'Silhouette' by Jacki Donnellan

My mother was a silhouette.

“Momma, come and play!”  I’d beg her daily. She didn’t, of course. She couldn’t.  She was always smothered by her shadow; the sun always behind her. Too far back to reach her, too bright for her to turn and face.

I tried to make her happy. I’d show her every last one of my crayon dreams - of the nice house we would live in one day; of the flowers that would grow in the garden. Once, I even drew a daddy, coming up the garden path with a bright yellow sun in the sky.

Silhouettes don’t smile. Silhouettes don’t laugh, and hug, and say, “You good boy Jason, that’s lovely!”

I was just seventeen when I walked into our bedsit and found a body on the floor, the dark shape that it made there matching the outline I loved so well.

Finally exposed to the cold light of day, she was a blue shade of grey, streaked and spattered in orange. Sunlight bounced like diamonds off the bottle in her hand, and her eyes were like glass.

I just turned around and left. I didn’t want to remember a set of straight edges being lowered into the ground. I wanted to remember that beautiful silhouette.

But enough about me, now.

What about you?

Well, you are just lovely; a real find. Yes, you are. The way your lips are quivering, now; the way you shudder at my touch. And oh, how close you held me, when those pretty arms were free to move!
But you see, it’s perfection that I’m looking for. And the redness of your cheeks, the incessant trickling of your eyes…no, nono. That’s just not perfect. I’ve seen with my own eyes that perfection is colourless. Featureless.  And stained, dirt-black, with shadows.

Oh, hush now-don’t you worry. No need to squirm and fret. You’ll be pretty as a crayon picture when I’m done. I’m going to have you hovering like an angel high above the ground, with the light from the cellar doorway straining down to reach you. And then you’ll be just like her; like my beautiful, perfect mother.

My mother was a silhouette.

FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.


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