After reading a wonderful Flash Fiction piece by Sally Franklin Christie, I remembered how much I love this form of fiction for the extremely short attention span. In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, Flash Fiction is a complete story with all the necessary elements: plot, characters, etc. contained in 1000 words or less. If you’d like to know more, check out Flash Fiction Online. My story weighs in at 364 words. Tell me what you think.
I Know What It Looks Like
By Teresa Elliott Brown
My morning chores in the vegetable garden complete, I decide to shower. The phone rings and I let it go to the machine while I shampoo and rinse. Wrapped in a towel and dripping, I check the message. He wants a haircut. Big date tonight and he’s short of cash. Okay.
“Why don’t you come over around two o’clock? While the boys are asleep.” I braid my hair and dress in white shorts and a peasant blouse. I know what it looks like, but it’s just a favor for a friend—a haircut.
When he arrives we gossip about our mutual friends. He rants about what’s going on in our theater group as we move toward the kitchen for the shampooing.
While he’s leaning over my kitchen sink, surrounded by children’s utensils draining in the rack on the counter, I realize how broad his shoulders are. I notice the curling gold hair, like wispy smoke clinging to his tanned, hard forearm. I want to touch the gold smoke. We’re no longer speaking. I massage his scalp with soapy fingers. I know it looks like I’m shampooing his hair.
My friend brings one of the dining room chairs into the kitchen. With a towel wrapped around his shoulders, he tells me about the new girl he’s dating. I cut his hair, slowly moving around him. My arms and legs and hips moving rhythmically to the clicking of the scissors. Up and down to the rolling pitch of his voice. I know it looks like I’m concentrating on this haircut.
How long since I’ve been on a date?
Almost finished now. I always have trouble cutting the hair over the ears, and wish I had real training. I step closer. Move slower. Try to do it right. I know it looks like I’m telling him a secret.
Brushing away the clipped hair with flicks of my fingertips over his eyebrows and ears. Neck. Throat. His lips. I know it looks like caressing strokes.
I stand in the doorway with my two sons, waving goodbye. I’ve given a friend a haircut—a small favor between us.