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  • Writer's pictureAtlas Fae

Read the Flash Fiction that Won at WriterCon 2023

Recklessly Comfortable

He had eyes like bourbon, in the way they were colored, and the fact that one look set my throat on fire. It was a smooth burn. I loved every minute of it. Getting lost in him was too easy- but not easy like breathing, no. In fact I often forgot how to breathe whenever he was around. Unless of course we’re talking about breathing him in. His scent was home. Sweet cinnamon set on fire in the middle of a winter forest. His hair was black velvet rain between my fingers and my skin was melted butter beneath his coarse grip. Nothing about us was natural. We met while both of us wanted to die, we became a firework show for the castle in the clouds, set off just above toxic waste so volatile we could set the entire world a blaze with one mistake.

He would sit and listen to me laugh like a hyena. Told me he could only hear the bells. He could make me ring for days. We talked about moving mountains but I knew better. When mountains move, cities are destroyed and bridges are burned in the restless fires of change. I didn’t care about the cities or the people, just him and his body heat. Wrapped up in his sweater I was invincible. You couldn’t pierce a piece of coal like me if you were wrapped in diamond armor. No amount of pressure could touch me. I was on cloud nine standing at the bottom of the ocean, still forgetting I hadn’t yet taken a breath.

Maybe we were doomed from the start. Like water and oil spinning in a whirlpool; pretending to mix together. It sure felt easy, comfortable. Laying under the stars in a parking lot on the roof of his car thinking nothing in the world could move me from that spot. He’d turn to me and say all his favorite stars were in my eyes. I’d shine brighter than I ever had hearing the soft low whisper of his voice giving me praise. Everything about us seemed endless. Like we could burn bright for all eternity. The thing about burning so bright? Eventually, you burn out.

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