Flash Fiction: Opulence (309 words)

Kedra sat with her back against the padded arm of the couch, her arms draped loosely in her lap. She leaned her head against the high back, and her feet dangled over the edge, knees bent and legs lazily tangled. She hadn’t moved much since she sat down. She resettled her elbows from time to time, or played with the torn edge on one of the cushions, but otherwise, she just breathed, long slow breaths, in and out, as she watched him work the strings between his fingers.

He worked knot after knot, slowly shaping the rope, and didn’t move much either. The minutes slipped by, and the lamp flickered on the table, and then next time he looked up, her lips were turned up at the corners.

Jon smiled back instantly, glad to see her relaxed. It had been weeks since she sat with him like this, weeks since he could remember her sitting anywhere at all.

Returning his attention to the strings in his hands, he murmured, “What are you thinking?”

Kedra took a little faster breath, ready to answer, then she paused. “Nothing,” she whispered.

Jon glanced at her.

She laughed and gave the smallest shrug. “I’m not thinking anything at all.” Pushing herself deeper into the couch, her smile stretched over her features, sparking in her eyes that had been almost shut a moment ago. “It’s nice.”

Jon rubbed the tops of her feet.

“Good,” he said. “Let’s keep it that way. For as long as we can.”

“We have things to do in the morning,” Kedra said.

Jon squeezed her toes. “That’s a thought,” he chided.

She let out another quiet laugh. “Then you must have had it,” she said. “My head is all empty and hollow.”

He grinned down at the rope in his hands, and let her settle back into her indulgent silence.


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