Flash Fiction Friday: A Tragic Golfer

Before we bang a couple prompts together in the hope of generating a flash of light, it is one week until Christmas!! (Are you panicking? I have so many keto cookies to make!)

And I wanted to remind you lovely folks that I wrote a Christmas song with my brilliant and talented friend Laura Joy called The Light Shineth On (iTunes has it listed as The Darkness Knew it Not, but whatever). If you are looking to add a Christ-centered tune to your Christmas collection you can find it under Laura’s name in most of the music-y places.

PROMPTS: golfer, memory of a kiss

The PGA schedule doesn’t care about your life.

It doesn’t care about the weather or your aching back.

It doesn’t care that two thousand miles away a woman is lying in state and will be buried tomorrow.

The PGA cares about grass textures and sponsors and how many strokes for bogey. So I’m walking up to the tee. I’m taking whichever club the caddy hands me. I’m taking a deep, deep breath, the kind that makes you remember your forgotten diaphragm.

Is the crowd hushed? I don’t know.

Is the wind favorable? Why should I care?

I’m looking down at the ball. The ball that took me away too many times. The ball that earned our livelihood and made my name known among the right sorts of people. My jaw clenches. I was the one who thought they were the right sort. She was always begging off early, cancelling this dinner or that party.

I’m still staring at the ball. I don’t know how long I’ve been standing here. So I square up.

Some coaches voice echos from years back, “Get your head on the green.”

But then a softer voice, “It’s fine, baby. Go snag that title.”

And then her lips had hushed any argument, warm and tender. I had thought how lucky I was. How lucky I was.

Everything’s wrong. My heart, my posture, my grip. But I swing anyway. I barely connect with the ball. But it doesn’t matter. None of it matters. Because I saw the tears in her eyes. I heard the difference in her goodbye. I told myself I’d figure it out when I got back.

Lies.

Like telling myself this morning over my orange juice that I’d win this one for her. But she wouldn’t care about that. She never cared about any of this. And now I hate this game, like I hate myself.

But still I tee up again.

All my tiny nativities. The center one is carved from olive wood and is probably my favorite.

Sorry it’s not a happy tale. That’s the risk of letting things just flow as they are. That’s the nature of flash fiction. I’d love to see you take these prompts and give them a solid fifteen minutes. Put your responses in the comments, even if it’s just a paragraph or a really tight sentence or two.

Merry Christmas and keep writing!!