Flash Fiction: I'm With the Band

Flash Fiction: I’m With the Band

Flash Fiction: I'm With the Band by Fiona McKay published as part of Doodle-zine Issue 1 - Submissions open for Issue 2

Doodle-zine Issue 1

Flash Fiction – I’m With the Band by Fiona McKay
“….. She checks her watch and re-starts herself…”

I’m With the Band by Fiona McKay

She’s in a hurry, always a hurry. Life is a jigsaw of obligations to be pieced together daily. Lunch may be for wimps, but lunchbreaks aren’t for mothers. She has it calculated down to the last minute – the time to get to Marks&Spencer, the size of school trousers she needs, the ready meal for dinner because it’s swimming-lesson-night, a sandwich to eat at her desk in the five minutes she’ll have before the phone roars into action again. All planned down to the minute.

The fastest way is past that small row of ever-changing shops. If she ever had to account for her movements or describe her journey to the police, she could not name these shops, or what they sell; the slightly down-at-heel storefronts always pooled with city dirt in the corners, the paint less than pristine. Forgettable. Not memorable. Falling somewhere into the liminal space between those two.

The fragments of her brain which are travelling down tracks all headed for different stations – that work report, the letter from the school, the birthday party – are shocked off the rails as music star-bursts in her brain, anchoring her in place while the lunch time crowd flows around her like water. Old school hi-fi components on sale, real vinyl on the turntable, that song from that summer, her head thrown back, long hair tipping down to her waist. That dress she wore, the narrow straps falling from her shoulder, euphoria torquing through her, music pulsing from the opening beats, drinks spilling as she pulls her friend by the hand, screaming ‘I love this song!’ Dancing, dancing, always dancing – wasn’t there was a word for how the sound poured through you? Arms above her head, music pulsing from her feet through her fingertips, laughing, twirling, clear skin and bright eyes, that guy, smart shirt and jeans, cool kicks, nice smile, kisses, walking home at dawn, shoes in hand. The song finishes and the needle searches the empty grooves for hidden memories, unreadable in static.

She catches sight of herself in the grubby window. Her hair is short now, manageable, and her shoes are comfortable flats, for running around, and her office clothes are exactly as would be expected. She checks her watch and re-starts herself, increasing her pace, seaming closed the interruption to her day.

She makes it back to work within minutes of her target time. Back at her desk she remembers to look up the word ‘eurythmics’ in the online dictionary: ‘the art of harmonious bodily movement especially through expressive timed movements in response to improvised music’, apparently, the dry words no match for how she had felt all those years ago, and today’s lunchtime too. She checks her watch: she has two minutes to eat her sandwich.

Fiona McKay Bio: Opera-loving Mom to a Tween, also a recovering lawyer. Fiona McKay lives and writes beside the sea in Dublin, Ireland. Words now or soon in Blinkspot, 50wordsstones, FlashFlood Journal, 5minutelit, Sledgehammer Lit, Funny Pearls, Tl;dr Anthology. She/her and tweets @fionamckayryan

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