#FlashFictionFriday – Short Story- "Perplexity"

by: Jennifer Patino

She was starting to think that her life was a jigsaw puzzle with all of its five thousand pieces face down.

Right when a picture would somewhat make itself clear she’d realize that there were pieces left over.

Pieces she didn’t know what to do with.

Pieces that never seemed to fit.

She was in pieces.

One foot here on glorious planet Earth and the other in some other dimensional fantasy reality of her dreams.

She couldn’t decide which one was better really. In the here and now she had a place to stay, some sort of income even if it was at a job she hated, and plenty of frozen pizza and ramen to eat. This place lacked originality and excitement, however. It wasn’t what she wanted to do. She wasn’t where she wanted to be. And she wasn’t who she wanted to be.

In the other world, far beyond the stars and really far beyond any place her imagination could take her (or so she thought), was where she truly felt she belonged.

She knew she deserved love, success, freedom-all those things she’d pen about in her journal on nights like this on the porch of her apartment with only the wind to listen to her tears.

In that “other world” she had the right man, the right job, the right amount of money to truly do what she wanted to do. In that “other world” it’d be so easy just to send a poem or a short story or some random bit of philosophical jargon she thought up to write down to any publisher and have them mail you a generous paycheck in response.

She’d hang out with the “literary” types and smoke clove cigarettes and have drinks with gin in them.  She wouldn’t be chugging down cheap wine bottles alone and puffing away on whatever nicotine choice was cheaper at the local gas station.

She’d meet the love of her life on such an outing. They’d stargaze on some deserted bridge somewhere and trade haiku in the name of each other. No matter what, they’d truly understand each other.

She wanted deadlines and an editor.

She wanted to wake up from this nightmare and take delight in knowing that the life she had right now was just that-a nightmare.

But her tired eyes are beginning to close.

And tomorrow will be a new day to dream and scheme the completed puzzle awake.

For now, it’s restless sleep next to the lover she knows doesn’t really appreciate her in a bed too small for the two of them and visions too big for her small pretty head it seems.

And in the distance it looks like rain.

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