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Monday, April 3

Fade Away

"Fade Away"
Flash Fiction
by Anne Frasier

My world is tiny.

They took my car away, promising to come and get me whenever I need a ride. I wait, but they don’t come. I sit in this place surrounded by idiot old farts who stare blankly at the birds behind the glass. Stop staring at the fucking birds! I want to scream. But we don’t talk. We don’t look at one another, such is the depth of our shame. Because, let’s face it, pissin’ your pants ain’t cool.

They roll in a new guy. Some decrepit mess who will only add to the aroma. He looks scared, arthritic fingers nervously tapping the plastic arm of his wheelchair.

I don’t like old people. I fucking hate old people.

“Ian?” The guy leans forward. “I thought you died.”

Who is that ugly pile of sagging skin? Somebody I know?

“It’s me. Martin.”

Martin. My old band mate. The bass player and kid of the group. Now I notice that his arms are solid tattoos. This is such a trip. This is so freaky.

“Remember that time at First Avenue?” he asks. “When you dove off the stage and broke two ribs?” He starts to laugh, but after a couple of gasps seems to think better of it.

How can the memory of youth hurt so much? It’s more pain than I can stand. I don’t answer him. I look away. I stare at the yellow bird.

13 reactions:

Kelly Parra said...

Very trippy, Anne! It's so crazy how you can get into someone's head. Awesome piece, thanks for sharing this one with FM!!

anne frasier said...

thanks, kelly!!

jason evans said...

Whoa. That's the coolest flash fiction I've seen from you yet. Damn, that was STRONG! Awesome job, Anne!!

(Hey, apparently you're not listening to Nancy Reagan. See you in flash fiction rehab....)

anne frasier said...

jason, that's it. last one. swear to god.

vampran said...

Wow!Great flash Anne. I liked the dejected feel of the story and how it keeps pulling the reader in.

bornfool said...

Great flash, Anne. It evoked a lot of feelings I have when i visit my grandmother at the nursing home.

Mark Pettus said...

What an odd stirring of emotions. First I'm offended by your narrator, then I'm touched by my own fear of getting old, then I get the chuckles...

Nice work, Anne.

anne frasier said...

vampran: thanks! i looked at your profile and love your music list. :)

bornfool: thanks! wouldn't it be great if we had scratch and sniff computers? ;)

mark: thank you so much! your comment made me smile and laugh.

emeraldcite said...

very nice. great range of emotions.

i like it.

addicting, eh?

Jeff said...

This story is flash fiction at it's FINEST! Loved it.
"Fade Away" accurately depicts the boredom, denial, anger, fear, and sense of hopelessness that many elderly people feel.
Great job, Anne! :)

anne frasier said...

emeraldcite and jeff: thanks!

it's interesting to see that people have responded pretty strongly to this story. maybe because we all have that fear of getting old -- and have probably all had someone in a nursing home. i actually wrote this 2 or 3 weeks ago and put it away because i thought it lacked punch. i dug it back out and polished it a little, but it could still use another edit. this was more straight-forward and less abstract than the other pieces i've written.

Meleta McHarlin said...

Loved it! That will be me. Cussing out the old fogies just for being old while denying I'm one of them. Yes!
Excellent flash.

anne frasier said...


thanks, meleta!