“I brought you some cookies,” she said.

“Thanks,” is what he said, though it sounded more like, “Thanks?”

He pretended to examine the plate, dumbly lifting the pink cellophane to get a better look.

Her jaw still chattered faintly, though not due to the cold.

“Well, I guess I better get going,” she said, knowing it was what he wanted her to say.

They hugged.  It was a much different hug than they had shared many times before, and for some reason it reminded him of a middle school dance.  Emptiness lay between them.

He opened the door for her.

That’s the least he could do, she thought as she squeezed by him to exit.


She turned around to face him.

“I’m sorry about all of this,” he said, still propping the door open with his back.  “I don’t really know what to say.”

“I feel hollow,” she said, her faced suddenly scrunched with tears welled in her eyes.

He left the doorway and he wrapped her in his arms and they hugged like they used to.  “It will all be okay.”

“It won’t.  It won’t be the same,” she said, pushing him back.  “Not now.”  The abandoned door reached its home, slamming behind him.

He was locked out.

“We can try.”

“We can’t” she said.  Her words were visible as they left her lips in a cloud.  “We can never be what we were.”

Her words floated upwards until they disappeared into the sky.

Into heaven.  Into nothingness.

There and then not there, like what they had created and then destroyed.  Even heavier after it was gone.

-Youngman Brown

0 thoughts on “Hollow Words

  1. Are you really just trying to make me cry? That was just about the most poignant and sad thing I've read lately but so beautifully written. Sadly, I remember an occasion just like this one except it was a piece of jewelry, with hope that maybe, and didn't happen. *sigh* Well I still have a beautiful diamond necklace out of my story and I'm wearing it now. Not because HE gave it to me but because its so beautiful. 🙂 You write so beautifully.

  2. I just read what Chris said but I believe its the ending of some chapter in their relationship maybe? At least it's how I experienced it in my own life.

  3. Great writing. It made me think of a couple who had lost a child, and that that had caused a rift between them. A rift that not even cookies could fix. Which I don't understand, 'cause cookies should be able to fix anything.

  4. Infidelity… his. I'm only guessing from her thought that “it was the least he could do” and then he apologizes.


    Great stuff BTW. I used to write like this before it was called “flash fiction” but I'm old…

  5. Loved it. I thought about abortion. They both agreed to it but given it was her that had to physically go through it, she feels some resentment toward him, hence the “it was the least he could do”. Also the phrase about her words going to “heaven” or “nothingness” as the soul of the fetus would do. And the reference to what they had “created and then destroyed”. You are an amazing writer and I can not wait until you are famous and I can say “I used to read his flash fiction…….” 🙂
    Disclaimer: I am pro-choice and do not in any way intend this to start a feud about a very heated topic. It was just what I saw in the writing.

  6. That was truly beautiful, my friend. I love reading your work because you really put a lot of yourself into the words and I can feel that when I read them. Nicely done 🙂

  7. My first thought, after reading this piece, was that the couple had come to an impasse in the relationship – something had changed, but I wasn't sure what. Then I saw the above comment where pammustard figured out it was an abortion. I went back and reread the piece and it all clicked. Great piece, as always.

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