This is in response to the Flash Fiction challenge for Aspiring Writers (75 – 175 words). Thanks to Priceless Joy and Ady for this opportunity. PJ hosts this challenge and Ady, who’s the author of the blog “The Bourne of Infinitude,” provided the inspiring photo. If you haven’t heard of or joined this challenge, please take the time to check out PJ’s blog for more details and entertaining entries (the link’s below).
Nathan’s 100-watt smile breaks through the gray mist lying low above the ocean. He points at his wife and three sisters-in-law. “Prepare to be amazed by water that never looked so turquoise. Sand that never felt so soft, like powder. Lush green trees that never carried such juicy apples and mangoes. I hope you brought extra panties, ladies. Paradise is right ahead.”
His wife, sitting on the other side of the boat in a red coat, squirts water between the leaves of her potted plant. The early morning light streams into her blonde hair tied up in a bun. The strands sticking out appear golden against her glowing skin. That damn green plant rests on her lap. The leaves hang over the black pot almost as if to brush her small belly, just shy of being a three-month incubator. She hums and squirts more water.
Nathan advances towards her, wobbling the boat and making every woman but her cry out. He scowls and sits next to his beloved Hannah.
“Hey, are you listening to me?” Nathan rubs her back as she replaces the plastic bottle with scissors and cuts off the rotting end of a leaf. He still can’t believe she brought that thing here.
He frowns. “Isn’t that the same leaf you cut last time?”
“Mmm. It grew back and decayed again.” Hannah drops the scissors and pushes his hand away. “The problem isn’t the leaf. It’s the root.”
“Babe, it’s just a plant. Put it down and look around us. Yeah, it’s all gray right now, but it’s still a beautiful sight.”
“Just a plant?”
“We’ve been saving for a trip like this for years. Nothing against your love for botany, but I’d appreciate it if you’d be here with me today.”
She yanks the plant out from the pot and slams it on his lap. Dirt flies everywhere.
“Ugh!” His covers his face. “You got some in my eye.”
She shoots up and wavers. Her sisters try to grab her hands and steady her, but she swats them away. “I’ve been seeing someone else!”
Silence grips everyone’s throat.
Nathan ignores the pain and irritation in his eyes as he squints at Hannah. “That isn’t true.”
She presses a hand to her stomach.
He stands. The boat tips over.