Flash Fiction: Late-night Snack

Late-night snack

MIDDLE:

It felt like he had been asleep for hours. Ben rolled over, looked at the clock on his phone, and realized it had only been half an hour. Would sleep come again? He contemplated checking on the kids, remembered he had a monitor that would take care of that. He thought about reading a book, decided not to engage his brain that much.

A snack was always an option. Why did it seem to make sense to grate fresh parmesan at 11:30 p.m.? What happened to the days when dreams carried him until the sun broke through his window? The idea of freshly-grated parmesan would not let him alone, though. Is that what it comes to as one approaches middle age, he wondered?

Slip out of bed. Question his rationale. Open the refrigerator door. Grate cheese. Steal a few slivers. Dinner tomorrow night — which seemed a very long way away — would be pizza, clearly. As tiny feet approach, realize that the opportunity to sneak parmesan wisps with your kid may turn out to be the beginning of a favorite story.

***

This story was a response to the SITS Girls prompt, “Flash Fiction: Write a short story about a clock.” I’m also linking it up with this week’s Five Minute Friday, which had “middle” as its prompt.

I was also inspired by MicroFlashFic on Twitter, which I strongly encourage you to follow. Three stories a day, and I am often astounded at how much one author can pack into a tweet. The truth of today’s blog is that I couldn’t decide what to write about. I wrote about a heavy topic, abortion rights, last week, and I was eager to lighten things up.

I was trying to fit in the “middle” idea. I had read an article recently about team-building exercises. It described how a team came together more effectively by a structured exercise that involved pairs of team members answering progressively more self-disclosing questions (rather than something like mountain biking). I decided to use the 36 questions, find the “middle” group, and let a random number generator choose what I would answer. Believe me, when I got “How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people‚Äôs?” I knew I had not landed on “light.” That has to wait for another Sunday (or never).

I still wavered when I toyed with a flash fiction piece. I definitely have wandered farther and farther away from fiction as my writing has evolved. I had poked around the Curious Cat of the @MicroFlashFic creator, though, and was reminded: “The surest way to make yourself more imaginative is to make creation compulsory” and that “creativity is a muscle.”

It’s true, so I took five minutes to leave my real world behind and try to enter someone else’s.

<<This may be a good time to say I created a Curious Cat account. Not sure I’ll keep it, because goodness I have enough to keep up with already, but we’ll see. Here’s the link to my profile. Ask me something there so I don’t have a naked account!>>

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