Flash Fiction: Precious Silence (215 words)

Silence always lingered on Lyda’s tongue, even after she swallowed, some sour, some sweet, holding on like the last bite at the table. Some were heavy, coating her tongue in oil or fat and she would scrape it lightly against the back of her teeth to sheer away the weight. Some were numbing, too sweet like the fluffed ices they sold in the market square, and she’d scrape her tongue off then as well, eager for it to fit back into her mouth. Lyda would look from side to side in the empty room, looking for the next word.

And some – sitting in the open sunlight with her head tilted back, and her feet bare, and her book closed around a finger, and him sitting just there with his fingers shoved into his hair while he leaned on his hand, and his book crack-spined open on his knee without a hand on it, like he didn’t really want to touch it and ruin the illusion that it was something more than a few hundred sheets of paper sewn together – were just like fresh honey.

They stayed on her tongue, light and even, faint enough that she might swallow them away at any moment, but clinging to the back of her mouth longer than she hoped.

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