tuft of dandelion danced to the breeze, carefree against the azure sky. Almost.

The snail pondered the pebbled pavement, stretching from its tentacles to the horizon. 

The snail sighed. 

The dandelion continued dancing. 

The snail inched forward. 

Blood roared in his ears, amplifying his ragged breath and the pounding of his footsteps instead of drowning them out. 

He twisted his head as far back as he dared without slowing down. 

The shadow closed in on him. A crack whipped through the air just as darkness engulfed him.

Overgrown shrubs obscured the house at the end of Tong street. Once loyal subjects of the regal four-storey structure, they were now a hoard of zombies mobbing a frail old man. 
One nondescript night, a light suddenly flickered in the highest window of the abandoned building, breaking decades of stillness.

The octopus paused, extending an arm to place a rectangular box on the seabed. 
A seahorse at the edge of the reef looked on. 
The octopus pressed a button on the box and muttered, “Time to go!”
The seahorse stared, bewildered, fanning its tiny fins as the octopus swam away. 

Greg pressed his lips to Elise’s hand. 
He looked into her bright eyes, wishing half-heartedly he could blurt out the words jammed in his throat. 
“Goodbye, Elise,” he said, releasing her hand. 
Then he turned to leave, letting loose tears tinged with regret, resignation and relief. He never looked back. 

Greta squinted at the screen
“No, that did not happen… No, that’s not how I remember it… Okay, I’m going to add something there…” she murmured to herself as her fingers tapped and swiped the rectangular panels of memory that her eye recorded during the day around. 
“Now, that’s better.”

Hans tightened a barbed wire around his heart. One that, just moments ago, swelled with joy at seeing her eyes light up as he approached her. He held his breath at the sudden pain. 
It’s the right thing to do,” he chanted to himself even as the words rang hollow. 

Sybil twirled her staff over her head, forming a trail of iridescent dust that cascaded down to curtain her petite figure. 
Next to her, a lanky teenager checked his nails. He stifled a yawn as the glitter disappeared the moment it settled, revealing a burly man standing in her place. 

John stared out the window at the grey, inky sky. Seated at the foot of his bed, his still posture was a contrast to his scrambled thoughts. 
The stuffy air in the cell scraped his raw nerves. 
“Grieving parents are the worst,” he mumbled, as he itched for a joint. 

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