Georgia Carys Williams, fiction and poetry writer, provides the next entry for Wales Arts Reviews’ Flash Fiction Week with Stepping Back.
She could just about cross the road, flinching as though flies pestered her vision, head shaking as though disbelieving whatever she had last heard, hands flailing as though swatting it all away. If she could only see it, she was stepping back on herself, making jagged lines in the reflection of a car window.
‘Jus’ look at ‘er,’ said someone pointing from the pavement she had left, his face wrinkling from the nose-up. He stood for a while, willing her to turn around, but it didn’t work. Lilac like her skin, thirty-year old capris hung loosely like the jacket she was in, upon a body she couldn’t steer. Her eyes were darting past everything as she frisked her bag for a smoky sin and stopped for a second upon dead concrete. What a release that seemed, as the smoke whispered with little puffs through her skinny fingers. What a mess she was in; her hair historically blonde, stiff but wild in the town air as she began to slink sideways again. Her feet looked too bare in sandals, yet they didn’t look cold, for as she lifted her heels, I saw the filth she lugged around with her.
‘Don’ know where she’s been,’ said the man who couldn’t help but stare. I felt concern for her crossing another road, would have followed, but didn’t know how many roads there would be. From the look of her, flinching around the corner, neither did she. The town was trying to wrap her up in its grey breeze but she kept finding a way to falter away from it. She was slow, but within seconds, I struggled to see her blur. ‘Can still smell the booze of ‘er,’ said the man, but in the reflection of the car window, there was nothing but us and smoky air.
Stepping Back by Georgia Carys Williams is part of a Wales Arts Review series publishing original flash fiction pieces by some of Wales’ top authors in a celebration of the unique literary genre and National Flash Fiction Day.