Beginning next Friday, I have a special treat for you. My newsletter subscribers were the first to know; so if you’d like to receive advance information as well as exclusive looks into future projects, please join my mailing list.
As for this week, I wrote an awful story that I scrapped this morning. That’s when I thought out the first and last lines of “Smile,” then wrote it in about 10 minutes. I’m either crazy or a genius for posting this so quickly. Then again, that’s the whole point behind Fiction Fridays.
(My gratitude goes to my wonderful beta readers, Meghan and Kelly. Thanks for always making yourselves available.)
Stats: 202 words. Estimated reading time: 1 minute.
When Audrey smiled, she looked pained. It was a forced smile, as if she didn’t know exactly how this gesture was supposed to work. She didn’t have a strong personality to begin with. Her friends chose to overlook her lack of convictions as well as her tendency to attach herself to the strongest person in the room. They just liked how she’d always show up for them, even though she made it a point to blend in when she got there. Audrey called it her “go with the flow” attitude, but she knew better.
So when Carlos cheated on her, something clicked. Audrey had expected a ring. Instead, she was given an ultimatum.
She couldn’t go with the flow anymore.
The next day she and Carlos broke their lease. Audrey’s friends helped her pack, and by Friday, she wheeled her last suitcase out of the apartment where they’d spent five years.
Carlos begged her stay one more time. He’d change. It wouldn’t happen again. But Audrey just said one word to him: “Loyalty.” Then she was gone.
A few miles west, she stepped into her new apartment — empty, unadorned, but full of potential. She smiled. This time, it didn’t hurt as much.