The Morning After


(flash fiction inspired by Alessandro Fiorini’s painting Tradita*)

He’s coming, she thinks, looking outside. The breeze from the shore caresses her face. The sun is rising high in the sky; soon will be too hot to leave the windows open.

He’s coming. The sheets lie crumpled at her side as a sea of stormy thoughts. The perfume she had carefully donned is wafting away. Nearby, a gate opens and closes, rusted hinges breaking the morning silence.

He’s coming. She blinks, once, twice, refusing to move. Her eyes are growing tired to stare at the ever-moving, liquid surface, now busy with colorful boats coming back to the marina. The tempest has come and gone, leaving behind a trail of waste marring the once-beautiful blue. She focuses her attention on a piece of floating wood. Her heart skips a beat. Tears fill her dark eyes.

He’s coming. She knows, joy finally descends upon her. The piece of wood is just such. A familiar shape fending through the crowded water commands her attention. The small boat seems to fly over the waves, sending the debris away in its wake, a bright light intermittingly flashing a love letter.

“I’m coming home,” it says. She smiles and closes the window.


*Although the original title of the painting means ‘betrayed’, while I was writing this piece I thought that the lovely woman in the picture deserved a happier ending. There is something about her and the light surrounding her that compelled me to write something permeated by hope.

The Morning After

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